It is getting hard to weave your way through the tangled web of deceit.
Why are we there if Maliki can say "US Not Needed Here" and a US general can say that "good and honest Iraqis" are killing US soldiers.
The article "Mahdi Army, Not Al-Qaeda, is Enemy No. 1 in Western Baghdad" at
refutes W's lie about al-queda in Iraq being our biggest enemy. W's phrasing is vague, but in Baghdad, Sadr's "Death Squad" has always been the group to fear and lately they have overrun Western Baghdad, which was formerly a Sunni enclave.
The article states "West Rashid confounds the prevailing narrative from top U.S. military officials that the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq is the city's most formidable and disruptive force. While there are signs that the group has been active in the area, over the past several months, the Mahdi Army has transformed the composition of the district's neighborhoods by ruthlessly killing and driving out Sunnis and denying basic services to residents who remain. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, described the area as "one of the three or four most challenging areas in all of Baghdad."
Dominance by Shiite militias is typically associated with places in eastern Baghdad, such as Sadr City, while areas west of the Tigris River and south of the Baghdad airport road are home to large Sunni enclaves. Not long ago the western neighborhoods conformed clearly with this perception. U.S. soldiers estimate that a year ago, Sunnis made up about 80 percent of the population there and Shiites 20 percent. But those numbers have now reversed, after a concerted effort to cleanse Sunnis from the area, according to U.S. military officials."
Why has the death rate gone down? Sectarian killings dropped to their lowest level of the past four months in June. But the downturn in violence in Shiite-dominated areas was not necessarily encouraging, Capt. Jay Wink, the battalion's intelligence officer said.
"Now that the Sunnis are all gone, murders have dropped off. One way to put it is they ran out of people to kill."
The article "Mistrust as Iraqi Troops Encounter New U.S. Allies" at
describes how one of the few positives aspects of "Mission Accomplished" thus far--how the Sunnis in Anbar Province have allegedly driven out Al-Qaeda there, really might not be such a success after all.
The article states "The United States has placed great hope in its deepening ties with Sunni leaders like Abu Azzam who have vowed to fight Islamist militants. But his mostly Sunni group, the Volunteers, is different from the American-allied tribes in the Sunni heartland of Anbar Province, in part because it patrols only 40 minutes from central Baghdad and close to large Shiite districts. So American commanders view this as a crucial test case for whether Shiite leaders will tolerate new alliances with Sunni groups."
If Iraqi Shiites aren't convinced, how can the US be? Obviously they can't-so when W brags about this he's just flailing around for any glimmer of hope for his propaganda machine to use.
An American officer, Capt. Larry Obst, arrived with 10 soldiers just as a riot threatened to break out, with more than 500 people bearing down on the Iraqi soldiers, who were "getting ready to shoot into the crowd," he said. After hours of frantic American intervention, the Iraqi soldiers left without the detainees.
The episode hardened the mistrust between the American and Iraqi units, he said, "but it built credibility with the people."
Our soldiers shouldn't be subjected to this uncertainty which just compounds the hazards of urban guerrilla warfare. Lt. Col. Kurt Pinkerton has spent the past months alternatingly cultivating his relationship with Abu Azzam and fearing that Abu Azzam was seconds away from attacking US soldiers.
The article continues "Yet the men in Colonel Pinkerton's unit, the Second Battalion of the Fifth Cavalry Regiment, remain conflicted about the risks of joining forces with men who may have attacked them before. Master Sgt. Carlos Figueroa says some Volunteers remind him of drug dealers who try to go straight but always hedge their bets. "These guys are never going to completely give up these ties," he said.