Saturday, January 06, 2007

Photo: British army soldiers take defensive positions after their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in Basra, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. A roadside bomb targeted a British army convoy and wounded one soldier, whose wounds were not considered to be life-threatening, the British army said. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
A parked car bomb targeted the convoy of a high-ranking Iraqi police officer in central Baghdad, killing one pedestrian and wounding six others, police said. The head of emergency police in the Iraqi capital, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Yassiri, survived the attack on his convoy in a commercial area of the Karradah neighborhood, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
A parked car exploded near a fuel station in the southern neighborhood of Dora at midday, killing three people and wounding four others, police said.
A roadside bomb exploded in eastern Baghdad, injuring one civilian, police said.
U.S. troops killed four people and captured a fifth in raids targeting suspected bomb makers in Baghdad, the military said. The four were killed after they fled from American forces and took refuge in a building where they refused to surrender, the military said in a statement. U.S. troops found a fifth armed man hiding in a ditch and detained him, it said.
Police in Baghdad found 47 bodies, many shot dead and tortured, in the 24 hours to Friday night, an interior ministry source said.
Iraqi police clashed with gunmen in central Baghdad on Saturday when they went to investigate a report that 27 bodies had been found in one location near a cemetery, police and interior ministry sources said. A source at Baghdad police headquarters said local police in the area near Haifa Street, in central Baghdad, had found 27 bodies and called in reinforcements. When they arrived, they came under fire from gunmen. The police source said they then called in support from U.S. forces. An interior ministry source also said there had been clashes in the area.
A soldier who grew up in the Vancouver, Washington area died after injuries he suffered in a Humvee accident in Baghdad. Jeremiah Johnson, 23, died Friday morning at the U.S. Army hospital in Germany, according to his mother Elizabeth johnson. Johnson was part of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parchute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Johnson suffered traumatic brain injuries after the humvee in which he was riding rolled into a canal, trapping Johnson inside and under water for as long as ten minutes, according to Senior Paster Lee Erickson of the Salmon Creek Four Square Church.
Gunmen killed two former members of the Baath party in two separate incidents in Najaf.
Masked men killed on Saturday four members of one family in Muqdadiyah district, northeast of Diala, a police source said. Diala province is 57 km northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Police said a former Baath party member was killed by gunmen south of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad
A policeman and a former Baath party member were shot dead in two separate incidents in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad.
A former Baath party member was killed in a drive by shooting in Kifl, a town about 150 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad.
A man was found dead, shot in the head, on the main road in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad.
A U.S soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were wounded on Saturday morning when an explosive charge went off near their patrol vehicle in town near Kut, a security source said. "An explosive charge was detonated today morning near a U.S. vehicle patrol in al-Nuamaniyah town, north of Kut," the source, asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)
In Basra, Iraq's second-largest city about 550 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeted a convoy, wounding one British soldier, said Maj. Charlie Burbridge, a British military spokesman.
Two men found shot dead in Basra may be Iraqis who went missing on Friday along with an American contractor, police in the southern oil city said. The U.S. embassy said it was still checking reports of an American kidnapped.
Twenty mortar shells were fired onto the British base at Shatt-el-Arab hotel, 10 km north of Basra, damaging a building but no casualties occurred.
A U.S. Hummer was damaged when an explosive charge was detonated at a U.S. vehicle patrol in central Samarra, north of Baghdad, a security source said.
Iraqi soldiers killed two suspected insurgents and found a cache of weapons in Mosul, the Iraqi Army said.
Gunmen killed a Kurdish labourer working for the government in the northern city of Mosul.
Unknown militants killed another civilian in Mosul's Noor district.
Police in the northern city of Mosul found four bodies with signs of torture and gunshot wounds.
Tal Afar:
Three policemen were killed on Friday while searching a house that was booby-trapped with explosives in Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad.
Iraq's prime minister said Saturday that Iraqi forces would launch a new effort - with U.S. troops in a supporting role - to wrest control of Baghdad's neighborhoods from militias and other sectarian killers.
