Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

HAIFA STREET....When I read McClatchy's story last night about our latest effort to retake Haifa Street in Baghdad, I was left -- how should I put it? Not encouraged, certainly, but not completely depressed either. Today the New York Times takes care of that:

As the sun rose, many of the Iraqi Army units who were supposed to do the actual searches of the buildings did not arrive on time, forcing the Americans to start the job on their own. When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns.

.... Many of the Iraqi units that showed up late never seemed to take the task seriously, searching haphazardly, breaking dishes and rifling through personal CD collections in the apartments. Eventually the Americans realized that the Iraqis were searching no more than half of the apartments; at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted.

"Where did they go?" yelled Sgt. Jeri A. Gillett. Another soldier suggested, "I say we just let them go and we do this ourselves."

Petraeus sure has his work cut out for him.

Kevin Drum 3:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (60)

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Comments

A lot of those CDs then show up on eBay thus providing cash to the insurgency.

Posted by: jerry on January 25, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, this is part of Petraeus' job description: "to dislodge Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias who have been battling for a stretch of ragged slums." According to Dick Cheney, this is somehow preventing Al Quaeda from launching a domestic attack against the U.S.

And you missed he money graphs from the article:

"Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say.

“Who the hell is shooting at us?” shouted Sgt. First Class Marc Biletski, whose platoon was jammed into a small room off an alley that was being swept by a sniper’s bullets. “Who’s shooting at us? Do we know who they are?”

Mission accomplished.

Posted by: HeavyJ on January 25, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Arbitrary and haphazard harassment of the civilian population. Destruction and theft of their property. Wouldn't you leave if you could? After a few weeks of this, anyone left must be an insurgent and therefore a target. Shoot 'em all. Nobody wins.

And then somebody somewhere, maybe behind you or under you, shoots back.

Posted by: plinth on January 25, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, the liberal media and Chuck Hagel are responsible for this.

Oh and, what the hell, Paris Hilton.

Posted by: Kenji on January 25, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Cue whining about the "liberal media" from the Pied Piper brigade in 3...2...1...

Posted by: Gregory on January 25, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I want our troops out of Iraq ASAP, but if the Iraqis are so unreliable, when can that ever happen?

Posted by: Cat lover on January 25, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

soooooo..... Iraqis aren't yet disciplined soldiers, merely on the way to being so, and you're bitching?

Posted by: American Hawk on January 25, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

And, after all, why SHOULD the Shiite troops help us? Now that we've obligingly removed the Sunnis' feet from the Shiites' necks, our usefulness to them has ended. They have other fish to fly, and can hardly wait for us to leave so they can start frying them.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on January 25, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK
Iraqis aren't yet disciplined soldiers, merely on the way to being so, and you're bitching?

I see the evidence that the Iraqi soldiers are undisciplined.

I fail to see the evidence that they are on their way to being undisciplined, rather than becoming, over time, more and more habituated to reliance on the US to do the heavy lifting while they get to play around with guns.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 25, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I want our troops out of Iraq ASAP, but if the Iraqis are so unreliable, when can that ever happen?: Cat lover

Right on, Cat lover. The situation is so clear that even a liberal like you understands: the Iraqi is incapable of fighting, so we have to bring democracy to Iraq on our own.

Posted by: Al on January 25, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

$5 to American Hawk if he can show us ANY evidence in that article to suggest that Iraqi troops are "on the way" to being disciplined soldiers.

Almost four years after the invasion, we've only succeeded in arming 300,000 mercenaries who are in the fight for thrill and profit. The idea that these troops will ever stand up for a united Iraq is absurd.

Read the article. It's stunning stuff.

Posted by: Oregonian on January 25, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Chickenfeathers: soooooo..... Iraqis aren't yet disciplined soldiers, merely on the way to being so, and you're bitching?

When is that going to happen? Any ideas? I am not willing to make an open-ended commitment to bury Americans for a population that isn't willing to to suck it up and be responsible for their own readiness.

Al(l) fucked up in the head: The situation is so clear that even a liberal like you understands: the Iraqi is incapable of fighting, so we have to bring democracy to Iraq on our own. Yeah. Democracy at the barrel of a gun. That's a plan...

Fucking idiot.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK
When is that going to happen? Any ideas?

Oh, I'm sure they only have another 6-9 months to demonstrate that...

