Today in Iraq: Monday, January 23, 2006

January 27th, 2006 - by admin

DailyWarNews/blogspot – 2006-01-27 09:14:03

From the President of the United States:
“Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success being so successful, so fast, that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in, escaped and lived to fight another day.

From the Vice President of the United States:
“I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time,” Cheney said. “The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

So. Created by a catastrophic success the robust insurgency is in its last throes?

One of the many frustrations about the whole Iraqi quagmire is that Bush (the older, smarter one) saw this mess coming:

most significantly had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.

I wonder what would the reaction on the right would be if Elder Bush published something like that today? I’m sure they’d start by trashing his World War II heroics as exaggerations if not lies and then denounce Bush as a traitor.

So let’s recap. In four years we have liberated two countries, 48 million people, democracy is beginning to take root in places where it had never been before. We toppled two bloodthirsty, fascist, regimes in two quick campaigns. We have reduced the Taliban to a memory and have the Baathists in jail and standing trial.

Is there anything in that statement that can stand up to any sort of scrutiny? If so I couldn’t find it.

Iraq and Afghanistan are occupied nations, they will be liberated when it’s their armed forces and police keeping order rather that the Coalition’s.

While both nations have had elections would the democratic roots live without the Thomas Jefferson style “watering” by the Coalition forces? It would seem unlikely so I’m not sure you can call them democracies. And is it really a democracy when you have to shut the entire country down under martial law to hold an election? I voted today in Canada, I was able to drive right up to the polling station, I wonder how it would feel to vote while being watched by armed foreign soldiers?

Perhaps my memory is a little foggy but wasn’t bringing bin Laden to justice part of the mission of Afghanistan? So how can that campaign be over? Or am I being pedantic with Bush’s “Dead or Alive” statement? Would it be difficult to imagine if it were President Gore that every right-wing news and web site having a little counter in the bottom right hand corner counting the days that bin Laden remained free?

Anyone who says the Iraq campaign is over is either a liar or a madman or a startling combination of both and really needs to be medicated.

The Taliban killed 26 people last week and the Baathissts are part of the insurgency in Iraq, so both are still fighting, hardly just “a memory”.

And that is why I think Today in Iraq is so important, these fantasies of the right wing have of Iraq need to be balanced off and not with rhetoric from mouthy jerks like me but with the simple and hard realities; Iraq is still a troubled land and only the source of her misery has changed.

So please keep it up, the links, the stories that I, and many others, wouldn’t have found on our own. At some point the American people are going to want to know where their blood and treasure is going and Today in Iraq provides the unvarnished truth that only the deeply delusional could deny.

War News for Monday, January 23, 2006

There are some who, uh, feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: Bring ’em on. We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.
— George W. Bush, July 2, 2003.

Bring ’em on: A US soldier was killed when a roadside bomb exploded while he was patrolling on foot in southwest Baghdad.

Bring ’em on: Police said three people were killed — two policemen and a television sports journalist — when a suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint near the Green Zone in central Baghdad.

Bring ’em on: Two policemen were killed and three wounded when a car bomb exploded in the southern Dora district Baghdad.

Bring ’em on:Two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi police patrol in central Baghdad.

Bring ’em on: An Iraqi army soldier was killed and one wounded when their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb in eastern Mosul.

Bring ’em on: Police said gunmen killed a female employee working for a US army base in the town of Ad-Dawr.

Bring ’em on: Two civilians were wounded when a car bomb exploded near a joint Iraqi-U.S patrol in southern Baghdad.

Bring ’em on: Two US airmen were killed and one wounded on Sunday by a roadside bomb while they were escorting a convoy near Taji.

Bring ’em on: Five Iraqi civilians were wounded when a car bomb exploded in Mahmudiya.

Bring ’em on: A suicide car bomber attacked a security checkpoint in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding six others close to the Green Zone.

The Constitution
According to reports, many Iraqis do not fully understand the national constitution ratified in a referendum on 15 October and there are fears that the document could exacerbate existing ethnic tensions. The constitution divides the country into three largely self-governing regions along ethnic and religious lines.

As each region will control future oil discoveries, the Sunni minority, which lives in the oil-poor centre of Iraq, may not benefit equally from the riches, and some say this is the formula for civil war. Karim Shamaa, an oil consultant, said: “The articles on oil are so blurred and so unclear and so contradictory, that it will never work.”

Returning Exiles Cannot Stay
Many Iraqis living abroad opted to return home in the aftermath of the fall of former leader Saddam Hussein. But most of them are now taking the opposite journey, returning once again to the foreign countries which sheltered form Saddam’s oppression. Meantime, Minister of Replacement and Migration Suhayla Abd-Jaafar has said conditions in the country were not safe for Iraqi refugees abroad to return.

Iraqi expatriates are disappointed with the course of events since the 2003-US-led invasion. They cite violence, insecurity, instability and unemployment as the main reasons for their decision to return to exile once again. Some said they were targets of attacks by armed groups battling the US occupation and the government.

Many members of these armed organizations were affiliated to Saddam’s Baath party and they see the expatriates as enemies. “I escaped the country 25 years ago fearing for our lives as we were communists. I decided to return when the former regime fell. But I had to return to exile because it was impossible for me to live in the country,” said Qassem Khalifa.

Saddam Hussein was friendly to Iraqi communists in the early years of his Baathist rule. But he turned against them when he felt his position was secure. “I left the country 20 years ago to protect my son from persecution. We lived in America for the whole period and decided to return home when Saddam was overthrown. But there was no security and we could not stay,” said Majeed Saadoun.
Mohammed Saleh, a dentist, left Canada for home after 18 years of exile. “But I had to go back. True exile is hard but what can I do? I only returned to my exile when I felt that there was no hope at the end of the tunnel,” said Saleh.

Human rights activists say Iraqis abroad were shocked and disappointed on their return home. “The main reason compelling Iraqi expatriates to go into exile again is lack of security,” said Mohammed al-Mawsawi, the head of Iraqi human rights organization, a non-governmental group.

Abd-Jaafar, the migration minister, said she would not encourage Iraqi refugees to return. Rather “I would advise the countries hosting them to grant them residency.” However, she said, her ministry has plans to help those returning home to get “reintegrated in the society”.