Iraqi forces were to begin a neighborhood-by-neighborhood assault on militants in the capital this weekend, even before the White House announced a long-awaited new strategy to contain Sunni insurgents and Shiite death squads.
"The Baghdad security plan will not offer a safe shelter for outlaws regardless of their ethnic and political affiliations, and we will punish anyone who hesitates to implement orders because of his ethnic and political background," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in a speech at the 85th anniversary celebration of the Iraqi army.
By Saturday afternoon, there was no evidence of elevated American or Iraqi troop levels on Baghdad's streets, and only routine levels of violence.
A firefight in central Baghdad between Iraqi army forces and militants reported on state television apparently marked the start of the drive to contain Sunni insurgents and Shiite death squads. According to the report, 30 militants were killed and eight arrested, including five Sudanese.
Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq is already running into trouble on Capitol Hill, with Republicans joining Democrats in raising eyebrows before the president even makes his case.
Bush, who met on Saturday with his national security team, has tapped new military commanders to lead the war effort and will disclose a new war strategy as early as Wednesday that is expected to include political, military and economic components.
The military solution, which has attracted the most attention and skepticism from Congress, probably will call for an increase in U.S. troops, possibly 9,000 additional troops deployed to Baghdad alone.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., shot down the suggestion of more troops within a day of gaining control of Congress.
"Based on the advice of current and former military leaders, we believe this tactic would be a serious mistake," Reid said in the Democratic radio address Saturday. Instead, Reid and Pelosi want Bush to begin pulling troops out in four to six months.
"Our troops and their families have already sacrificed a great deal for Iraq," Reid said. "They have done their part. It's time for the Iraqis to do their part."
Bush told more than a dozen senators Friday that he would settle on the option only if the Iraqi government offered certain guarantees, according to senators who attended the meeting.
The leading advocates of an increase in U.S. forces in Iraq warned President Bush on Friday that any buildup lasting less than 18 months was doomed to fail, and urged the White House to avoid compromises that would scale back the plan.
The hard line taken by such backers as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane comes as the Bush administration continues to debate the size and the scope of an expected troop increase. White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush had "not entirely" made up his mind, even as Bush reorganized top war advisors and began meeting with key members of Congress in advance of a major address next week.
The US Army is apologizing for mistakenly sending 275 letters to the families of officers killed or wounded in action urging them to return to active duty. The letters were among those sent to more than 5,100 officers who had recently left the service; they arrived a few days after Christmas.
The Army's offered no explanation for the mistake. It does say that the database normally used for such correspondence had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of wounded or dead soldiers.
The battle for MSR Mobile, a desolate stretch of road east of Fallujah, is relentless: Twenty-four hours a day, Marines lumber up and down the six-lane freeway in 23-ton amphibious assault vehicles, looking for bombs and dodging snipers.
The shadowy gunmen are a constant menace on MSR Mobile - short for Main Supply Route Mobile, so dubbed because it serves as a main link between several U.S. bases in Al Anbar province. In just the last two weeks of December, two Marines from Company B of the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C., fell to snipers' bullets: Lance Cpl. Luke Yepsen, 20, of Brazos, Texas, and Cpl. Joshua Pickard, 20, of Merced, Calif.
Marines suspect the same sniper killed Yepsen and Pickard.
"I hope he shows up today - I'd like to blast his ass," Sgt. Clayton Chism, 26, said at the beginning of a recent patrol involving 14 Marines and three vehicles from the battalion's Team Gator.
The mission on the road linking Fallujah to Baghdad could be seen as a microcosm of the Marine mission in Al Anbar: nothing likely to be made into a Hollywood war movie, just a "persistent presence" to wear down the insurgency.
But there are moments of adrenaline-pumping drama. On this day, the Marines shot an Iraqi spotted planting a roadside bomb. When Lance Cpl. William Shaw was lifting the wounded Iraqi into a vehicle to be taken to a field hospital, the Marine was shot in the back by a sniper.
