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Iraq spirals out of control

By
August 22, 2007

A retired American general is admitting what President George W. Bush will not.

Southern Iraq is out of control and getting worse and there appears little the military can do about it.

As the war escalates and the White House continues to claim otherwise, the death toll mounts and the situation becomes more and more hopeless.

Yet Bush stubbornly sticks to his failed Iraq strategy and shows no sign of bending to the will of the American people or the face of reality.

Reports the French news agency AFP:

The United States is frustrated at the deteriorating security situation in southern Iraq, a retired senior US general said Wednesday amid continued talk about a British pull-out from the region.

In an interview on BBC radio, General Jack Keane, a former vice-chief of staff of the US Army, agreed with recent media reports that Washington was dissatisfied at the increased violence in and around the port city of Basra.

“There is some frustration with the troops being out at the airport primarily training the Iraqi 10th division and not as engaged as they had been in the past in what is taking place in central Basra and the surrounding communities,” said Keane, who was an adviser to the US Iraq Study Group.

“They have never had enough forces to truly protect the people, a mission similar to what the coalition forces are taking on in Baghdad. But I think there is a general disengagement from what the key issues are around Basra.

“I would imagine that’s where the source of frustration is.”

Britain has about 5,500 troops currently based at Basra Airport and Basra Palace, although the small contingent at the latter is due to move out within weeks.

There are plans to reduce numbers by 500 in the coming months but Prime Minister Gordon Brown has resisted calls for an immediate withdrawal.

Brown is expected to make a statement on British involvement in Iraq when parliament returns in October and after a report by US General David Petraeus to Congress in Washington on the progress of this year’s US troop “surge”.

The surge saw 30,000 extra US troops sent to Iraq from January to quell bloody sectarian violence in and around Baghdad.

Many British newspapers in recent weeks have focused on the increasing number of daily mortar attacks on Basra airport, amid concern at mounting British death and casualty rates.

They have also carried anonymous quotes attributed to US officials expressing concern at the situation in the south.

Keane, who recently returned from Iraq, suggested that there was a case to say that neither the British nor the Americans have had sufficient troops in the troubled Gulf state to be effective.

Asked whether that was a military or political failure, he said it was a combination of both as well as a general lack of ground troops to face the challenges of the 21st century.

US military commanders were keen to avoid sending reinforcements to Basra but that was a possibility if the security situation did not improve if and when the British pulled out, he added.

And while Bush offers discredited claims of progress, Iraqis continue to die.

Reports The New York Times:

One week after a series of truck bombs hit two poor villages near the Syrian border, the known casualty toll has soared to more than 500 dead and 1,500 wounded, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, making them by far the worst coordinated attacks since the American-led invasion.

Dr. Said Hakki, director of the society, said Tuesday that local Red Crescent workers registering families for aid after the explosions in Qahtaniya and Jazeera had compiled the new numbers, which dwarf the earlier estimates that at least 250 people were killed.

The toll, Dr. Hakki said, may yet rise further. Among the wounded, one in five suffered serious injuries, such as head, chest or stomach damage, and emergency workers continuing to drag bodies from site’s dusty rubble.

Statistical certainty can be difficult to obtain after major bomb attacks. But the Red Crescent figures align with earlier estimates by hospital officials and track with the typical ratio of dead to wounded in Iraq’s largest bomb attacks.

With these figures, the bombing would be the deadliest coordinated assault since the American-led invasion in 2003 by a factor of nearly three. In July, about 155 people died in a massive explosion in the northern town of Amerli; a similar number were killed in series of bombings and mortar attacks in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad last November, and about 152 died in Tal Afar last month from a double truck bombing.

In the area of last week’s attack, the struggle to cope continued to ripple through the desert towns dominated by Yazidis, a clannish Kurdish-speaking sect whose faith combines Islamic teachings with other ancient religions. Many families of the wounded were so shaken by the attack that they insisted on taking their badly broken relatives back to their villages, where they felt they would be safer.

26 Responses to Iraq spirals out of control

  1. SEAL

    August 22, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    There doesn’t seem to be any mystery to what is going on. Bush is campaigning for his war the way he always does by making speaches to veterans organizations, only military types of facilities. Any place else would be too dangerous for him, I guess. I haven’t looked into it but I’ll bet this guy has the most extensive secret service crew around him in history.

