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Hurdles Stall Plan For Iraqi Recruits Shiite Leadership Wary of Bringing Fighters Into Ranks

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 12, 2007; Page A01


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BAGHDAD -- The U.S. effort to organize nearly 70,000 local fighters to solidify security gains in Iraq is facing severe political and logistical challenges as U.S.-led forces struggle to manage the recruits and the central government resists incorporating them into the Iraqi police and army, according to senior military officials.

Gen. David H. Petraeus and other top commanders have hailed the initiative to enlist Iraqi tribes and former insurgents in the battle against extremist groups, but leaders of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government have feared that the local fighters known as "volunteers" -- more than 80 percent of whom are Sunni -- could eventually mount an armed opposition, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

--read entire article--

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OK, so here's the deal. We took all you Sunni Iraqis (who ran everything) and had Paul Bremer send you all home, so that Shiite Iraqis (who don't know how to run anything) could take over your country.

It made sense. Shiites were the majority--Sunnis were Saddam's guys. Except that now, the country we fashioned of moth-infested cloth, doesn't work and the Sunnis who know it doesn't work have absolutely no power.

Bingo! Along comes Petraeus and arms them.

"To give you a sense of the bureaucratic challenge here, the entire British army is just under 100,000," said Maj. Gen. Paul Newton, the British counterinsurgency expert tapped by Petraeus to lead the effort. "What we've seen in this campaign is already therefore three-quarters of the size of the British army, without any kind of human resource management structure to recruit it, train it, vet it," Newton, 51, said in an interview."

And that is called a 'hurdle' (an obstacle one is are expected to overcome) by the Washington Post, instead of an 'idiocy' (extreme mental retardation).

In another astounding example of not knowing what the f*ck we are doing--in a country where we can't communicate--that is coming apart at the seams (except for what we call progress, which is actually attrition)--we armed the weak side of a civil war. Why? So they could fight al-Qaeda, what else?

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Everything is blamed on al-Qaeda, who didn't even know where Iraq was until we pointed them in that direction by the smoke in the sky from Shock and Awe.

The surprising thing is that after the theft and sale of weapons under Petraeus's watch, we had anything at all to arm them with.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Iraq War, check out Opinion-Columns.com


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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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