The round struck the back plate in the flak vest worn by the 22-year-old from Fort Bend, Texas. A few inches lower, and Shaw might have been killed or had his spine severed.
The explosive ordnance detail was called to examine the bomb. It was fake. Fake bombs are a recent wrinkle in the insurgents' game plan. The strategy, apparently, is to fire at Marines who arrive to examine and neutralize devices.
Navy trauma doctors who have treated wounded Marines say the snipers have learned to find vulnerable spots not covered by protective plates.
"We're not bionic men," said Gunnery Sgt. Justin Smith, 32, of Boston.
read in full...
Federal Computer Week reports on the problems caused by counter IED systems.The Naval Sea Systems Command is looking to develop a small device that will prevent the powerful jamming radio signals from shutting down military tactical communications in the immediate area.
"Navsea, which is asking for industry input on mitigating the problem, said IED jammers, known as Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) systems, can cause the "loss of all communications" from co-located or nearby tactical radio systems."
It brings attention to the nagging reality that U.S. forces and the massive technology community have not found a solution to the problem of improvised explosives devices. Deadly ad hoc killers that range from hijacked aircraft to booby trapped dead bodies. The most common form is the roadside IED, typically made from Saddam-era artillery shells and simple detonators. Car bombs or VBIEDs are the most deadly version in Baghdad and the simple but deadly technology has spread to Afghanistan with increasing effectiveness.
Currently IEDs are the number one killer of US troops in Iraq. Depending on the month around 70% and higher of fatalities are IED related. There is also the sad statistic of increased use of body armor keeping soldiers alive but horribly disfigured or handicapped for life. U.S. responses range from multi billion technology investments, to a direct-report task force led by retired General Montgomery Meigs. But for every advance there seems to be a mirror image advance in either higher or lower technology. The latest horror is an old enemy, the shaped charge. Essentially an IED that is focused much like a shotgun focuses a shell or an RPG can be used to disable a tank by focusing its force and heat.
The shaped charge is aimed (typically at the front corner of the vehicle) and is made of a concave copper end, often encased in a steel tube. When detonated the explosion turns the copper into a a molten plasma with a shock wave in front of it.
The shock wave breaks the armor and the plasma cuts right though detonating explosive devices inside the vehicle. The EFP is estimated to hit vehicles at up to 8,000 meters per second with extremely high pressure. The charge will also be packed with shrapnel and form its only solid plug if it travels too far.
Originally the military required retrofitted armor kits to deal with the threat But is now delivering equipment with better built in armor protection. It is still common to see US still using sandbags on the floor of their humvees to add some further level of protection. Iraq is just beginning to see the new generation of heavily armored vehicles arrive.
read in full…
The WaPo has gotten hold of the investigative report on the Haditha massacre (click on the label at the bottom of this post for my previous posts on the subject). It still doesn't answer whether the Marines were on a rampage after an IED attack killed one of them, or whether they calmly massacred civilians in compliance with rules of engagement that allowed for such massacres. And I'm still not sure which would be worse. One of the most damning aspects is that the events took place over many hours. It was fairly late in the day that Marines "approached a third and fourth house after noticing men they said were peering at them suspiciously," separated out the men from the women, and executed the men. For peering at them suspiciously.
At the start of the massacre, after the IED blast, the report says that the squad's leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, executed five innocent bystanders "one by one," and that when he ordered Marines to enter civilian houses from which, supposedly, they were being fired upon (I still doubt there was any hostile fire), he told them to shoot first and ask questions later. That quote is from his own statement. (I wonder if they ever did ask those questions.)
Wuterich also told investigators, "I want to make clear that we did not go in intentionally to spray everyone we saw. We were taking fire." Note that Iraqi bullets = fire, American bullets = spray.
Speaking of spray, another sergeant admits to having peed on the corpses.