    He appears to be trying to take the Vietnam comparison out of the equation by showing it as an example of our great struggle against evil ideology and that we made a huge mistake by not staying the course there. That we should not make that same mistake again in Iraq. A lot of people will buy that, I’m afraid.

    But there is something undercutting the anti-war movement in congress that is not being said. Otherwise, there would not be so many dems changing their stance to support him. I understand the reality of our not being able to “cut and run” and let nature take its course. That would do the US more harm than anything else we could do. We would never be forgiven in the eyes of the world for abondoning them to the carnage that would ensue.

    I suspect that the dems want to continue the status quo and hold the score down to a minimum until they gain control next year. They know they can’t force an end or drastic cut back or timelines without defunding the war and they consider that political disaster. They must think they have a solution. Probably some sort of reorganizing of the Iraq government or redistricting or something to bring the country together in a workable way that Bush would never consider. Bush/Cheney has to hold this government together to get the oil deal implimented before they leave office. The insurgents will never allow that. That is why they are refusing to cooperate with the government, now. This is where the real danger lies. What will they do towards the end in desparation to get the oil?

    We have known all along the only solution is to divide Iraq along its ideological lines in a way that each would have security and equal sharing in the control of the oil wealth plus all the rest of the infastructure. Only then would the fighting slow down to only personal vendettas. Those may never end. The al Qaeda menace Bush continues to hold out front is not a problem. If the Iraqis settle on a plan for peace they will kill and run them out in a hurry.

    All we can do is hold our breath and wait to see what happens this next year and listen to all the useless rhetoric from both sides. What they say and what they do will be two different things. We must hope the dems will be able to prevent Bush from doing something really stupid.

  2. LurkingFromTheLeft

    August 23, 2007 at 12:44 am

    What’s that old saying?

    …those that don’t learn from history are doomed to relive it? –

    …guess Dumbass wasn’t at Yale for his history classes –

    …here, have some fun here:

    http://www.geekculture.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000015;p=

    LFTL

  3. gene

    August 22, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Carl you sure can get wordy at times but I do enjoy your detailed approach to informing us lesser mortals of the insanity we now face each and every day. Looking at the big picture it would seem that we are all kind of “screwed”.

  4. Carl Nemo

    August 22, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    The dangerous, ever-so-evil Dems…!

    My Congressional District Rep, Brian Baird who represents the 3rd Congressional District in the State of Washington has finally shown his true colors. My two Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are Dems also and really don’t impress me and cause concern for the most part. Patty Murray’s “schtick” is veteran affairs funding etc.. Cantwell is into feelgood environmental issues, and Baird seems to be obsessed with methamphetamine interdiction?! This is all well and good, but they are evasive and uncommitted as far as extricating our troops from Iraq, balancing our budget, and rescinding the Patriot Act, the Military Comissions Act, re-affirming “habeas corpus” and “posse commitatus”. They generally vote “carefully” for lack of a better description, but without any vocal nor intestinal resolve.

    So today I get an alert from Move-On.org that Representative Baird is evidently in support of us staying in Iraq until the 12th of never. I called his office and sure enough his aide confirmed the report.

    This doesn’t bode well for the American people, it seems that the Democrats are now looking at this war as an underpinning of a viable U.S. economy; ie., the waging of endless wars and feeding the MIC an endless flow of U.S. taxdollars both funded and un-funded. I told his aide that he’s finally screwed-up “bigtime” and I’ll devote all my free time to seeing that this duplicit sob gets the boot when he comes up for re-election in about 1.5 years.
    I told her to thank him for exposing himself publicly…pun intended… :))

    He sends “signed” multi-paged overly wordy letters to my home, but reading between the lines I can tell this guy is NWO/MIC/AIPAC toady/suckup!

    My best recommendation to the American people is to boot “every” incumbent regardless of party affiliation out of office in 2008. If they haven’t demonstrated through their voting record that want us out of Iraq, then they are consorting with the “enemy” of freedom and the Constitution of the United States, plain and simple. They deserve no second chance nor quarter!

