Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Some Gloomy news from Baghdad

Belmont Club says:

Unlike April 2004 when the insurgency broke out, I think the current problems are largely political rather than military in character. In April 2004, there were no trained security forces to control and hold a battlespace. Today those forces increasingly exist -- physically. But the political process hasn't kept pace with the creation of those security forces. The political process determines who controls those forces. History has shown Iraq can be controlled by a dictatorship, whether a colonial administration or under Saddam. The unresolved question is whether a democratic state can ever be a successor regime to a country with this kind of history. It's a problem, but it's a different problem, though maybe a worse problem than a purely military one. But my guess is that it's gone from battle-time (operating against insurgent forces) to purge-time (cleaning out hostile factions) and the emphasis has gone from facing the weaker enemy (the Sunni insurgency) to the stronger one: Iran.


"The situation in Baghdad is deteriorating from day to day. I have warned about this long ago. The "insurrection" is lead by the Baathists, without any doubt, and they are converging on Baghdad and seriously bent on taking over. They are creating havoc in in the capital. Very soon, if this situation continues like this the city is going to be brought to a complete standstill and paralysis. The confusion and conflict between the Americans, the army and the Ministry of interior is producing a situation where the citizens don't know anymore whether the security personel in the street are friends, enemies, terrorists or simply criminals and thieves. Everybody is wearing the same uniforms. Whole sections of the city have virtually fallen to gangs and terrorists, and this is sepecially true for the "Sunni" dominated neighborhoods. People and businesses are being robbed and the employees kidnapped en mass in broad daylight and with complete ease as though security forces are non-existent, although we see them everwhere."

Baghdad Burning says:

“The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area.”

That’s how messed up the country is at this point.

We switched to another channel, the “Baghdad” channel (allied with Muhsin Abdul Hameed and his group) and they had the same news item, but instead of the general “coalition forces” they had “American coalition forces”. We checked two other channels. Iraqiya (pro-Da’awa) didn’t mention it and Forat (pro-SCIRI) also didn’t have it on their news ticker.

We discussed it today as it was repeated on another channel.

“So what does it mean?” My cousin’s wife asked as we sat gathered at lunch.

“It means if they come at night and want to raid the house, we don’t have to let them in.” I answered.

“They’re not exactly asking your permission,” E. pointed out. “They break the door down and take people away- or have you forgotten?”

“Well according to the Ministry of Defense, we can shoot at them, right? It’s trespassing-they can be considered burglars or abductors…” I replied.

The cousin shook his head, “If your family is inside the house- you’re not going to shoot at them. They come in groups, remember? They come armed and in large groups- shooting at them or resisting them would endanger people inside of the house.”

“Besides that, when they first attack, how can you be sure they DON’T have Americans with them?” E. asked.

We sat drinking tea, mulling over the possibilities. It confirmed what has been obvious to Iraqis since the beginning- the Iraqi security forces are actually militias allied to religious and political parties.

But it also brings to light other worrisome issues. The situation is so bad on the security front that the top two ministries in charge of protecting Iraqi civilians cannot trust each other. The Ministry of Defense can’t even trust its own personnel, unless they are “accompanied by American coalition forces”.

The Guardian reports:

(AP) - Unidentified gunmen opened fire in a trading company in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood Wednesday, killing eight employees and wounding six, police said.

The men, some in police uniform, arrived at the al-Ibtikar Trade Contracting Co. in five black BMWs about 8:15 a.m., police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq said. Those killed included five men and three women, he said.

The motive of the attack in west Baghdad's Mansour district was not immediately clear. The assailants burned part of the building and didn't appear to have taken any money, Abdul-Razzaq said.

Those who survived told police that the gunmen identified themselves as Iraqi Interior Ministry intelligence agents. They first asked for the manager, who was not in, then apparently gathered the victims together and shot each of them before fleeing, police and survivors said.


Blogger Onanite said...

Iraq is dommed.... no doubt about it. We need to get out soooner than later.


10:17 AM  
Blogger Bill Millan said...

That's what the Salafi jihadists, the Iranian Mullahs, and the rest of the bad guys are hoping for. We have to stick it out. Check my Helicopter post

11:13 AM  

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