The colonel in charge of the unit, Stephen W. Davis, decided that even though there had been many civilian casualties, and an initial attempt at covering up how those civilians had died, there was no need for an investigation: "There was nothing out of the ordinary about any of this, including the number of civilian dead, that would have triggered anything in my mind that was out of the norm."
That pretty much says it all, huh?
As a critical turning point in America's role in the nearly four-year-old Iraq war nears, the editorial pages of the largest U.S. newspapers have been surprisingly - even, appallingly - silent on President Bush's likely decision to send thousands of more troops to the country.
It follows a long pattern, however, of the editorial pages strongly criticizing the conduct of the war without advocating a major change in direction. Now it comes at what appears to be a crucial point, with Democrats in Congress, overcoming their own timidity on the issue, finally emerging Friday with opposition to the buildup -- setting up a possible battle royal in the days ahead.
Newspapers, at least in their editorials, have chosen to retreat to the sidelines so far. This comes even as hawkish conservatives such as Oliver North, and dozens of other op-ed contributors, have come out against the idea, and polls show that 11% or less of the public back the idea. That would seem to set the stage for editorials taking a strong stand, for or against.
An E&P survey of major papers' editorial pages this past week, however, finds that very few have said much of anything about the well-publicized "surge" idea, pro or con. They may finally declare themselves Sunday - much too late, given that the president seems to have made up his mind and just shook up his cast of commanders to assemble a more sympathetic crew.
read in full...
Like some neo-conservative Wizard of Oz, in building expectations for the 2007 version of his "Strategy for Victory" in Iraq, US President George W Bush is promising far more than he can deliver. It is now nearly two months since he fired secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, installing Robert Gates in his place, and the White House revealed that a full-scale review of America's failed policy in Iraq was under way.
Last week, having spent months - if, in fact, the New York Times is correct that the review began late in the summer - consulting with generals, politicians, State Department and Central Intelligence Agency bureaucrats, and Pentagon planners, Bush emerged from yet another powwow to tell waiting reporters: "We've got more consultation to do until I talk to the country about the plan."
As John Lennon sang in "Revolution": "We'd all love to see the plan."
Unfortunately for Bush, most of the US public may have already checked out. By and large, Americans have given up on the war in Iraq. The November election, largely a referendum on the war, was a repudiation of the entire effort, and the vote itself was a marker along a continuing path of rapidly declining approval ratings both for Bush personally and for his handling of the war.
It's entirely possible that when Bush does present us with "the plan" next week, few will be listening. Until he makes it clear that he has returned from Planet Neo-Con by announcing concrete steps to end the war in Iraq, it's unlikely that American voters will tune in. As of January 1, every American could find at least 3,000 reasons not to believe that Bush had suddenly found a way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
What's astonishing about the debate over Iraq is that the US president - or anyone else, for that matter, including the media - is paying the slightest attention to the neo-conservative strategists who got the US into this mess in the first place. Having been egregiously wrong about every single Iraqi thing for five consecutive years, by all rights the neo-cons ought to be consigned to some dusty basement exhibit hall in the American Museum of Natural History, where, like so many triceratops, their reassembled bones would stand mutely by to send a chill of fear through touring schoolchildren. Indeed, the neo-cons are the dodos of Washington, simply too dumb to know when they are extinct. (...)
However, it's possible - just possible - that what Bush is planning to announce will be something a bit more Machiavellian than the straightforwardly manly thrust Kagan wants. Perhaps, just perhaps, he will order an increase of something like 20,000 troops, but put a tight time limit on this surge - say, four months. Perhaps he will announce that he is giving Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that much time to square the circle in Iraq: crack down on militias and death squads, purge the army and police, develop a plan to fight the Sunni insurgency, find a formula to deal with the Kurds and the explosive, oil-rich city of Kirkuk they claim as their own, un-de-Ba'athify Iraq, and create a workable formula for sharing the fracturing country's oil wealth.
