"Mr. Maliki took office after a four-month government gridlock, and expectations ran high that his politically inclusive cabinet would find a way to gradually diminish the violence. The Iraqi premier said he would devote himself to bridging Iraq’s sectarian divisions, reining in militias, cajoling some insurgent factions to stop fighting and fortifying Baghdad, the country’s main battleground.
So far, though, the various plans have had little substantive effect. Mr. Maliki’s reconciliation plan, for instance, promised amnesty to insurgents willing to lay down their arms. But there has been no agreement on how far the amnesty should extend or which groups it should encompass. Despite deploying more checkpoints and security personnel around the capital, meanwhile, the number of attacks there has risen sharply.
"Many of the goals have not been achieved," says Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of parliament. "People are a bit disappointed in this government."" Yahoo
First there was Arafat. He was mocked by the Arabs as the Mayor first of Jericho and then of Gaza.
Then there was Karzai, the "Lion of Kabul." He is mocked by the Afghans as the mayor of that dusty, blood soaked place.
Now we have al-Maliki, duly elected, mocked as mayor of half a city, come to see the man who looked into his eyes. POTUS not only looked into his eyes but was re-assured by what he saw. Now this Shia Iraqi zealot leader has come to tell POTUS, among other things, that the US must give to his government American soldiers accused of crime in his country to do with what they wish.
What is next? Who will be the designated "mayor" of Beirut?
Pat, What tipping point, what event should we be looking for that will tell us the civil war has become the major lethal event in Iraq, that the US mission has totally failed? Is there a time coming soon,under certain condtions when it would be better for the US troops to leave? Or is that impossible?
And if it is then what? How do our tropps survive in this situation?Michael Singer
I think the tipping point will probably come when Bremer decides to abolish the Iraqi Army and drive most of the soldiers into the insurgent groups.
How will they survive? by preparing to defend themselves against all comers. Kinda like Cortez at Tenochtitlan.
That was a fillip for all those who think history is irrelevent. (Not you Michael). pl
Should US troops withdrawl? If so, when?
Come on! You know I don’t do that. pl
You have been a valuable resource in picking apart the tangles of this bloody web.
The MSM has been nothing short of a disgrace in covering this topic. Look no further than yahoo’s assembled editorials on the conflict.
I mean for god’s sake, we have 160,000 (and rising) Americans sweating in the middle of the scorpion’s nest. Is this not bordering on criminal negligence of command?
Many American lives are being put at risk because of what amounts to faith-based foreign policy.
Actually, I will tell you when I am ready. pl
Just wandering how US soldiers, used now to climated quarters and discussing lobster tails, will perform when the AC shuts down for lack of gas and the lobster turns to MRE.
Also their are lots of foreign civilians doing contracter work on the bases. Will anyone care for them?
Can anyone explain to to me these idiots?
[quote]Democrats in the US Senate called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to condemn Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel and to recognize Israel’s right to defend itself.
The lawmakers expressed dismay during a press conference over Maliki’s recent criticism of “Israel aggression” in Lebanon and called for a “clarification” from the Iraqi leader before he appears Wednesday before a joint session of Congress.
The lawmakers suggested that some members of Congress may choose to boycott the event if an explanation is not forthcoming.
“No matter how politically expedient he thinks it may be, to stand with America, you have to stand against terrorism,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.
“Before he speaks in front of the Congress and the American people, there’s a very simple question we are asking the prime minister today: Which side is he on when it comes to the war on terror?” Schumer said.
In a letter dated July 24, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, along with other party leaders, called on the Iraqi leader to clarify his views before speaking to a joint session of the US Congress.
“Your failure to condemn Hezbollah’s aggression and recognize Israel’s right to defend itself raise serious questions about whether
Iraq, under your leadership, can play a constructive role in resolving the current crisis and bringing stability to the Middle East,” the lawmakers wrote to Maliki.
“As you know, the American people have given so much in the name of fighting global terror and helping build a better future for the people of Iraq,” the Senate Democrats said.
“Americans deserve to know whether Iraq is an ally in these fights.”
The letter went on to call Maliki’s recent denunciations of Israel’s bombing of Lebanon “very troubling.”
“In advance of your scheduled appearance before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, we believe it is essential that you clarify your position with respect to Hezbollah and its provocative incursions into Israel,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Specifically, it is imperative that the US Congress and the world know immediately whether you support or condemn Hezbollah’s acts of terrorism.”
really, really stupid politics.
The AIPAC shills never miss a chance to shoot themselves in the foot. Sigh….
As for ‘explaining those idiots,’ although their statement makes no sense at all in a foreign policy contest, it makes voters such as my mother very happy with them.
I see that additional U.S. troops are being sent to Baghdad.
What military tactics are appropriate to stop a civil war? What experience do U.S. commanders have in intervening in a civil war, as distinct from a guerrilla insurgency? Is there an Army manual called “Stopping Civil Wars”?