Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 29, 2009
By: dday

SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN IRAQ?... I know the Iraq war is over and everything, but this strikes me as a notable development:

Sunni militants staged a violent uprising in central Baghdad Saturday after Iraqi forces detained a leader of the Sons of Iraq, a mostly Sunni paramilitary force that until recently had received salaries from the United States and is now on the Iraqi government payroll.

Sixteen people were injured in the battle in the once volatile Fadhl neighborhood, and five Iraqi soldiers were missing - snatched Saturday night by members of the Sons of Iraq, a security official said.

The arrest of Adel Mashhadani, who leads the force in Fadhl, and his assistant, heightened fears among Sunnis that the Iraqi government plans to divide and disband the movements now that its taken control of all but a few thousand of the 94,000 members across the country.

Earlier in the week we learned that Sunni Awakening forces weren't receiving the jobs promised to them by the central government. Falling oil prices have lessened the funds for the government, and they are having trouble paying existing employees, so payouts and make-work jobs for Sunni militants are unlikely. And this has caused anger and distrust.

The point of the Sunni Awakening was one of reconciliation, to re-integrate former militiamen into Iraqi society. If each of them could be arrested for past criminal actions, is there any way to avoid massive resistance and a resumption of Sunni-Shiite conflict, as well as violence against US forces (which occurred yesterday as well)?

"They sold him," said Khaled Jamal Qaisi, Mashhadani's deputy, referring to the U.S. military.

"The Americans are vile people and they betrayed our trust," Qaisi said. "We are the ones who fought al Qaida. They want things to return as they used to be? If they don't release Adel al Mashhadani today, you will all be prisoners in your homes."

This could be a blip, and Mashhadani could be a legitimate criminal. But when I start to see pitched gun battles in the streets of Baghdad again, I get nervous.

dday 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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this is no blip. the bush criminals and General Betrayus solved nothing of the problems in Iraq - they bought a modicum of silence to get Iraq off the headlines for a while. But the problems between Sunni and Shia remain and will reignite fully when the money purchasing the illusion of calm dries up. You just don't accomplish ethnic cleansing and dislocation of millions without engendering massive resentment and desire for revenge. Only a fool (i.e., republican/conservative/vichy dem) would think otherwise.

The central problem of Iraq and the Middle East for America is one of timescale... always has been. Americans like 2 to 3 year wars with big surrender ceremonies at the end where America can display its magnanimity as beneficial superior dictator. The timescales of the Middle East are thousands of years. A year superficial couple year escalation of troops of suspicious success means absolutely nothing in terms of settling ancient problems with brand new searing scars.

Posted by: pluege on March 29, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you read Bing West's book, or at least Michael Yon's book, so you would understand the Sons of Iraq and why there is tension between them and the government ? I know it interrupts the narrative to actually know what's going on but it make your comments more informed.

Posted by: Mike K on March 29, 2009 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK


The link to the McClatchy article referenced in your post does not work.

Posted by: bogenrim on March 29, 2009 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Qaisi should be more specific: Bushie Americans are vile people and they have betrayed everyone's trust, especially American's.

Posted by: Goldilocks on March 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just that oil revenues are down or are some government officials finding more ways to put money in their pockets? Is it really Americans who are the vile ones here or is it Iraqis?

It amazes me that people value money so much more than the peace they could buy with it.

Posted by: MarkH on March 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

so you would understand the Sons of Iraq and why there is tension between them and the government ?

Not only do we know why there is tension between them and the government, it is a topic that has been widely discussed here in the past few years. One of the concerns informed posters here have articulated is what path the Sunnis we were paying not to attack Al Qaeda and not attack the government would take once we stopped paying them, and what would happen if the government ever made good on its desire to disarm them as illegal militias.

That discussion was taking place while you were labeling everyone in Iraq a "terrorist" as it suited your talking points for that day, and exonerating the administration (and by corollary, yourself) of any and all mistakes that saner minds -- like those that post here -- had the intelligence to warn of in advance.

Reviewing your body of posts on these matters your MAIN concern seemed to be how they would play politically in America, and as far back as 2005 you took great pleasure in telling Democrats that if they didn't listen to you on Iraq they'd never win an election.

Let me ask: how'd that turn out for you?

Posted by: trex on March 29, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

bogenrim: The link seems to work fine for me. Try this one as well:


Posted by: dday on March 29, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"We are the ones who fought al Qaida. They want things to return as they used to be?"

The "fighting al Qaeda" line is pretty much bullshit, IMO. They just say that because they know gullible people like to hear it, and gave them money for saying it, then they went on and fought other Sunni groups or Shiites. Hey, look over there, it's Zarqawi!

Lets all trust Sunni militants and the US government not to lie.

Posted by: flubber on March 29, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The original link works fine now -- technical difficulties (or some nefarious right-wing jamming device) on my end, I suppose. Thanks!

Posted by: bogenrim on March 29, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Get nervous because this is what caused the insurgency to begin with...firing the Iraq army. Putting the Sunnis out of work, especially now will lead to increased violence. It will be a broken promise with severe consequences. The Sunni awakening is what started turning the violent events around in Iraq. When Bush added his sectarian cleansing and neighborhood bombing displacement and segregation policy called the 'surge' violence was already decreasing thanks to rehiring the Iraq army (the Sunnis).

They did fight AQ and the gangs that formed fighting alongside AQ. There's no "bullshit" to it. The Sunni awakening also known as re-employing the Iraq army turned events in Iraq completely around. Only wingtards call it bullshit.
The 'splurge' (very profitable for private contractors) was more like dropping nukes on an island and then bragging at how successful your plan was for ending the violence. (Yeah, but at what cost?) Not the type of success I would brag about nor do the millions of homeless displaced, disabled Iraqis.

There's no doubt much more to this story but I'm hoping that it isn't a case of discrimination or widespread unemployment based on discrimination.

Posted by: bjobotts on March 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

How's his milkshake, trex?

That was righteous.

Posted by: joe from Lowell on March 29, 2009 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is not a very stable country. Diversity seems to work best in an authoritarian environment, such as under dictatorship or military occupation, or in a rigidly controlled organization such as the army, a business, or a school.

Posted by: Luther on March 30, 2009 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK



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