By surging those 20,000 troops into a hopeless military nowhere-land, Bush will say that he is giving Maliki room to accomplish all that - knowing full well that none of it can, in fact, be accomplished by the weak, sectarian, Shi'ite-run regime inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. So, some time in the late spring, the United States could begin to un-surge its troops and start the sort of orderly, phased withdrawal that Baker and the Carl Levin Democrats have called for.
Levin suggested as much as 2006 ended. "A surge which is not part of an overall program of troop reduction that begins in the next four to six months would be a mistake," said Levin, who will chair the Armed Services Committee. "Even if the president is going to propose to temporarily add troops, he should make that conditional on the Iraqis reaching a political settlement that effectively ends the sectarian violence."
That may be too much to ask for a Christian-crusader president still lodged inside a bubble universe and determined to crush all evildoers. And it may be too clever by half for an administration that has been as utterly inept as this one.
At the same time, it may also be too much to expect that the Democrats will really go to the mat to fight Bush if, Kagan-style, he orders a surge that is "long and large". Maybe they will merely posture and fulminate and threaten to ... well, hold hearings.
If so, it will be the Iraqis who end the war. It will be the Iraqis who eventually kill enough Americans to break the US political will, and it will be the Iraqis who sweep away the ruins of the Maliki government to replace it with an anti-American, anti-US-occupation government in Iraq. That is basically how the war in Vietnam ended, and it wasn't pretty.
read in full...
After reading the article I posted last night about Bush's attempt to push responsibility for Iraq onto the next president, it's interesting to see what Joe Biden had to say today.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.
"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."
Biden expressed opposition to the president's plan for a "surge" of additional U.S. troops and said he has grave doubts about whether the Iraqi government has the will or the capacity to help implement a new approach. He said he hopes to use the hearings to "illuminate the alternatives available to this president" and to provide a platform for influencing Americans, especially Republican lawmakers.
"There is nothing a United States Senate can do to stop a president from conducting his war," Biden said. "The only thing that is going to change the president's mind, if he continues on a course that is counterproductive, is having his party walk away from his position."
Biden said that Vice President Cheney and former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld "are really smart guys who made a very, very, very, very bad bet, and it blew up in their faces. Now, what do they do with it? I think they have concluded they can't fix it, so how do you keep it stitched together without it completely unraveling?"
The conventional wisdom seems to be solidifying around the idea that Bushis out to preserve his legacy (good luck with that), no matter how the White House spin team tries to apply lipstick to the pig.
Here's hoping that the rest of the Democrats in Congress continue to hammer this point over the next week. It will sure put a crimp in Bush's rollout of the escalation when it happens next week, and we're going to need that.
And I'm wondering if anyone in the White House will directly challenge what Biden is saying. They may choose not to, in the interest of not wanting to call further attention to his remarks - and that would amount to a tacit admission that Biden is right.
Al-Hayat cites statements by the Association of Muslim Scholars and by Adnan Dulaimi, head of the biggest Sunni coalition in Parliament, warning that Baghdad is on the verge of a new level of violence. Dulaimi warned that the Shiite militias, having obtained control of most of Shiite east Baghdad, are preparing an organized attack on the remaining Sunni neighborhoods in the western part of the city. The Al-Hayat reporter says leaders of armed groups are advising their friends to leave Baghdad before this starts.
Dulaimi listed neighborhoods according to their status in this overall struggle (you'd need a detailed map to follow this), and for balance the reporter notes there is a website run by Shiite politician Jalaladdin Saghrir that gives a different view, with daily updates about mortar attacks on Sunni-majority areas Saghrir calls the "areas of explosions and terror". But the journalist adds: He ignores the origins of this, in the process of intimidation, kidnappings and killings, that is common to most areas of Baghdad. And the journalist continues: Many groups are implicated in this, from the "organizations of AlQaeda, which early on announced their intention of [setting up] a state of their own in certain neighborhoods once they were emptied of Shiites; to the various Shiite groups including the Mahdi Army and the Badr Corp [military wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI] which infiltrated the police and army, and were able to use them to hasten the process of ethnic separation, in preparation for the final battle".