Posted by: cmdicely on January 25, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Chicken Hawk,

On the contrary, the Iraqi fighters are quite disciplined:

"Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say."

Clearly, the Iraqis know exactly what they're doing. Well armed, excellent intelligence, adept at concealment. The only problem is, they aren't fighting for George W. Bush, but rather, against him. Imagine that.

Posted by: HeavyJ on January 25, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Haifa Street battle: CBS has video.

Posted by: RT on January 25, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know, by asking these kinds of questions, you're undermining our unity, sending the wrong message, and giving comfort to the enemy.

Good thing the Constitution has no explicit guarantee of habeas corpus for people like you.

Posted by: bleh on January 25, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

what are the troops complaining about..

they volunteered...

Posted by: G.W.B. on January 25, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

When the Iraqi's stand up we'll stand down...

Posted by: AkaDad on January 25, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

We're just turning the corner on the Iraqi troops' readiness. The next six months will be critical.

Posted by: Shelby on January 25, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

plinth: Shoot 'em all.

Arnaud-Amaury: God will know His own.

Posted by: anandine on January 25, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns.

See? Cheering and laughing! Now how can you mmonbats continue to claim how terrible things are over there? There's cheering and laughing going on!

...at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted.

Well, to be fair, they probably got reassigned to school-painting detail.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on January 25, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

The next six months will be critical.

I know that was tongue in cheek, but I'll take the opening to remind everyone that everything goes to shit in the blink of an eye. Setting things back right, however, takes years, sometimes decades, and sometimes it just can't be done.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I was also depressed by the news that in a FUBAR attempt to stem self-segregation, Maliki will start arresting 1) Sunni refugees who have taken up residence in the homes of fled Shiite refugees and 2) Shiite refugees who have taken up residence in the homes of fled Sunni refugees....

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Not run like a Hollywood movie set is it?

The "unreliable" comment above interested me as coming from an American perspective.
I really hate to state the obvious but that isn't America, those aren't American people, theirs is not an American way of life. Those folks operate like the Iraqis they are, their work, life, and religious habits are not at all like ours over here.
Our troops have a job to do, and babysitting isn't it. Our troops are doing what they were told to do, stabilize Iraq.
It is a whole other mission to address the adjustment of the non-compative citizens to a NEWLY democratic country at their level, from their cultural perspective. It is a whole other lengthy process to begin to incorporate the ideas of democracy into a non-democratic social system, and to allow the people time to be drawn out of their old survival habits under a dictatorship and to embrace the benefits of a democratic way of life. How long has the Iraqi people has to do this?

To me, I see a people doing what most people do in chaos and turmoil, falling back on familiarity of habit and survival. What is democracy to a people that has been run by dictatorship for years?

I know nothing about the details of being an Iraqi but I am fairly confident that they have not up til now conducted daily business the way we do in America. Reconstruction efforts need to come from within the people themselves, from within the familiarity of their culture and way of life. This could take generations and we want them to do it by this time next year?

I do not think the behavior is so much unreliable as it is dictated by the ghost of old habits under a evil ruler. Even in America, prisoners let out of prison more times than not relapse, why? They know nothing better. Iraqi culture nosedived into democracy and what you are seeing is a crash landing. I too would like our troops out of there. But in doing so without empowering the Iraqi citizenship will leave a vacuum for the next dictator.

And just a note on that bit about empowering, let Cheney keep his filthy fingers off that country's resources. We have no right to their oil or anything else of theirs.

Posted by: Fat Old Grump on January 25, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Where did they go?" yelled Sgt. Jeri A. Gillett. Another soldier suggested, "I say we just let them go and we do this ourselves."

Wouldn't it be great if Bush & Cheney & the Halliburton board said the same thing and sent THEIR CHILDREN into Iraq to do it themselves?

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I feel the need to point out that this kind of chaos has deadly consequences -- at least one US soldier died during the babysitting mission described in the article.

Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I say we let them do the surge.

It's obvious that it will not succeed (though I wish it will).

And when it does not - Bush's (Republican) "political capital" account will not only have a zero balance, but it'll be in the red.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 25, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

I feel the need to point out that this kind of chaos has deadly consequences -- at least one US soldier died during the babysitting mission described in the article.
Posted by: Disputo on January 25, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

After the "surge" failure, there will be many more. The point is - the next Republitard president that tries to get us into some dumbass war, 20 years from now, will have to somehow explain how his war is different from Bush's. Maybe it will save lives in the future.

