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U.S. Planners See Shiite Militias as Rising Threat

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2007; A01

Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker have concluded that Shiite extremists pose a rising threat to the U.S. effort in Iraq, as the relative influence of Sunni insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq has diminished drastically because of ongoing U.S. operations.

Except for the Sunni groups we've been arming, to get control of the South, who are our Sunnis and not to be confused with Baathist Sunnis or ex-military Sunnis or any of those other guys who keep talking to each other behind their hands in a language we can't understand.
This judgment forms part of the changes that Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, approved last week to their classified campaign strategy for the country, which covers the period through summer 2009. The updated plan anticipates shifting the U.S. military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias -- some backed by Iran -- that have generated new violence as they battle for power in the south and elsewhere in Iraq, said senior military and diplomatic officials familiar with the plan.

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Aha! That explains it. Crocker and Petraeus changed that strategy that they wouldn't tell the Congress about just last month, to another strategy they won't tell anyone about, but one that updates itself to fight the guys we put in power over the guys who were in power. Still none of it happening in English, so God (or Allah) only knows what they're actually saying to each other over tea.
"As the Sunni insurgents quit fighting us, the problems we have with criminality and other militia, many of them Shia, become relatively more important," said a U.S. Embassy official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan is not finalized.

As they stand up, we will fall down--or was it they stand down and we go home? Anyway it had something to do with them doing something and us doing something. But until now, until this break-though, none of the plans assumed Sunni insurgents would just quit fighting us. Has anyone told Bush about this?
The plan also acknowledges that the U.S. military -- with limited time and troops -- cannot guarantee a wholesale defeat of its enemies in Iraq, and instead is seeking "political accommodation" to persuade them to end the use of violence, the officials said.

Well, there you have it. If only Lincoln had sat Grant and Lee down to seek a political accommodation, we could easily have avoided the whole Civil War. It's now become a matter of persuading them to end the use of violence instead of continually arming both sides, taunting them with American policy and constantly bringing up those goddamn guideposts or whatever the hell we called them.

It's only because of limited time and troops that we haven't allowed ourselves a wholesale defeat of our enemies. This past four years of retail defeat has just been too costly. The clock is running guys and we're outta here.

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* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Iraq War, check out


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Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)

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