Iraq war going from bad to worse

President George W. Bush’s failed Iraq war, the same war he recently claimed was “being won,” is going from bad to worse as violence increases and deep rifts emerge within the country’s fragile coalitions.

As violence escalates, Bush and other supporters of the war still claim that the war can be won and that progress is being made.

But those on the ground in Iraq tell a far different story and the escalating violence and bloodshed could bring the controversial conflict back as a primary issue in this year’s already contentious Presidential elections.

Reports AFP:

Baghdad was locked down on Friday amid a weekend curfew with pedestrians and vehicles keeping off the roads after violent clashes this week between security forces and Shiite fighters.

An AFP correspondent said most of the capital’s main roads were deserted after the city’s military command imposed a curfew since Thursday night till Sunday 5:00 am (0200 GMT).

The curfew has been imposed to contain the fighting between Shiite militants and Iraqi troops, security officials told AFP.

Dozens of people have been killed in Baghdad and at least 105 countrywide in clashes since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his troops to crack down on “lawless gangs” in the southern city of Basra on Tuesday, according to official reports.

Some sources have put the toll at double that.

On Friday, Sadr City — the bastion of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr — which saw brutal clashes since Tuesday, was largely calm, an AFP correspondent said.

He said relatives in Sadr City were preparing to arrange for the funerals of those killed in the clashes.

Reports The Associated Press:

Iraqi police say clashes between Shiite militants and government security forces have resumed in at least two cities south of Baghdad.

The fighting in Nasiriyah and Mahmoudiya on Friday comes as the situation is calm in Baghdad. Residents are holed up at home after a weekend curfew was imposed.

Police say four people have been killed and 14 wounded in clashes in Nasiriyah.

Anger has been growing since the Iraqi government launched a crackdown against Shiite militia violence in the southern oil port of Basra earlier this week.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers say security forces are abusing a cease-fire by his Mahdi Army militia to unfairly target them in raids.

The government says it is acting against criminal gangs.

And this from Reuters:

U.S. forces were drawn deeper into Iraq’s four day-old crackdown on Shi’ite militants on Friday, launching air strikes in Basra for the first time and battling militants in Baghdad.

The fighting has exposed a deep rift within Iraq’s majority Shi’ite community and put pressure on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose forces have failed to dislodge fighters loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr from Iraq’s second largest city.

Iraqi authorities shut down Baghdad with a strict curfew on Friday which seemed to reduce the rocket and mortar barrages that have wreaked havoc in the capital this week. Lawmakers, including those loyal to Sadr, met to seek an end to the impasse.

The government says it is fighting “outlaws,” but Sadr’s followers say political parties in Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government are using military force to marginalize their rivals ahead of local elections due by October.

The Iraqi ground commander in Basra, Major-General Ali Zaidan, told Reuters his forces had killed 120 “enemy” fighters and wounded around 450 since the campaign began.

But Reuters television footage from Basra showed masked gunmen from Sadr’s Mehdi Army still in control of the streets, openly carrying rocket launchers and machine guns.

Comments

  1. AustinRanter

    Just in case some of you missed McCain’s comments, which I believe was before his last trip to Iraq…he predicted the very thing that is happening now…because the “enemies in Iraq” wants to manipulate the outcome of this election term.

    Is he right? Is this surge in fighting due to some method being implemented to manipulate this election?

  2. pollchecker

    Have you ever noticed that whenever the GOP is in trouble, either the fighting starts again and the T word gets tossed around again and again and again.

    It’s like a broken record!

  3. Dr.D

    As far as Dr. Paul’s voting record is concerned,I feel confident that any votes agreeing with Bush’s position also passed Dr.Pauls'”constitutional litmus test”also.He is true to his principles,no matter who may or not be on his side.And I would never say that about ANY other politician.
    Ed

  4. Sandra Price

    I believe you (Dr. D)are right about Dr. Paul’s positions. Good Grief, Pollchecker, I’m always interested in your point of view and would love to sit down with you and trade Bush stories.

  5. karmafriend

    I read a story earlier today that said Iraqi police in Basra are removing their uniforms, taking their U.S. guns and joining “the enemy”.

    Also, the Iraqi gov. changed their deadline to the militias in Basra from three days to ten. What does that tell us?

  6. JerryG

    I realize that the following comments here may be controversial, however I choose to voice them regardless.

    It has always been my firm opinion that not enough American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in order for a majority of America to care about what we’re doing there. Unlike ‘Nam, where guys were dying by the hundreds on a regular basis and the tenacious fighting was broadcast right to our living rooms, in Iraq it’s one dead here, two there, a few now and then, all accompanied with virtually completely sanitized visuals. This war just isn’t bloody enough or exciting or exacting enough of a toll on American human life, right?