(hopefully, some sort of historical record will survive).

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 25, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

They're just not the "Natural Born Killers" that we are!

Posted by: R.L. on January 25, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I have a new name for it, OBF: ab-surge-ity.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

They are cheering and laughing because they have American troops on their side, for the time being, giving them an advantage.

Now I'm sure that the Mahdi Army will simply disappear in short order. After all, they represent a social/religious movement which has been taking root for years, but everything is sandy over there, right? Also, the Sunnis will surely very shortly understand that resistance is futile, right?. Then, they will all join together, convene a legitimate constitutional convention, compromise with each other and those accomodating and trusting Kurds, produce a legitimate constitution, hold legitimate elections and live happily ever after.

After all. Democratic institutions have been known to appear spontaneously many times before, right?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 25, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"...gunmen who flitted from window to window and killed at least one American soldier, with a shot to the head. Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say."

At this point, I start shooting at the ARVN. I mean, "Iraqi Army."

"One Iraqi soldier in the alley pointed his rifle at an American reporter and pulled the trigger. There was only a click: the weapon had no ammunition. The soldier laughed at his joke."

At this point, I shoot the first visiting US "dignitary" I see.

I am so ashamed of putting these brave kids in this fucked-up situation.

Posted by: hogwash on January 25, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Petraeus's mission is doomed for failure. He's knows what happened after he left the last time - everything fell apart. It's no mystery how this will end, but like a good solider he will support the Commander-in-Chief's Folly. Colin Powell was another good soldier who supported Bush's Folly; and what happened to him?

Posted by: JerseyMissouri on January 25, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

"they only have another 6-9 months to demonstrate that..."
"The next six months will be critical."

Ah, YES only another FU (Friedman Unit) until we turn the corner!
I am far more concerned about the devilish "Moron Ray" developed and used against us by the wiley Iranians since the year 2000.
It has already affected our top leadership and at least 50% of the nation's population.

Posted by: jay boilswater on January 25, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I pull shifts at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Administration Medical Center at Ft. Leavenworth.

When Petraeus took the billet, the soldiers on the base immediately started calling him "Dave Betray-us."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

But doncha know that Petraeus will figure this out, whip the Iraqi army into shape, and lead us to victory. After all, he is superman, a miracle worker, and Jesus Christ with a brace of revolvers in his shoulder harness.

Posted by: Keith G on January 25, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I am so ashamed of putting these brave kids in this fucked-up situation.

This is EXACTLY the sentiment that overtook me as I read the article. Too bad our fearless leader has no shame.

Posted by: ckelly on January 25, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Arbitrary and haphazard harassment of the civilian population. Destruction and theft of their property. Wouldn't you leave if you could? After a few weeks of this, anyone left must be an insurgent and therefore a target. Shoot 'em all. Nobody wins.

I wonder if they think as we do:

Don't get mad -- GET EVEN!!!

Posted by: Ray Waldren on January 25, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

But doncha know that Petraeus will figure this out, whip the Iraqi army into shape, and lead us to victory. After all, he is superman, a miracle worker, and Jesus Christ with a brace of revolvers in his shoulder harness.
Posted by: Keith G on January 25, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

If that's really true (and I doubt it) then his boss should be tried for criminal gross negligence for not putting Petraeus in charge in the first place.

Seriously.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 25, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Al and American Hawk seem desperate. I would be, in their situation. How they keep their spirits up I don't know.

I don't feel that great myself. In the present situation the idea of embedding is terrifying. There's a big risk that at some point a group of Americans will be led into a trap by an organized group of disloyal Iraqi troops. Either that, or the American soldiers will be cornered in a fight after all the supposedly-friendly Iraqis desert. Embedding seems fatally delusional.

Posted by: John Emerson on January 25, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

There's a big risk that at some point a group of Americans will be led into a trap by an organized group of disloyal Iraqi troops. Either that, or the American soldiers will be cornered in a fight after all the supposedly-friendly Iraqis desert.

I have a couple of valium stashed for the day that happens. I pray to a god I don't believe in that they stay in the medicine cabinet, but I have a terrible sense of foreboding about this mess.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 25, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have the source, but I distinctly recall Sadaam saying "we'll lure the US into the lion's den if they attack..."

