A bad day in Iraq yesterday as violence has exploded in the formerly quiescent Tall Afar:
A day after twin truck bombings laid waste to predominantly Shiite neighborhoods in the northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar, marauding Shiite gunmen and police executed dozens of Sunnis in retaliatory attacks that many Iraqis feared might precipitate a resurgence of open sectarian warfare.
The killings took place in a city once cited by President Bush as a sign of the U.S. military’s success in pacifying the insurgency. Bush said in a speech almost exactly a year ago that the “example of Tall Afar gives me confidence in our strategy.”
But parts of the city reverted to chaos and carnage Wednesday as gunmen went door to door assassinating as many as 60 people in revenge for the previous day’s truck bombings, Iraqi military and government officials said. The attack was startling for several reasons, including the alleged participation of police officers in the killings and the implication that the six-week-old Baghdad security plan might be allowing violence to metastasize outside the capital.
The attacks were “startling” only to those who haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on in Iraq for the past year. The participation of police officers in the massacre (18 of whom were later arrested by the Iraqi army) and the idea that violence will flare up where there are fewer American and Iraqi troops isn’t surprising, or “startling,” or even depressing. There have been other bad days in Iraq since the surge began. There will be many more in the coming months.
Just as there have been good days in Iraq since the surge began with clear signs of progress made in some areas previously resistant to good news of any kind. And there will be other good days ahead as more and more American troops arrive as part of the surge. So far, we have deployed around 7,500 of the 20,000 combat troops that will eventually be part of the program. And deployment is not expected to be completed until the end of May or early June.
Most importantly, there have been some small, hopeful signs from the Iraqi government that Prime Minister Maliki has made a commitment to political change. At this point, I would give Maliki a grade of C- for his efforts at reconciliation, reigning in the militias, sharing oil revenue (still stuck in legislative limbo in the Iraqi parliament), and bringing the Sunnis into full participation in the political life of the country. There have been ongoing talks regarding a wholesale change in the cabinet to bring more secular, Kurdish, and Sunni political parties into the government. So far, those talks have not met with much success thanks to resistance from Maliki’s own Dawa party. But the fact that the talks are even taking place was unthinkable just a few months ago.
The good, the bad, the ugly – this will be Iraq for the foreseeable future; stops and starts on the road to creating a viable, peaceful state that will probably be “partly free” (a State Department designation). Any rational, reasonably well informed person looking at the facts on the ground the last 60 days or so would probably come to pretty much the same conclusion.
Of course, mentioning the words “rational and reasonable” in the same sentence with “liberal” would give most of us a headache:
So here we are in the midst of an
escalationoops, surge, in their futile involvement in the Fertile Delta, sending ever more of what they have been determined to be our fully expendable American youth to die amid the filthy corrupt realities of the modern, oil saturated Arab world. All the while our boy Junior adds daily to his litany of pious pronouncements on peace and freedom for a part of the world where there is little respect for peace and no respect for liberty because 13 centuries of Islamic fatalism and authoritarian rule have not allowed, and may never allow either.
As the bullets and shrapnel fly and the bodies are stacked in great rotting piles and the Mothers of Iraq and the Mothers of America weep in endless screams of pain and anguish our congress plays political games in a disgusting, half ass tug of war with President Puke that makes me want to offer Monica Lewinsky a chance to perform just one more public service so that we might at long last give the Republicans and the Democrats something to get stirred up about enough to impeach this criminal son of a bitch.
I actually giggled at the hyperbole, the sanctimonious twaddle, the cloying condescension toward our little brown brothers in the Middle East. This piece isn’t over the top. It’s over the moon, the sun, the stars, and the Andromeda galaxy.
Those of us who are skeptical of the surge but willing to give it time to work do not recognize Iraq or America (or any other country on planet earth for that matter) in the writer’s hysterical rantings. (Although I must say that this fella has missed his calling. That kind of overwrought fiction would best be seen in romance novels.)
And what would a liberal screed like this be without a nod to the stupid soldiers who continue to stride into the maw of death and destruction to fight George Bush’s war:
I talked briefly with a young man today who is leaving for Army boot camp in a few days. We were introduced by his friend’s father who is a close friend of mine from my favorite watering hole, the local pool hall. The young man is 19, fresh of face and rosy cheeked, not an ounce of guile in his spirit and ripe for the slaughter. As we spoke I couldn’t shake the feeling that I might never see the kid alive again. I wanted to cry as I shook his hand and told him to pay attention and cover his ass.
I don’t quote know what to say about someone so heroic, so sensitive, so…so…GOOD. It makes me want to cry. Group hug, everyone.
I’m sure the young man going off to war appreciates the kind words although I’m not sure he would like to be thought of as “ripe for the slaughter.” And as we’ve talked about the use of that word before as it can be applied to our casualties in Iraq, the sensitive souls on the left have a roving definition of the term “slaughter.” For them, it should only be used in a context that sheds the absolute worst light on our efforts in Iraq. Any other context – say 3,000 Americans being “slaughtered” on 9/11 – never quite makes the grade as far as the “slaughter” rule is concerned.
Of course, singling out this post is unfair. Most of the top lefty blogs wrote about the Sunni rampage in Tall Afar, pointing to it as conclusive “proof” that the surge isn’t working, that Iraq will never be a relatively peaceful place, and that we are DOOMED! DOOMED DOOMED!
Sort of reminds me of the way the left “debates” global warming. If we have one day when the temp tops 100 degrees, 10,000 greens are in the street weeping about Gaia’s fever and pointing excitedly at the thermometer like a two year old pointing at an ice cream truck, telling us that here at last, was IRONCLAD PROOF that global warming is a threat to man’s existence on the planet. (I can play the hyperbole game as well!) A more accurate example is listening to that noted scientific expert and global warming gadfly Al Gore who has stated that because the last few summers have seen temperature records broken, that this closes the case on global warming being a fact.
Leaving aside the idiotic notion that 3 or 10 or even 100 years of steadily rising temperatures proves anything- not since many climate scientists use models based on data going back hundreds of thousands of years – the idea that Al Gore has any special insight or knowledge about the future of the climate on planet earth is silly. But that doesn’t stop Al and his friends on the left from solemnly declaring every time there’s an uptick in the temperature that it’s time to shut down western industrialized civilization and get used to walking.
So it goes in Iraq from the left’s point of view. To lovingly dote on each setback, every attack that we fail to stop, or any indication of trouble whatsoever as proof of anything is sheer lunacy. And it bespeaks a shallowness of thought we have become all too familiar with from people who openly wish for a defeat of American arms on the field of battle.
Uh-oh. Two bad days in a row in Iraq. Looks like an irreversible trend to me:
Five suicide bombers struck Shiite marketplaces in northeast Baghdad and a town north of the capital at nightfall Thursday, killing at least 122 people and wounding more than 150 in one of Iraq’s deadliest days in years.
The savage attacks came as a new American ambassador began his first day on the job, and Senate Democrats ignored a veto threat and approved a bill to require President Bush to start withdrawing troops.
At least 178 people were killed or found dead Thursday, which marked the end of the seventh week of the latest U.S.-Iraqi military drive to curtail violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions.
Please excuse the snark but I am heartily sick of brainless twits on the left who have yet to offer one solid idea on how to improve the situation in Iraq (Americans exiting would not improve the situation one iota) while denigrating our efforts. As far as I’m concerned, they’re not in the game. They forfeited years ago. And the only reason you can’t ignore them is because they are so obnoxious.