    Following an extract of Move-On concerning Baird’s agenda for “us”…! Just one of the “gang of 435″…!

    *****
    Dear MoveOn member,

    Your Congressman, Representative Brian Baird, told the Associated Press this weekend that we need to stay in Iraq for “as long as it takes.”1 Rep. Baird has voted in favor of bringing most of our troops home by April of next year, but now he says he’ll vote against timelines to redeploy our troops out of the unwinnable civil war in Iraq.2

    Why is Rep. Baird justifying President Bush’s policy of endless war?

    *****

    Hasta la vista…Brian…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Helen Rainier

    August 23, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Hi Carl,

    I’m not trying to get too personal here, but where in WA State do you live? Are you in the Sound area?

    I am in Tacoma — having moved here to WA not quite a year ago from Wisconsin.

  6. gene

    August 22, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Your very welcome bryan but unfortuneately the country I served has degenerated into something I could not have imagined as a young soldier. To much has changed and the moral foundation I grew up with (I fear) has been lost. I just don’t have the heart to even begin a descriptive narrative of what this nation has become. I wished at times I could be more positive about the future.

  7. bryan mcclellan

    August 22, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Hey Gene and all the rest here at CHB including civilians, thanks for your service to our country.

  8. Helen Rainier

    August 23, 2007 at 3:14 am

    Gene,

    I believe that’s why so many of us here who are military vets are so concerned about what we see happening to not only our military but also to our country.

    Those words in the Oath we all swore to uphold ” . . .to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies — foreign and domestic . . . ” are words we still take very much to heart.

    My America was formed by the values passed on to me by my parents, a WW II vet and his wife — an America that had a strong sense of morality and ethicss and one of justice and equality.

    I don’t recognize this Amerika — it’s not the America I served so proudly as a US Army soldier.

  9. gene

    August 23, 2007 at 7:46 am

    No its not Helen and I just can’t see enough strength and values in the general population I witness almost everyday to ever return to those times. These last several generations of US citizens did not learn and believe what we know to be true. They are a whole different culture and unfortuneately it is based on (as you well know) lies.

    I guess now its its just simply on and individual bases whether one believes in honor which includes values, morals and the desire to at least most of the time (no one is perfect) to do what is right.

    It breaks my heart to see all the suffering that has and is happening in these days of lostness…not sure if that is the right word but I am sure you understand.

  10. gene

    August 22, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Congress, I keep hoping these worthless shits we elected would wake up and stop this murderer “others” elected but of course most of them are whoring each other to include Bush and Cheney. These people are truely evil and they have plans that (I strongly suspect) are not exactly based on helping people live a sensible and productive life.

    These creatures mascarading as human beings are (in my opinion) literally demom possessed. They have no heart or soul and their conscious (assuming they ever had one) is dead.

    People we are in a shitload of trouble that is just going to escalate into something really nasty.

    Its early (I know) but I need a drink.

  11. Rob Kezelis

    August 22, 2007 at 10:09 am

    But at least the Surge is working. Hillary, Dodd, Obama, and Biden said so, even if they didn’t.

  12. ekaton

    August 22, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Hillary and Obama are warmongers. So, obviously the ticket will be Hillary/Obama or Obama/Hillary. We are doomed.

    Kent Shaw

  13. mary cali

    August 22, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Isn’t it interesting that these generals have to be retired before we get any truth out of them.

  14. gene

    August 22, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Yes (Mary) thats the way it works, I know. I’m not a retired General but I did spend over 20 years active duty and retired a humble LTC, one step above a major.

    If you wanted to get promoted you had to be politically correct at all times and if their was any dissatisfaction you dam well had to keep it hidden. No negative comments.

    Once out though I can tell Bush and Cheney to kiss my ever loving ass, especially now that I am to old far a recall.

  15. SEAL

    August 22, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Not to worry. General Betrayus and Amassahoor Crocksir together with the White House report will provide the justification for staying the curse of this admudulstration.

  16. mary cali

    August 22, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Not enough troops??? What a surprise!!!