That's what we have. We can build a quadrillion dollar fortress in Iraq, but we can't defeat
hatred.

Hatred that crosses the generations.

Hatred that defies any reason.

Hatred that is unrelenting and patient.

Our military cannot win.

Now, having said that, the FBI will come looking for me since "I'm not with us, so I must be with the terrorists."

Sheesh.

War sucks.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 25, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you have to work with the Iraqi army you fired and then bribed into coming back, not the Iraqi army you wish you had.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 25, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Al and American Hawk seem desperate. I would be, in their situation. How they keep their spirits up I don't know.

Circle-jerking to the latest photos of torture victims.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 25, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hogwash!

Posted by: gregor on January 25, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, I start shooting at the ARVN.

I actually laughed at this dark humor. Bet lot of American soldiers are getting a lot of dark laughs now days.

Who cares about them? Keep asking yourself that question.

Is it Bush/Gates/Rice/Hadley/Cheney?

Is it Kerry/Hagel/Webb/Murtha?

The Republican Presidential hopefuls?

The Democratic Presidential hopefuls?

Is the typical American citizen all that tuned in and concerned?

Maybe it's really just Mom/Dad/Family and their brothers in arms. And a very small percentage of their fellow citizens.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 25, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well i'm to old, My kids are girls,I have nothing to lose so who cares if these kids die it is not my ass. That is what AL and Hawk would say.

Posted by: john john on January 25, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Obsidian Wings' "Interesting" has Petraeus' schtick.
Glenn Greenwald adds cogent analysis.
Who's going to be seen as approving an absurdity and expect to be taken seriously ever again ? Get real.
This is, in fact, an absolute hellhole produced with malice aforethought.

Posted by: opit on January 25, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Getting my own link notes confused here. Ist item should have been Digby's posts on 15th and 16th.

Posted by: opit on January 25, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Someone already linked to the CBS Video of Haifa Street fighting, but an even better route is via Atrios where you get some even more nasty perspectives on what is happening.

http://atrios.blogspot.com/

Reporter Lara Logan is literally begging for any help she can get to see that her report gets aired on CBS News TV and NOT just the CBS News website. She is out there within a mile and a half of the Green Zone, documenting that Iraqis in Iraqi military uniforms are coming into neighborhoods and shooting unarmed civilians in cold blood and CBS won't put it on the Evening News. Yet another sign of how the News Divisions of networks have become glorified extensions of the entertainment division (witness Katie Kouric).

Meanwhile, the chorus of "You never show the good stuff that is happening in Iraq" continues. In fact, for the most part, hardly anyone here at home REALLY knows what is going on at street level, other to know that it is a LOT worse than dick cheney and george bush think it is.

After cheney's remarks yesterday to Wolf Blitzer, I have truly come to view our veep as operating from a bat cave so deep in the Cotoctins that neither light nor reality ever has a chance to reach him.

Posted by: dweb on January 25, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Not encouraged, certainly, but not depressed either"....Kevin Drum?

Good God, Kevin. Sometimes I think you miss the point entirely. To me, the story isn't that the Iraqi security forces aren't doing their share - it is that the U.S. military is attacking civilian populations with the equipment we paid for with our tax dollars!!!

Isn't the definition of terrorism the use of violence against civilians for political reasons??? Remind me again who the terrorists are here....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 25, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

news from another planet:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/01/does_anyone_els.html

Posted by: calibantwo on January 25, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK


When the Iraqi's stand up we'll stand down...

Posted by: AkaDad

Wrong. We need to stand down so that the Iraqis will stand up. Why should they do any of the fighting if they know we won't leave until they "stand up?"

Posted by: Andy on January 26, 2007 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Sheer idiocy! Almost no one questions the methods the army uses to “pacify” Iraq, but every door they blow open, every family they harass, is driven a little further into the arms of the insurgents. Kill a few civilians by mistake (or in murderous anger), as will certainly happen, and dozens more join the other side.

Will these dopey Americans ever learn the simplest lessons of life? Feed someone and clothe them, treat them with kindness and you have made a friend. Kill them and their relatives will hate you for generations.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid!

Posted by: James of DC on January 26, 2007 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone remember the last time someone created an effective Arab army? Hint: it was a long time ago, but he's still well thought of, and often has the letters (pbuh) after his name. Since then, no one's managed it.

