Thursday, January 17, 2008

But They're OUR Thugs!

One of the saddest and most frustrating things about the disaster of Iraq is that even the tiniest bit of good news often turns out to be even more bad news. Take the so-called "Sunni Awakening" in Al anbar province and Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad and other cities. Until recently, these local gunmen were mostly insurgents often allied with Al Quaida and were killing American's on daily basis. When they realized AQ was way too bloody for them, they began hunting the Jihadi's along side of American troops and became a sort of police force in their respective neighborhoods. Well to no surprise of we anti-Iraq war traitor's, the new sheriff's in town are turning out to be as bad as the bad guys [AQ} they replaced. And so it goes. Some excerpts from a relevant article.
IRAQ: Awoken to a New Danger
By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail*

BAGHDAD, Jan 14 (IPS) - The newly formed 'Awakening' forces set up by the U.S. military are bringing new conflict among people.

For months now the U.S. military has been actively building what it calls 'Awakening' forces and "concerned local citizens" in an effort to reduce attacks on occupation forces.

Members of the forces, which comprise primarily former resistance fighters and tribal groups, are paid 300 dollars monthly. There are at present about 80,000 recruits to these groups. The U.S. military plans to cap the number at 85,000.

The forces, which are opposed by the Iraqi government led by U.S.-appointed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, are also being strongly criticised by Sunni residents in Baghdad and other cities.

"The armed groups called 'Awakening' are now the only powerful players in many Sunni areas in Baghdad, and so they show their power the way others did," Qussay al-Tai'i, a lawyer from Saydiya town southwest of Baghdad told IPS. "It seems that violence has become routine procedure for American soldiers, Iraqi security men and now the so-called Awakening fighters.

One man's vigilante, another mans oppressor.
Witnesses from the area who have recently fled to Baghdad told IPS that more than 200 residents have been arrested by Awakening fighters supported by the al-Muthanna battalion of the Iraqi army.

"They came and arrested my 14 and 17-year-old sons," said Hajja Um Ahmed. "I told them my sons are only schoolboys who did nothing wrong, but they pushed me away."

Saydiya residents are worried that some of the detainees will be executed as others were in Fallujah and other areas where 'Awakening' fighters have taken over.

"They will kill them in cold blood and throw their bodies in garbage dumps," the terrified father of a 35-year-old detainee, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "They told my son when they took him that they would cut off his head, and it seems that they meant it."

This is the sort of thing people like Wesley Clark and Joseph Hoar explicitly predicted in a senate hearing before the tragic invasion of Iraq by the US. The religious, tribal, and ethnic complexity of Mesopotamia is beyond anything a foreign occupying military can reckon with. Even if the occupying military has good intentions. This will only be settled by Iraqi's themselves when they are left alone to do so. Not before.

The rest of the article

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