    The Bush cabal has convinced America that the number of American dead, most of which were killed after the declaration of the end of major combat operations, isn’t of any significance when you compare it to other conflicts. 4,000 dead soldiers? So what, right? We’re safe. We haven’t been “hit” again, right? This is the mantra that resonates in the minds of those who have their head buried in the sand and who are willing to bank roll and finance Iraq while Bush and his war proponents pleasure themselves in our rear end!

  7. pollchecker

    I am convinced that the difference between the public’s participation in Vietnam and Iraq is the draft.

    It was the young people who stood up and said NO to the Feds. That started the public outcry. But if you recall, there was no public outcry until the students started saying NO!

    We don’t have that with Iraq! They are all volunteers!….or so they thought. There’s a new movie coming out today called “Stop Loss”, that hopefully will open up some eyes and make people angry!

  8. pondering_it_all

    The level of violence in Iraq is controlled very well by the Bush Administration: They are paying all the different factions, so they get to call the shots. The surge in troop level had nothing to do with it. They just opened up the money spigot to manipulate the militias, the MSM, and ultimately the public perception in the US.

    Now they can use this as a tool to help McCain get elected. If the GOP spinmeisters think they need to marginalize our antiwar sentiments, they can increase the payoffs. If they decide they need a little fear and doubt about the Democrats handling “the war”, they can just shutoff the money. If McCain wins, he can turn it up a notch to give the appearance of “progress”.

  9. pollchecker

    You are correct that they are playing games with all sides and their neighboring states.

    Which only goes back to my original point, in that we are not going to get out of Iraq while GW remains in control of the military….No matter what disinformational propaganda they say otherwise.

    And McCain has already said that he wholeheartedly embraces and supports these failed policies in Iraq so he is ON THE RECORD as to our troops remaining in Iraq indefinitely.

    Somehow there are a still a handful of people who believe that our presence in Iraq is keeping them safer…or something like that! I know it’s insane. Still haven’t found anyone that can give me one logical way the John McCain in the WhiteHouse is going to make me safer.

  10. Bluesman2007

    McCain truly makes me ill. “We’re making great progress on the ground” indeed. But it’s ABOVE ground where we’re in deep shit. These neocons are truly amazing.

  11. SEAL

    The reason for the fighting in Iraq right now is the upcoming national election there. Tens of thousands of predominately shiite Iraqis turned out to parade and march carrying signs that said the present government and its leaders “do not support or work for the Iraqi people – they support and work for Bush/Cheney.”

    There must have been close to a million people demonstrating all across the country. There were no criminal gangs as they claim and there was no violence.

    The trouble started when the government sent their troops in to break up the demonstrations.

    I guess this was one of those 3AM phone calls.

    From al Malaki to Bush: “George, they’re carrying signs that say I work for you and not the Iraqi people. I can’t allow them to get that stupid idea. What do I do???

    Bush: When Dick wakes up, I’ll ask him. Good night.

  12. SEAL

    The reason for the fighting in Iraq right now is the upcoming national election there. Tens of thousands of predominately shiite Iraqis turned out to parade and march carrying signs that said the present government and its leaders “do not support or work for the Iraqi people – they support and work for Bush/Cheney.”

    There must have been close to a million people demonstrating all across the country. There were no criminal gangs as they claim and there was no violence.

    The trouble started when the government sent their troops in to break up the demonstrations.

    I guess this was one of those 3AM phone calls.

    From al Malaki to Bush: “George, they’re carrying signs that say I work for you and not the Iraqi people. I can’t allow them to get that stupid idea. What do I do???

    Bush: When Dick wakes up, I’ll ask him. Good night.

  13. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Hey Seal, Pollchecker didn’t believe me when I stated the Democrapper Congress merly had to send no bill or the same bill over and over with mandatory withdrawl of US Troops from Iraq until the Chimp Turned Blue; I know that this is something you and I both have stated that the Democrats didn’t need a veto proof majority, they can simply not send a funding bill, there’s no law that congress has too send one at all.

    But The Democrappers Just Don’t Have the Spine of course.

    I know your for Obama and I would like to support Obama but the Democrapper Congress has behaved like Spineless Jellyfish for so long that It is impossible for me to believe any Democrapper. I place high value on your opinions Seal so I am always open to arguments in Obamas favor. I did actually send Obama some donations earlier last year because the thought of Hillary makes my flesh crawl. One thing for certain, we can’t have Pillary Dillary Crock in the Oral Office.

    I really enjoy all the posters on CHB, they are always of such high caliber, I really like CHB.

    CHB’ers are really a good bunch!

  14. Sandra Price

    I’m seeing a lot of CHBers understanding right from wrong. We are above Republicans vs Democrats. We try to run new House and Senate members but they soon get pushed through the sieve of corruption and end up working against their own constituents. There is so little left of the GOP that wants my votes and support that I have not voted for any Republican since 1988. The Bush 41 Presidency did me in and I worked like a dog to keep him out of the Oval office. I found we could not talk the voters out of voting for him until we came up with an authentic candidate that caused his loss.

