bUSh'S iRAq iS a DiSASteR

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. February 21, 2006
    U.S. Warns Iraq It Won't Support Sectarian Goals


    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 20 — The American ambassador to Iraq issued an unusually strong warning on Monday about the need for Iraq's political factions to come together, hinting for the first time that the United States would not be willing to support crucial public institutions plagued by sectarian agendas.

    "The United States is investing billions of dollars" in Iraq's police and army, said the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad. "We are not going to invest the resources of the American people to build forces run by people who are sectarian."

    Mr. Khalilzad spoke at a news conference on a day of fresh violence across Iraq. It was the bloodiest day in almost two months.

    He was addressing allegations that Shiite death squads operate within the Interior Ministry. Such reports have grown in recent months, with accounts of hundreds of Sunni men being rounded up by men in police uniforms and found dead days or weeks later.

    The deaths have infuriated the Sunni Arabs, whose radical fringe leads the insurgency here, and have sharpened their distrust of the Shiite-led government that swept into power last spring.

    Bombing attacks on Monday, including one inside a crowded commuter bus in Baghdad and another in a restaurant in northern Iraq, left at least 26 dead and more than 60 wounded. One American soldier was also killed.

    Iraqi political leaders are deep in negotiations over forming a government, more than two months after parliamentary elections.

    American officials have long argued that new cabinet ministers should place the interests of their country over those of their sects. But by linking American financing to a fair, nonpartisan army and police force, even if not intended as a direct threat, Mr. Khalilzad pressed the American position more forcefully and publicly than before.

    American officials are working to draw Sunni Arabs into the new government in an effort to build a stable society and begin bringing American troops home. Allaying Sunni concerns over overtly biased ministries is seen as an essential part of that effort.

    The attacks on Monday, however, raised fresh fears of renewed violence.

    The worst of the violence began in Mosul, in northern Iraq. Shortly after 7 a.m., a suicide bomber walked into the Abu Ali Restaurant and detonated his payload, spraying shrapnel into diners, killing at least six of them and wounding six more, the police and local officials said.

    The attack was a clear strike against the police force: the restaurant is near a police station and is popular among officers, many of whom were eating breakfast.

    "I could not hear anything, and there was heavy smoke," said Said Tharwat, a 30-year-old wounded in the attack.

    Several hours later in Baghdad, a man wearing a suicide vest boarded a bus in Kadimiya, a bustling Shiite neighborhood, and blew himself up, killing at least 12 Iraqis and wounding 15, most of them Shiite commuters, a Ministry of Interior official said. One witness said the fiery blast, which ignited the bus, had scattered body parts and severely burned the wounded. A nearby traffic policeman was also killed.

    The wounded, with burns on their hands and faces, were evacuated to Kadimiya Hospital, where an official reported a higher death toll: 17.

    The violence came amid signs of serious disagreement over the shape of the government. The new Parliament is required by law to meet for the first time on Saturday, and Mr. Khalilzad's remarks seemed calculated to put pressure on Iraqis to overcome their differences.

    He has sharply criticized Interior Ministry abuses in the past, echoing Sunni concerns about the ministry's failure to stop the killings. He amplified those concerns on Monday, urging the leaders to appoint interior and defense ministers who are "nonsectarian, broadly accepted and not tied to militias."

    If Iraq cannot control the sectarian agendas within its government, Mr. Khalilzad said, it "faces the risk of warlordism that Afghanistan went through for a period." Mr. Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan and served as an American envoy there before coming to Iraq last year.

    Tensions between Sunni Arabs and Shiite political groups are not the only obstacle to the kind of unity government that Mr. Khalilzad is advocating, and it is unlikely that a government will be formed soon, some Iraqi leaders said.

    The British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, also arrived Monday to discuss formation of the new government, Reuters reported.

    In more behind-the-scenes political negotiating, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari visited the leader of the Shiite majority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in Najaf.

    Mr. Jaafari, who was recently selected by the largest Shiite political bloc to remain prime minister in the next government, said Ayatollah Sistani had urged him to speed up the formation of the government "on the basis of high competence, integrity and transparency."

    Across Iraq on Monday, insurgents engineered at least eight attacks. In central Baghdad, a homemade bomb went off near a group of Shiite day-laborers around 8 a.m., wounding 20 of them, an Interior Ministry official said.

    North of Baghdad, in Nibai district, five truck drivers were killed and four wounded when their convoy supplying building materials to American forces came under attack, a provincial spokesman said. In Buhruz, another town north of Baghdad, an official from a hospital in Baquba was shot dead.

