Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 28, 2007

Arming The Sunni Resistance

The U.S. military's new 'strategy' in Iraq is to arm and pay 'neighborhood watch' groups in mainly Sunni areas. The Iraqi government does not want these groups and denies them any legitimacy.

One wonders what the U.S. really wants to achieve here. This is either utter stupidity or a well grounded plan of fomenting the next stage of a civil war and more massacres. Which is it?

From today's Post article: U.S. Widens Push to Use Armed Iraqi Residents:

Within the past month, the U.S. military command in charge of day-to-day operations in Iraq ordered subordinate units to step up creation of the local forces, authorizing commanders to pay the fighters with U.S. emergency funds, reward payments and other monies.
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, called the development of the grass-roots forces the most significant trend in Iraq "of the last four months or so" and one that could help propel slow-moving efforts at national reconciliation among Iraq's main religious sects and ethnic groups.
"They will clear the neighborhood of anyone who belongs to al-Qaeda or JAM [a Shiite militia] or even carries a bullet," the [local Sunni leader] said. "We want you, sir, to give us the green light. They are ready."

"You have the green light," Gibbs answered. "But they have to follow the rules. You can't just shoot anybody. No vengeance . . . But the bad guys -- I don't care. Go get them."

Well - who are the 'bad guys'? I guess that is in the eye of the beholder and the neighborhood guard leader certainly has a somewhat different definition in mind than Col. Ricky D. Gibbs.

The U.S. is preparing lists with the names of its new local 'little Blackwater' mercinary troops and wants the Iraqi government to hire them as police forces. The government says 'no' of course but I am sure the will come to love these lists ...

When the legitmate police (as far as there is any legitimate police) uses these lists to 'collect' people off the street, which side will the U.S. military fight along?

Petraeus is clearly living in a 1984 world when he claims to achieve 'national reconciliation' by arming the local Sunni thieves. The 'sovereign' Iraqi government, or what is left of it anyway, is protesting and Maliki is demanding Gen. Petraeus resignation - so far without success. I wonder if, coming September, his government will still exist at all.

A week ago Michael Gordon stenographed some truthiness that shows the utter incompetence of the U.S. military and its lack of any strategy:

“We are going to try a dozen different things,” said one senior officer. “Maybe one of them will flatline. One of them will do this much. One of them will do this much more. After a while, we believe there is chance you will head into success. I am not saying that we are absolutely headed for success.”

The anonymous officer is not contemplating one important fallacy in this. Any of the 'dozen different things' he wants to try can make the situation worse.

He wants to open the closed door to 'success' first with a chainsaw, then with a hammer, then with grenades and then, maybe, he will try to use the keys. But after having been abused, by then the door's lock will be damaged and no key will ever be able to unlock it.

The officer reminds me of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill:

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.

Is that part of the national character?

Posted by b on July 28, 2007 at 9:38 UTC | Permalink


Well, b, that simply proves what every non-Zionist and non-Neocon already knows: namely, that Israel is the driving force behind U.S. policy in the Middle East: Israel demanded that America invade Iraq post-9/11 to get rid of its potentially most dangerous "Near Enemy", encouraging the U.S. to ignore the real threat 3,000 km to the East. And now the job needs to be finished. Those U.S. oil companies that encouraged the invasion and were salivating at the mouth at the prospect of Iraqi oil were cleverly misled by Israel. Only Cheney-ally Halliburton saw its share price triple post-invasion. (How does Cheney always come out on top?).

To satisfy Israel, America has to partition Iraq via a civil war. That's why they're doing the unbelievable and arming Sunnis in Iraq and Al-Qaeda (Jundullah) in Pakistan. In effect, America and Al Qaeda have become solid allies in the War On Terror, Of Terror, For Terror and By Terror. By logical inference, America is catching up with Saudi Arabia as the World's Foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism. That's no mean achievement in the aftermath of 9/11. Only Bush could have achieved this. And the Mullahs are laughing all the way to the Bank ...........

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 28 2007 10:03 utc | 1

@Parviz - Israel, or the Likudniks, alone would never have been able to push the US to attack Iraq. There is certainly an assortment of mixed reasons for that. Bush's "he tried to kill my daddy" view on Saddam was certainly one too. The oil-companies were not really pushing for war. The weapon industry was though ... A major part of the U.S. public wanted "revenge" for 9/11 and the big media companies wanted better sales.

The participation strategy could be in Israel interest, but how does the U.S. expect to get an "oil law" when they disable Maliki? I don't think that there is really a stratgey behind this. It is incompetence and stupidity.

Hanlon's Razor is appropriate here:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Posted by: b | Jul 28 2007 10:47 utc | 2

b, you're right, one should avoid over-simplification, but what I tried to do was to identify and isolate THE overriding factor behind the decision to invade Iraq. I agree that among the many reasons were oil, revenge, a chance to show Daddy he screwed up by not invading Baghdad when he had had the opportunity, Neocon ambitions and so on. And I agree that 'malice' and 'stupidity' both played a role. HOWEVER, a major difference between us is that I see malice and stupidity coming to the fore at different stages of the invasion, as follows:

Stage One = Pure malice. In the pre-war phase of operations America had already decided to invade Iraq for selfish reasons. Wolfowitz had called Iraq 'The Great Prize' a decade earlier. Cheney was champing at the bit. Dissident voices (like that of General Shinseki who was expelled for stating America would need 700,000 troops to secure the peace post-invasion) were silenced and only those voices were heard (Gen. Franks) that suited the Neocon agenda of selling the war on the cheap. So, as you may agree, the fabrication of pre-war justification, the disingenuous linking of Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda, the removal of dissident voices and the 'sale' of the war to the American public as something that would finance itself and not cost tax-payers a cent, etc.,. reflected PURE MALICE.