    Just looking at the 3 candidates that are vying for the position is sad and a disaster for the future of America. Every 4 years it becomes more difficult to convince the voters to get educated about who they are voting for.

    2008 has found the voters focused on who they do not want in the oval office. Americans are still very bigoted about women and African Americans. This leaves the same old neoconservative warrior who just may take the title.

    We are not yet ready for the equality of citizenship and the labels are running rampantly through our neighborhoods.

  15. pollchecker

    “Hey Seal, Pollchecker didn’t believe me when I stated the Democrapper Congress merly had to send no bill or the same bill over and over with mandatory withdrawl of US Troops from Iraq until the Chimp Turned Blue; I know that this is something you and I both have stated that the Democrats didn’t need a veto proof majority, they can simply not send a funding bill, there’s no law that congress has too send one at all.”

    Please do not put words in my mouth. I said there was no reason to impeach. That it was a useless waste of time.

    And they have sent over bills with an attempt to stop Bush’s invasion in Iraq, but it gets vetoed and they cannot get enough votes to override.

    They will not get enough votes to entirely cut off funding. You can blame the “Dems” if you want, but that is hardly fair since it is not the entire Democratic party but instead a select few you are looking out for their jobs.

    Why not bash the handfull of republicans who are retiring. By my count, there’s enough of them to make the 2/3’rds number. Why don’t they stand up for what is right, ESPECIALLY since they are retiring?

    The worst part is cutting off funding is seen as NOT supporting the troops. This of course if disinformational propaganda that Karl used repeatedly to manipulate the discourse.

    Yesterday, on a show I was watching, when Obama was asked what was the 3 things he would do in the first 100 days he was President and the first thing he said was he would get with the Generals and have them figure out how to start bringing troops home.

    Now the only thing we have left in this country is hope. I understand that there are a lot of people like you who are without any hope. But life without hope……… well, quite frankly that’s what makes a terrorist because if you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to look forward to in your life getting better, than blowing yourself up in the name of a cause, sounds like a pretty good option.

    Give these people back their country and you give them back hope and pride. Pride in their country, pride in themselves.

    Perhaps this is something that could also be applied here as well.

    But we are not going to get hope from John McCain. And I doubt we will get hope from Hillary. So that leaves Senator Obama. Why not hope he will do the things he says? It costs nothing to hope and if he turns out to be just another politician that does nothing that he promises like George and Dick, then we will have lost nothing. But if he can bring different sides together for the good of America, then it will be the shot in the arm that is solely needed these days.

    One thing I do know. Obama will NEVER be as BAD A LEADER or as BIG A LIAR as George & Dick!

  16. pollchecker

    The reason for the fighting in Iraq right now is the upcoming national election there.

    You nailed it Seal. They are so afraid of Al Sadr getting elected to a National seat and getting some legitimate power in Basra, that they are using this opportunity to make him look like a “bad guy”.

    Yeah, he’s a “bad guy” who has been a main component in keeping the peace because he has been waiting for this moment.

    Al Sadr’s forces beat ours in Fallujah. They will do it agian in Basra.

    Besides, the Bushies are just using this to further their own disinformational propaganda. Afterall, it is an election year here in America as well. (ggggg)

  17. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Hey Pollchecker, I wasn’t putting words in your mouth, technically, and legally, the Democrappers don’t have to send a bill to Bush for occupation funding. It does not require a
    a veto proof majority. Ask Seal.

  18. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Hey Sandra, haven’t yakked with you in many moons, and yes, CHB’ers think on a plain beyond Tit & Tat, Beyond Black & White, Beyond Bad VS. Good Guys. CHB’ers can see the many shades of gray, they are Vulcans!

  19. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Hey Pollchecker, there is no doubt about it the fact that there is no draft that there is not a loud outcry against the occupation. Plus the fact that this war has a large mercenary force of contractors troops out there. ChimpCo really learned something from Vietnam in regard to this unfortunately.

    Hey Pollhchecker, were there ever any contractor mercenaries in significant numbers in Vietnam? Or at all?

    Oh One more question, and I’m getting off subject. Was Iwo Jima and some of the other Japanese Islands in WW-II with the Japaneses extensive tunnel systems all throughout the islands sort of a harbinger of what was to come later in Vietnam with the Viet Congs tunnels?

  20. Dr.D

    Sorry Seal,I missed that question that you asked me about Obama the other day,so I’ll answer you now.Zbigniew Brzinski is one of Obamas’main policy advisors,he is also a prominent member of the Council on Foreign Relations.Madeline Albright is one of Hillarys’main policy advisors,and also a CFR member.Henry Kissinger is one of McCains’main policy advisors,and he chaired the CFR a few years back(Albright may have chaired too).I personally believe that the CFR is a criminal and treasonous organization that is dedicated to the forming of a single world government ruled by the elites and destroying American national sovereignty.I know that I probably sound like a broken record,but I do think that these facts are important. Ed