  17. Steve Horn

    August 22, 2007 at 11:22 am

    and on the lighter side of the news:

    “Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country “can find friends elsewhere.””

    Well, I’m sure he can find friends elsewhere – perhaps he should tap them to come in and help control his country – I’m fairly certain that Iran would be more than willing to help. And if he doesn’t appreciate our assistance I’m damn sure that the majority of the folks fighting over there would love to come home.

    And the American legacy of installing governments doomed to failure continues to grow …

  18. LurkingFromTheLeft

    August 22, 2007 at 11:29 am

    And the American legacy of installing governments doomed to failure continues to grow …

    …yep – he’s created them in ‘our’ own likeness –

    …so let US set an example and start over come this November AND next November and ‘git’ ourselves a successful one –

    …btw, is the first primary next Tuesday? –

    LFTL

  19. ekaton

    August 22, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I believe that the US will not leave Iraq until a strongman, such as Saddam, is left in control. We have a long proud history of such manipulative, interventionist and militaristic foreign policy. The US forces will never leave until the Iraq Oil Law is in place to the satisfaction of the US and British oil companies. This is the major bill that has been hanging in limbo in the sovereign Iraqi legislature. It is one of the goals that has been imposed on the sovereign government of Iraq by the United States. How blindly ignorant and arrogant is the US government! Can we not imagine ourselves in a reversed situation? The government of the United States is operating in purely fascist manner, attacking a sovereign country, occupying it, and demanding concessions regarding extraction of its natural resources for the profit of corporations headquartered inside the US, all supported by United States Tax Dollars. We are paying for this. This country has committed geopolitical acts identical to some of those committed by Germany in 1939. So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to continue to be good Germans?

    Kent Shaw

  20. Helen Rainier

    August 23, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Steve,

    This is, indeed, what could happen. Just a couple of years ago (at most), Iraq and Iran signed a “mutual military cooperation” agreement.

    Heckuva job Georgie did a great job of uniting Iraq and Iran — all things considered.

    That is a primary reason why any type of military attack by the US on Iran would be a big-time blunder and would likely put our troops in even more danger than they already are.

  21. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    August 22, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Where is Abdul to tell us how good the surge is working?

  22. bryan mcclellan

    August 22, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Careful what you wish for Klaus….I’m still trying to wash my mind out from reading his posts.

  23. gene

    August 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    (LFTL) good to see your post. Hows the wine business. I’ve decided to cut back on my daily dose of ativan…yes, its breaking my heart but I guess (30 mgs aday) is a tad excessive, you think?

    Think I will check the wine business myself and I (in reality) take only two to three mgs per day. Of course thats complimented with a very stiff drink.

    Life doesn’t have to be all bad…amen?

  24. LurkingFromTheLeft

    August 23, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Actually…

    …drinking beer tonight – Siberian Nights Russian Imperial Stout –

    …good stuff –

    …but I’ll be on the BIGGER bottle tomorrow –

    …Dumbass will get out of bed – drag a comb across his head –

    …time to drink! –

    LFTL

  25. gene

    August 23, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Thanks!!!! (LFTL) got a real good laugh off of your last two lines, still laughing.

    God that felt good!!!

  26. Carl Nemo

    August 24, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Hi Helen Rainier,

    Sorry for the delay concerning your inquiry. I live in Ridgefield, Wa about 10 miles north of the Columbia which separates Washington from Oregon;ie., SW Washington State.

    Welcome to Washington! Wisconsin is a beautiful state in it’s own right, but it has some serious tax issues at least that’s what I hear from folks that are fleeing Wisconsin. Although we have a sales tax in Washington at least there’s no income tax which is great for retirees. Oregon has no sales tax so when SW Washingtonians want to purchase retail items they can beat foot over to Oregon, load the boat with sales tax free goodies and head back home. There’s no way to advoid the sales tax on cars because even if the car is purchased in Oregon the sales tax will still be paid to Washington upon registering the vehicle. If an item has to be delivered via truck from Oregon to a Washington resident then they are required to charge the tax. Some companies absorb the tax to encourage folks to shop in Oregon. Anyway it seems to offer the best of both worlds concerning income and sales tax issues.

    Carl Nemo **==