I believe, based on congressional testimony by Pentagon ret. Col. Karen Kwiatowski, that Israel's PURE MALICE in feeding the OSP with false intelligence to boost Neocon hopes of an easy invasion was the KEY factor in silencing dissident voices and providing 'evidence' to justify the invasion. The OSP was overrun by Israeli generals who didn't even bother to sign in (a major breach of Pentagon protocol) during their frequent visits to the Office of Special Plans and even screamed in the corridors when the infamous Douglas Feith wasn't there to greet them. Israeli intelligence, being second to none, was easily believed by those malicious Neocons who looked desperately for evidence from an unquestionable source, Mossad.

Stage Two = Pure Stupidity, by which I mean Paul Bremer, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, underestimation of resistance to the occupation, neglect of the real terrorist bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan, etc.,.

For me, Stage One, the decision itself, was born of pure malice, Stupidity followed. But I certainly don't think there would have been any 'stupidity' if 'malice' hadn't got the ball rolling.

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 28 2007 11:48 utc | 3

Postscript: I forgot to mention that Israel prayed for a U.S. invasion of Iraq in order to be able to divert global attention away from its own crimes in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. It all backfired as 'stupidity' succeeded 'malice', exactly the same sequence of events suffered by America.

Why, I wonder, has Israel never spoken out against Pakistan which succoured Al Qaeda, created the Taleban and defied the U.N. by developing the first 'Islamic Bomb'? I'll give you the answer: Because Israel is only concerned with its 'Near Enemies' and doesn't give a hoot about abuses and dangers outside the Middle East.

Why doesn't Israel criticize Saudi Arabia? Because the Saudis, the world's most extremist Muslims, are America's friends and therefore don't represent a danger to Israel (for now).

So Israel is running the show at America's expense. Sure, it's a complicated situation, but Israel is the one throwing the dice, not just locally but via the all-powerful AIPAC and other extremist Jewish lobbies.

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 28 2007 12:09 utc | 4

The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?
Don't let the cartoon cat throw you off. This is a very good explanation of the illegality of the war in Iraq.

We're not laughing, your highnessness.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28 2007 12:27 utc | 5

The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?
Don't let the cartoon cat throw you off. This is a very good explanation of the illegality of the war in Iraq.

We're not laughing, your highnessness.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28 2007 12:27 utc | 6


Bush has a big, bad dog who says it *was* legal. Now move over, or he's gonna take off the muzzle and turn it loose on righteous little kitty...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 28 2007 13:29 utc | 7

the Iraqi chapter of the Los Angeles "Guardian Angels".

But will they wear red berets too ? Or will it be red kaffiyeh's ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jul 28 2007 15:44 utc | 8


The oil-companies were not really pushing for war.

Not withstanding the obvious PR reasons for this and the negative implications that would have, I always wonder why so many people use this as an arguement. The absense of evidence is not proof of anything. During the run up to the invasion I noticed millions of people protesting all over the World but I don't recall seeing any Oil lobbys in the crowd or a national Oil ad campaign warning us of the follies to come. I don't claim to know what the Oil Companies wanted, but they are not shovling millions of dollars into the American Enterprise Institute because they are mistaking it for the Girl Guides of America, and neither should you.

What I want to know is why did they put the tanks in front of the Iraqi Oil Ministry instead of the ammunition dumps.


By logical inference, America is catching up with Saudi Arabia as the World's Foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism.

Would that be anything like the State Sponser of the Supreme Council For The Islamic Revolution in Iraq? Gee I wonder if that had anything to do with the Iran/Iraq war? You think?

Wolfowitz had called Iraq 'The Great Prize' a decade earlier.

Iraq wasn't Cheney's prize. Iran was. Iraq was only the stepping stone.

So Israel is running the show at America's expense.

The mouse does not tell the elephant what to do. Abe Foxman and the Left Behind crowd are as American as apple pie.

Posted by: Sam | Jul 28 2007 19:25 utc | 9

Sam, it's not a question of the mouse telling the elephant what to do, but a case of the tail wagging the dog, as far as the Middle East is concerned, and there's no end in sight even after 60 years. Why do you think the U.S. has vetoed every U.N. Resolution during the past 6 decades, beginning with 242 demanding an immediate Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, plus every subsequent Resolution ?

America generally does its own thing, but not in the Middle East where it abrogated its strategic planning to Israel many decades ago.

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 28 2007 21:44 utc | 10

I don't claim to know what the Oil Companies wanted, but they are not shovling millions of dollars into the American Enterprise Institute because they are mistaking it for the Girl Guides of America, and neither should you.

I second that. I think that the policy void described by Bush administration refugees is the result of policy making being done in think tanks. They are responsible to their patrons... then the executive branch executes.

Something was said about national character... I think that national character is a flawed concept, and is akin to corporatist attitudes towards nations. I take corporatist to mean analogous to a body rather than "like a business", maybe that is not proper usage.

Posted by: boxcar mike | Jul 29 2007 3:23 utc | 11

French Ambassador''s Baghdad residence attacked

(snip) Three mortar shells were fired at the French Ambassador's residence in Baghdad killing one civilian and injuring five others. One of the mortars hit the building's gate, while the two others landed close to the house.

That would be in the Green Zone, I suppose.

Posted by: Alamet | Jul 29 2007 17:15 utc | 12

U.S. erects more walls to isolate Baghdad quarters

Posted by: Alamet | Jul 29 2007 22:39 utc | 13

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