The journalist also quotes a former staff officer by the name of Hussein al-Samarae, with this analysis of the Baghdad situation:
Originally the sectarian confrontations had something of a one-on-one character that he describes as a football game with attacks and killings, and flight, but this has now come to have an organized and all-encompassing character, so that: "At this stage it has become impossible for us to get inside neighborhoods [apparently talking from a law-enforcement point of view], because of the huge size of the interventions [in these neighborhoods] both in terms of sects, whether religious or nationalist, and also just in geographical terms, because there are now Shiite neighborhoods within [larger] Sunni districts, and vice versa". He added: "The year 2006 was decisive because it saw the elimination of the last obstacles in the way of outbreaks of bloody violence; sectarian separation took on a programmatic character, and now we can see [apparently he means looking back over the process that occurred] that there were local coalitions formed [in neighborhoods], having a sectarian unity, which took control of specific territory, which they then tried to defend against attacks from other coalitions. And this came to involve the use of mortar fire, rockets, and armed attacks".
The journalist himself adds: "On the ground one can see heavy deployment of armed groups in the Sunni neighborhoods, and the presence of militias in the Shiite neighborhoods, and in both cases they have organized armed patrols, and have set up checkpoints where they verify people's sectarian identity."
And in conclusion, the journalist notes this: "Armed groups that were originally formed for resistance against the occupation, now center their attention on open war with the [Shiite] militias, for instance in a recent statement the "Emir" of the Islamic Army in Iraq said "the struggle against the exterminating Safavids is more important than the struggle against the American occupation".
From this link "Is There a Sunni Majority in Iraq?" [via Keld Bach], argues that Sunnis are majority in Iraq [prove that Saddam wasn't sectarian, and never been]. Actually I can's confirm this or deny it, since there isn't any sectarian census in Iraq.
I would like to drag your attention to a term used recently by many Arabic websites, forums and even newspapers [not used by western media]:
Safavids = Arabic Al-Safawun [________]: to describe Iraqi-Shiites loyal to Iran.
Historical twist that Iran was a Sunni Muslim nation converted to Shiism by force under the Safavids Dynasty.
Read Wikipedia link: Safavid dynasty
Iranian historian and thinker Ali Shariati in his book "Red Shi'ism vs. Black Shi'ism" describes Safavids as "Black Shiism"
In one of his books [Tashau Alavi, Tashau Safavi = Alavi and Safavi Shiism (I don't know if there is an English translation, my source is an Arabic translation] he said:
The movement is a mix of Persian nationalism, and the Shi'ite sect, generated calls for the revival of the national heritage and pride of the Iranian identity, preferring Persian identity on that of the Arabs, and the separation of the Arab Islamic Renaissance from the Persians nation.
Being finished with the "Academic" piece, I would like to add this important information about Iraq Shiism:
The Shiite came to rule Iraq with the help of the US occupation forces are Safavids, but other Shiite sect. like Al-Jaffri sect. represented by Ayatuallah Al-Khalisi and Ayatullah Al-Muyad consider that Iraqi Shiite should have their own identity, rejected the Iranian influence on the Iraqi Shiite, both oppose the US occupation of Iraq, and both have many Sunni friends.
With both Republicans and Democrats now voicing opposition to Bush's limp escalation plans before they are rolled out next week, note that Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki is now also telling Bush not to bother. He's going ahead with this own plans to improve security in Baghdad with his own forces in the lead. And the Americans? Al-Maliki says they will be in a supportive role only, not in the lead. And McCain? He's now sounding lukewarm because Bush isn't sending enough troops.
So if the White House tells us that worsened security warrants an escalation, why is Bush seemingly out of touch with the host government? It's clear that al-Maliki thinks he has enough forces for the job now, since he is doing this without waiting for any additional forces to arrive from us. Doesn't this confirm that the escalation isn't based on anything the Iraqis have requested, but rather on what the Bush Administration wants?