    In the Diyala Bridge area south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded near an Iraqi official's convoy, killing 2 of his guards and wounding 11 civilians, the ministry official said.

    American forces faced fresh opposition in Karbala, a Shiite city in the south, when the governor of the province, Akeel al-Khazali, barred American troops from entering government buildings, according to the governor's press office. Mr. Khazali took issue with the Americans' bringing dogs into the building, but it was not clear if there was another, more serious disagreement behind the order.

    An American soldier was killed when his vehicle struck a home-made bomb just southeast of Karbala, the military said in a statement.

    Also on Monday, an Iraqi government official said the number of confirmed human deaths from the avian flu virus have been just two, fewer than previously thought.

    Omar al-Neami contributed reporting from Baghdad for this article, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Mosul, Najaf and Karbala.
  2. FredBloggs

    FredBloggs Guest

    my fellow astronauts:

    bush once infamously said '....so humans and fish can peacefully co-exist together....' (and you lot voted for this jerk....!!!)

    so if americans and fish can live together, why not americans and iraqis who just want to be left alone?
  3. Hooman Majd
    Blog Index RSS
    "Sovereignty Means No One Interferes..."
    READ MORE: New York Times, 2006, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush

    This week, in a truly astonishing one-two punch to any remaining notion of Iraqi sovereignty, first the U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad publicly lectured (and warned) the Iraqi government on what might be an acceptable make-up of that government to the U.S., and second Jack Straw, British FM, flew in to Baghdad to publicly express his public disapproval of Shia attempts to dominate Iraqi politics.
    It's humiliating enough for the Iraqis that they're under foreign occupation; imagine how humiliating it is for them to hear foreign ambassadors and ministers telling their government what to do. The U.S.-U.K. occupation of Iraq has managed to alienate the Sunnis to the point of supporting the insurgency; now it seems that the occupiers are out to alienate the Shias too. Well, I guess we'll always have the Kurds.

    Jack Straw's statements that "We had the elections on Dec. 15," and "We've now had the final accredited results. What they show is that no party, no ethnic or religious grouping, can dominate government in Iraq" (emphasis mine, but Iraqis will notice the "we") betray the true nature of the U.S. (and U.K.)-Iraqi relationship as one of masters-servant. I'm sorry, Mr. Straw, you did not have elections, and neither did the British public. Iraqis did, and a majority (who happen to be Shia) voted for Shia candidates, and they seem to think that means that they can dominate the government. (Isn't that what the purpose of a national election is? To see who people want to form their government?) Sorry you and Khalilzad aren't happy with their choices, but despite Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn" analogy, I'm afraid you don't own Iraq, even though you did liberate it from the clutches of a monster and then broke it. Had you and your American masters given one moment of thought to a post-Saddam Iraq, you might have considered that a free Iraq means a Shia Iraq.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, angry at both U.S. and British interference in the Iraqi political process, responded to the pressure by saying, "We think that sovereignty means no one interferes in our affairs." I guess that means he's going to pick his own ministers. (Quite oblivious to any irony, Ambassador Khalilzad this week also accused Iran of "interference" in Iraq. )

    Foreign governments insisting that the Iraqi Shia parties have to include opposition members in their government (after they've won a free election) is akin to a foreign government insisting that President Bush, after winning either of his elections, include opposition democrats in cabinet positions because the elections in the U.S. showed, certainly as much as the Iraqi elections (and perhaps even more) that, to use Mr. Straw's words, "no party can dominate" government in the U.S. On second thought, maybe that would have been a good suggestion.
  4. Looks like Iraq is rejecting the US puppet government.
  5. What a mess. Bush and the people who ran the occupation made a total mess of it. They should have instituted a military government, and used it to put harsh security controls over the country. Instead, they gave the worst lunatics the keys to the asylum. Now we get the result of some idiot telling us he will do what he wants and we can go f*ck ourselves.

    Anyone who knows the arab world and the way they think knows that this is unacceptable. Al jafaari should be immediately arrested and never be seen again. Otherwise we might as well adopt the Murtha strategy and surrender and bring our troops home. What do we do when he tells us to get our troops out and openly forms an alliance with Iran? Because that is not far off.
  6. Doesn't Iraq now have a democratically elected government? If that is so, then that government should be allowed to set its own policy. If that policy is anti-US, then we will have to bite our lips and accept it as is... let the will of Iraqi people be heard and for now their government is representing their will.
  7. Pabst


    I only checked this thread out because I thought the infantile cadance of the title's lettering might be the humerous work of Skalpz. On second thought, perhaps this is his work......