Ethnic Cleansing in Baghdad
Iraqi Leader Plans Security Push
Premier Promises Nonsectarian Campaign Against 'Outlaws' in Baghdad
By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 7, 2007; Page A13
BAGHDAD, Jan. 6 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned Baghdad residents Saturday to expect the disruptions of a heightened military presence and said his government was ready to launch the latest effort to pacify the violent Iraqi capital.
As if to punctuate the announcement, the Iraqi army clashed with insurgents in a Sunni Arab neighborhood on the west bank of the Tigris River in Baghdad. The fighting along Haifa Street, raging into the night, killed 30 insurgents, and Iraqi soldiers captured eight others, including five Sudanese fighters, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said.
Despite fierce ongoing fighting in western Iraq and violence capable of erupting almost anywhere, Baghdad remains the heart of the country's sectarian conflict. Maliki, in his speech at a morning ceremony honoring the Iraqi army, warned rival political parties against interfering in his plan, which Askari said would start "very soon."
"The Baghdad security plan will not offer a safe shelter for outlaws, regardless of their ethnic and political affiliations, and we will punish anyone who hesitates to implement orders because of his ethnic and political background," Maliki said.
Maliki's words appeared intended to counter the perception that the plan would focus on combating Sunni insurgents. An aide to Maliki, Hasan Suneid, a Shiite Muslim lawmaker, told the Associated Press that the Iraqi army would devote 20,000 additional troops to the capital and begin by combating Sunni insurgents in western Baghdad.
Askari said there would "definitely be more troops" but declined to provide a figure.
Maliki's speech provided few details about the tactical or strategic changes guiding the forthcoming effort. But his aides described an effort that relies on U.S. troops to combat Sunni insurgents on the outskirts of Baghdad. Those areas are where the Sunni insurgents plan and manufacture the deadly explosives that detonate regularly in the city.
"Maliki believes that it is in this ring that the attacks are coming from," one of his aides said.
The Iraqi forces would target the most violent neighborhoods, and commanders would have a greater degree of autonomy in their assigned sections of the city, Askari said.
Maliki believes that if the additional troops can effect a decrease in violence over the next two months, then he can negotiate more effectively with Shiite militia leaders in the city and improve his chances of disarming them, his aides said.
Please. If he can't control the execution of Saddam, people better realize what this plan really is, the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and breaking the Sunni blockade of the city. The US will be assisting Sadr in gaining control of the Baghdad region. Because someone better realize that the Saddam execution and the Sistani quashing of the coup means the last man standing is the guy with the funny teeth and black turban.
Bush is so clueless and desperate that he doesn't realize he's being coopted into assisting ethnic cleansing. At the end of this, Sadr will be in near total control of most of Iraq's population.
Petraeus should know better. While US troops are getting killed killing Sunnis, Sadr will increase his control over the military and police. He thinks they're going to disarm the Mahdi Army? Hell no. The Mahdi Army are the real protectors of the Shia population, they have won support on the ground by saving lives and feeding people. The government is subordinate to Sadr and his supporters, and Sistani made that happen.
Bush and his supporters live in a cloud cuckoo land where they don't understand how they have been manuvered into this mess. Americans troops are being asked to die to establish a Shia theocracy in Iraq.
posted by Steve @ 1:40:00 AM