Sunday, March 05, 2006

Iraq War: Which side are we on?

A month ago, I did a post here asking Could we wind up changing sides in Iraq?

Today's Los Angeles Times is running this story: Iraq's Besieged Sunnis Now Looking to U.S. by Megan K. Stack 03/05/06. Stack reports:

Three years after the March 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, with the threat of civil war looming, leaders of a nervous Sunni Arab minority have started to drop demands for an immediate U.S. withdrawal.

"We've changed our ideas," Adhadh said. Iraq's current government, dominated by Shiites, has been "abusing people more than the Americans," he said. "Iraqi security is the responsibility of the Americans. They have established this type of government — this will be written in history. We are living in a jungle."

Meanwhile, Iraq's Shiite majority, which initially cheered the arrival of the Americans, has grown far stronger and is quickly losing enthusiasm for foreign soldiers and diplomats.

"The reality is that the Americans have switched position a little bit. They seem to be siding with the Sunnis, and the Shia are not happy," said Saad Jawad, a moderate Shiite politician. "Certainly in our areas there is no need for American soldiers."

Of course, this has one of our new Sunni friends say that the Americans "have established this type of government... We are living in a jungle". As the old saying goes, with friends like these...

You're running a heckuva war, there, Rummy!

Stack writes of the Shi'a side:

When the shrine at Samarra was attacked ... on Feb. 22, angry Shiite leaders blamed the American ambassador for stirring up anti-Shiite sentiment.

"The ambassador's statements were irresponsible," said Abdelaziz Hakim, leader of the main group [SCIRI] in the Shiite coalition in parliament. "He gave the green light for terrorist groups, and therefore we blame him for part of what happened."

Hakim's office later issued a clarification, saying that he blamed terrorists, not Americans, for the shrine attack. But the message had been delivered — and was echoing from Shiite leaders across the country.

"There's a lot of interference in the internal affairs of the country by the Americans," said Sadruddin Qubanchi, a Shiite cleric based in Najaf who is allied with Hakim. "We don't want conditional support. The ministries here don't want foreign help."

Yes, things are that screwed up in the Iraq War.

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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
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-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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