Posted by: ajay on January 26, 2007 at 5:52 AM | PERMALINK

As ajay says, perhaps Petraeus should spend a weekend with the Turks. Help his resolve and all that.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 26, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

John Emerson wrote:
“In the present situation the idea of embedding is terrifying. There's a big risk that at some point a group of Americans will be led into a trap by an organized group of disloyal Iraqi troops. Either that, or the American soldiers will be cornered in a fight after all the supposedly-friendly Iraqis desert. Embedding seems fatally delusional.”

Oh, but it gets worse. The plan calls for the surged troops to be broken into small units and to take up residence in the neighborhoods that they have cleared. Troops who cannot speak the language get to play “Officer Friendly.”

Ever seen the movie “Fort Apache?”

This was called the “strategic hamlet” program in Vietnam. That turned out OK....for the VC. We owned the day, Charlie owned the night. That’s what is going to happen here. Too little, too late.

Breaking up large units into small ones and disbursing them permits the insurgents to engage and defeat them in detail. As an added bonus, they get to ambush the reinforcements en route to any fire fight. Think “Blackhawk Down.”

I believe the whole “we can’t leave or there will be chaos” is a load of crap. (Beg pardon, I meant to say that "the proposed policy warrents further consideration").

The Shia are 60% of the population. The Kurds are 20% and seem to have cut a deal with the Shia for their share of the oil.

The Sunnis are 20%. What are they really going to do?

(Long silent pause)

Exactly.

Displacement? Unhappiness? Loss of privilege? Hey, that’s what happens when you lose a civil war. That’s what will happen to the Sunnis.

Oh! Oh! Saudi Arabia might intervene, you say.

Look again. Lot’s more Shia in Iraq than Saudis in Saudi Arabia. Also, many of the people living in Saudi are Shia. Like they’re going into Iraq to protect the Sunnis? Like the King would take the chance of starting a rebellion in his own backyard? Don't think so.

Oh! Oh! Failed state alert. Terrorists will be in charge. Al Qaeda! Al Qaeda!

As for Al Qaeda taking over...if the Shia and Kurds don’t kill them, the Sunnis will. I have no sympathy for those psychopaths. Problem solved.

Oh! Oh! The Iranians are going to extend their influence.

Like they haven’t already? Like the Iraqi and Iranian governments have not already signed a cooperative security agreement? Like the majority of the parliament in Iraq doesn’t have a strong relationship with Iran. Like "our guy" Chalambi didn't turn out to be an Iranian agent...and we still let him head the Oil Ministry.

Give me a break.

The Iranians have already extended their influence!

Thank Bush, Cheney, Rummy and the neo-cons for that.

That having been said, there are real differences between the Iraq and Iranian Shia. The Iraqi Shia are more moderate...at least they used to be. Think Ali Sistani.

Our ability to influence the situation in Iraq with this plan is equivalent to farting into Katrina.

Time to declare victory and go home. Now!

Posted by: NJ Osprey on January 26, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Video of "Shia Iraqi soldiers beating Sunnis as US trainers watch"
at youtube.com/profile?user=Sharing Raw

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 27, 2007 at 7:09 AM | PERMALINK

Who Actually Kills Who in Iraq?
What are the statistics for dead troops and dead Iraqis?
If February is expected to bring, say, 200 dead troops and 3,000 dead civilians, then how many will be killed by what Iraqi participants?
Better yet, break it down by province. How many deaths from Sunni insurgents? How many from criminal elements? How many from foreign fighters/terrorists? How many from Shiite insurgents or death squads.
The Senate had Petraeus on the stand and talked about themselves. How about some concretish numbers and forecasts and then explain how or why or what a surge is going to change.
These numbers must exist on at least an extrapolated or best guess basis.
It would be illuminating to see what groups kill who. It would also decrease a lot of partisan spin, such as it's foreign terrorists, or the latest spin that it's Iranian agents.
As much as the press, I suppose, is paid to write about who said what about whom, i.e.gossip, a few facts from time to time would be educational.

Posted by: Craig Johnson on January 27, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Iraqis aren't yet disciplined soldiers, merely on the way to being so, and you're bitching?"

We've only been in Iraq longer than all of WWII from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki. Give the Iraqi Army a little time! Another 10 or 15 years should do. What's your hurry?

Posted by: nemo on January 28, 2007 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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