In the weeks and months since his arrest, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein lauded the Iraqi resistance and urged all sections of our country's society to unite.
He called on Shia and Sunnis to eject the invader, to put aside any differences they may have towards this goal.
The point of this entry is to highlight some of the most recent developments in the wake of Saddam's execution and its impact on Iraqi armed groups.
First and foremost, the various Iraqi resistance groups are contemplating uniting under one banner, one leadership with the express purpose of fighting the illegal invader force and inshallah, by the power of God, chasing them out of the country.
This news comes straight from a journalist embedded in Fallujah who called me a few hours ago. He reports that the city, which has seen its sixth consecutive day of funeral rituals for Saddam Hussein, is also abuzz with talk of a renewed effort for all armed resistance groups to unite from the south of the country to the north.
There are about 40-50 separate resistance groups with individual cells all named by different brigades. Some are dedicated to fighting the invading Hun. Others are dedicated to fighting the Ajam, the Persians.
I have also heard from another journalist in central Iraq who is telling me that even those who reviled Saddam have performed a 180 degree change and now not only mourn Saddam but are supporting his cause and his position.
This is why Maliki earlier this week said he wished he could quit his position as prime minister. Maliki came to power to implement the mandate of the Jaafary government to ethnically cleanse Iraq of Arab nationalists.
Whether you are Sunni or Shia. As long as you are an Arab nationalist, you are targeted. By Iran. Learn this well - Iran is the eternal enemy of the Arabs.
And it was Jaafary who allowed Muqtada Sadr to fester and it was under Maliki that Sadr's murderers were able to access all levels of government.
By way of the democratic elections all the Americans and Jordanians espoused. And when you all cheered for the Iraqi ga7ba with ink on her thumb did you know you were cheering for the shedding of blood? FOr the decimation of my country?
And when I warned you what would happen, you called me names.
In any case, Maliki wants out for two reasons - 1) he feels his mandate his over, which is why he is rushing to do as much damage as possible. Today he accused ALL Sunnis of fostering a civil war.
Which Sunnis do you want to join a reconciliation government when you are labeling all of them criminals, Maliki ya gawad?
The second reason is that Maliki fears he will be killed in a general uprising by nationalistic Iraqis. Saddam's execution has made a martyr of a dictator. But the arrogance of the Maliki government will not allow it to see its end is near.
He will escape to Iran of course. All of them will.
The Obeid and Bandar tribes of my home town as well as other tribes throughout Iraq are arming and readying themselves.
The war is coming O true Iraqis. This year will be the year of noble and valiant resistance.
One more thing, standing in opposition to calls by Saddam for the Iraqis to unite was Muqtada Sadr, the Badrists and the Maliki government.
Incidentally, all you "leftist" bloggers who are profusely theorizing about the Saddam mobile phone video being a psyops operation - suck this!
Honestly, you do not live in Iraq. You do not know our customs and you have no idea how deep the sectarian hatred planted by Iran is. So shut up. Stop saying Muqtada is trying to unify Shias and Sunnis because he is not.
You believe the US needs this video to sow sectarian strife? What the hell do you think it has been doing for three years? It hardly needs a video.
Besides, are all 220 million Arabs who know the Iranian game in Iraq misled but you, o American leftist, you know the truth?
And this is coming from someone who has backed the Iraqi resistance (both Shia and Sunni) since April 29, 2003.
Where were you?
The resistance will hold Sadr's head in due course.
A roadside bomb struck a NATO vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, wounding one soldier, while a suicide car bomber wounded four soldiers in the country's east, officials said. The roadside bomb hit the NATO vehicle in Zhari district in Kandahar province, wounding one soldier, said Capt. Andre Salloum, a spokesman for the NATO-led force. He did not disclose the nationality of the wounded soldier.
A suicide bomber plowed his car into a NATO convoy in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province on Friday, wounding four soldiers, said Mohammad Akram Akhpelwak, the province's governor. The bomber struck the convoy, which also included Afghan security forces, in Bermel district, he said.


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