Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Surge Success: "There is no one left for them to kill"

The news is full of it: Casualties in Iraq are down, the Surge is a success. Bush/Cheney and Al-Maliki claim that they have "won" a "victory" over the "militants" - whatever that means. They cite recent lower casualty numbers, claiming the "surge" worked, and things are getting better. But people on the ground have a different explanation for the relative calm, which is atypical of the rest of 2007.
"There is no one left for them to kill," 55-year-old retired teacher Nathum Taha told IPS in Baghdad. "The Americans continue to use Arab Shia Iraqi militias to kill Sunnis, but most people have left by now."
Now the city of Baghdad, and much of the nation that was Iraq before we invaded it, is divided along sectarian lines. Where once Shi'a and Sunni families coexisted peacefully, there are ethnic cleansings that have driven many into "safe" neighborhoods, and others are refugees in strange cities, if they can't leave Iraq altogether. And it's not because they're naturally violent or divisive as the Republicans would have you believe...

This assessment from an Iraqi who voiced what people who have to live in the war zone are saying:

"Americans and Iranians have succeeded in realising their old dream of dividing the Iraqi people into sects. That is the only success they can talk about."

"If the situation is good, why are five million Iraqis living in exile," says 55- year-old Abu Mohammadwho was evicted from Shula in West Baghdad to become a refugee in Amiriya, a few miles from his lost home.

"Sectarian killings are less because all the Sunnis have been evicted from mixed areas in Baghdad," Salman Hameed, a teacher who was evicted from the al-Hurriya area west of Baghdad eight months ago told IPS. "All my relatives and Sunni neighbours who survived the killing campaign led by the militias under the eyes of American and Iraqi forces have fled either to Syria or to other Sunni cities."

Over 30 tons of cluster bombs, which are known for their heavy "collateral damage" on civilian populations, were dropped in the first 6 months of 2007. And that's not counting the
"Attacks against U.S. forces are not much less than they were last month, but media coverage has almost disappeared," Muhammad Younis from Mosul, in Baghdad on a business trip, told IPS. "The resistance is moving fast and changing locations in order to avoid intelligence provided by collaborators. Most Iraqis hate the Americans more than ever after the death and destruction caused by their occupation."

"American air raids are increasing in a way that shows a total failure on the ground," a retired general of the dissolved Iraqi army told IPS. "A whole family was killed near Madayin, southeast Baghdad on Saturday (Nov. 3) just after the tragic bombing of houses south of Tikrit (about 100 km north of Baghdad) where more than 10 civilians were killed."

On Nov. 4, Iraqi army personnel backed by U.S. soldiers detained 12 people during a raid on the Sunni Abu Hanifa mosque in the Adhamiyah district of northern Baghad.

"Those American and government forces could not face the resistance fighters, so they arrest innocent people," Aziz Thafir, a lawyer who witnessed the arrests, told IPS. "They started their raid with nasty sectarian words against Sunnis, and then arrested every one who was around in the mosque."
"They are more vicious than they were before," 44-year-old Abu Ahmed told IPS in the capital. "This is a religious war against Sunnis, who would not accept the occupation and division of the country."

Many Iraqis believe the sectarian violence is being perpetrated or orchestrated by the U.S., not prevented or stopped by them, as presented in American public propaganda, aka media blitzes. And they see that reporting is not accurate either - attacks by U.S. and Iraqi forces, as well as Iraqi police, against Iraqi civilians, are not being covered. They see the U.S. as working on a "divide and conquer" policy, and the lessening of violence as merely the result of so many people having either been killed or fled as refugees - plus the dividing of their cities into ethnically cleansed "havens".

"I would like to agree with the idea that violence in Iraq has decreased and
that everything is fine," retired general Waleed al-Ubaidy told IPS
in Baghdad
. "But the truth is far more bitter. All that has happened is a
dramatic change in the demographic map of Iraq."
And as with Baquba and
other violence-hit areas of Iraq, he says a part of the story in Baghdad is that
there is nobody left to tell it. "Most of the honest journalists have
"Baghdad has been torn into two cities and many towns and
neighbourhoods," Ahmad Ali, chief engineer from one of Baghdad's municipalities
told IPS. "There is now the Shia Baghdad and the Sunni Baghdad to start with.
Then, each is divided into little town-like pieces of the hundreds of thousands
who had to leave their homes."

The U.S. has to answer questions about possible complicity.

"The Americans ask (Prime Minister Nouri al) Maliki to stop the sectarian assassinations when they know very well that his ministers are ordering the sectarian cleansing," Mahmood Farhan from the Muslim Scholars Association, a leading Sunni group, told IPS.

At least they could have read

"A UN report released September 2005 held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It said special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from the Shia Badr and Mehdi militias.
Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor to Iraqi security forces under former U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, supervised the training of these forces.

Steele had been commander of the U.S. military advisors group in El Salvador in 1984-86; Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to neighbouring Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers.
The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras.
The CIA records document that "special intelligence units", better known as "death squads", comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas.
Negroponte was ambassador to Iraq for close to a year from June 2004. "

Makes you wonder what those in Iraq were really trained to do. Why then don't the Democrats put up a stronger fight to stop this disastrous war?

1 comment:


Just exactly what kind of Kool Aid are you drinking?