US waves white flag in Fallujah

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Buckling under criticism from the UN and threats from Iraqi clerics, the US announced today it was turning Fallujah over to Iraqi forces. So much for avenging the mutilations of those four Americans. So much for showing our resolve. So much for giving the Iraqis who favor freedom any reason to trust or believe us. Instead, we have established a terrible precedent. If you can get hunkered down in an area with supposed noncombatants, then we will let you kill Americans with impunity and defy us. Of all the idiotic decisions made in the occupation, this is the worse.

    From news reports:

    Agreement Reached to End Fallujah Siege

    Apr 29, 9:43 AM (ET)


    FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - U.S. Marines announced Thursday an agreement to end a bloody, nearly monthlong siege of Fallujah, saying American forces will pull back and allow an all-Iraqi force commanded by one of Saddam Hussein's generals to take over security.

    Elsewhere, 10 U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday - eight of them in a car bombing south of Baghdad. Two were killed in a convoy attack in Baghdad and roadside bomb in Baqoubah, north of the capital.

    The Fallujah deal came after intense international pressure on the United States to find a peaceful solution to the standoff that killed hundreds of Iraqis and became a symbol of anti-U.S. resistance in Iraq, fueling violence that made April the deadliest month for American forces.

    Only last week, U.S. commanders threatened to launch an all-out attack on the city to root out an estimated 1,500 Sunni insurgents inside. Even after Washington decided to push ahead with political efforts instead, Marines and guerrillas continued to clash, with the heavy U.S. bombardment of the city the past two nights televised around the world.

    U.S. Marines encircled the city of 200,000 on April 5, following the killings and mutilations of four U.S. contract workers on March 31. In addition to the hundreds of Iraqis killed, at least eight Marines died in the fighting, although a full American casualty count from the battle has not been released.

    The agreement, reached late Wednesday night, was negotiated between U.S. forces and Fallujah representatives, including four Iraqi generals.

    The deal provides for a new force, known as the Fallujah Protective Army, to enter the city Friday and provide security. It will consist of up to 1,100 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from Saddam's military, Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne said.

    Marine forces will pull back from their positions in and around Fallujah, while the FPA forms a new cordon around it and then moves into the city, Byrne said.

    "The plan is that the whole of Fallujah will be under the control of the FPA," Byrne said.

    He identified the commander of the FPA only as Gen. Salah, a former division commander under Saddam. Many of the guerrillas in Fallujah are believed to be former members of Saddam's regime or military.

    Byrne did not know the general's full name. But a Lt. Gen. Salah Abboud al-Jabouri, a native of the Fallujah region, served as governor of Anbar province under Saddam and was a senior commander in Saddam's military.

    On the southern edge of Fallujah, U.S. Marines from the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment were packing up gear Thursday, saying they had been ordered to withdraw from the industrial zone they have held throughout the siege. Bulldozers flattened sand barriers that troops had set up.

    Byrne said the Marines would remain around the Fallujah area, but not in an immediate cordon or inside the city, and the FPA will be subordinate to the Marine 1st Expeditionary Force.

    Many of the guerrillas in Fallujah are believed to be former members of Saddam's regime or military. Last week, Iraq's top U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, announced that the new Iraqi army would start recruiting top former Saddam-era officers who were not involved in the regime's crimes.

    The moves came after three days of intense violence in Fallujah, despite U.S. attempts to maintain a cease-fire. On Tuesday night, warplanes and helicopter gunships struck guerrilla positions, raising fires and plumes of smoke over the city. Throughout the day Wednesday, insurgents attacked Marines in several neighborhoods, and U.S. forces responded by pounding the city with 500-pound bombs.

    The fighting fueled calls for dramatic action to stop the violence, even after the United States backed off threats to resume its offensive against the city and instead send in more limited patrols.

    "Violent military action by an occupying power against inhabitants of an occupied country will only make matters worse," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned. "It's definitely time, time now for those who prefer restraint and dialogue to make their voices heard."

    Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, also called on the United States to end the fighting in Fallujah and said if the United States refused, his Iraqi Islamic Party would consider withdrawing from the council.

    "We call on the American troops that are bombing Fallujah to stop immediately and withdraw outside of the city," Abdul-Hamid told Al-Jazeera television. "Otherwise, we'll be forced ... to consider the subject of withdrawal."

    On Thursday, U.S. troops at the main checkpoint in and out of Fallujah opened fire on a car, killing several Iraqis, although there were differing accounts of the circumstances of the attack.

    Marine Capt. James Edge said a car screeched into the razor wire near the main Marine checkpoint into Fallujah and gunmen inside opened fire with assault rifles on the Americans. U.S. troops returned fire with a Humvee-mounted heavy machine gun, killing at least three of the auto's occupants, Edge said. A fourth person was wounded but it was not clear if he was in the car or a bystander, Edge said.

    An AP reporter, however, saw U.S. soldiers open fire on a pickup truck at the checkpoint, killing a seven-member family trying to flee the city. It was unclear whether the accounts referred to separate incidents.

    The bombing that killed eight U.S. soldiers from the Army's 1st Armored Division occurred around 11:30 a.m. near the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad, the military said.

    Four wounded soldiers were taken to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad.

    The slain soldiers were to have returned to their home base in Germany by now, under their original deployment orders. After this month's surge in violence, the division's departure was blocked by the Pentagon and the unit was ordered to remain in Iraq for 90 days.

    In eastern Baghdad, a U.S. soldier from the Texas-based 1st Cavalry Division was killed Thursday by an attack on his patrol, the military said. Another U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy outside Baqoubah, 24 miles north of the capital, the military said.

    The American deaths raises to 126 the number of U.S. troops killed in combat in April, the bloodiest month for U.S. forces in Iraq. The military said another soldier died in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad.

    At least 736 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Up to 1,200 Iraqis also have been killed this month.

    Elsewhere, a foreign civilian, believed to be an Australian, was shot to death in his car in the southern city of Basra. Three members of an Iraqi family were killed when a rocket hit a residential building in the northern city of Beiji.

    In southern Iraq, witnesses reported that Shiite militiamen clashed Thursday with U.S. troops at a base in the holy city of Najaf. There were no immediate details on the clashes. Earlier, militiamen fired seven mortars at the base, causing no casualties.

    U.S. commanders at the base, located about three miles from the holy Shiite shrines at the city's heart, said they were unable to pursue the source of the mortars because they do not have authority to go into parts of the city.

    On Thursday, U.S. troops increased security around the base, setting up sand berms in empty lots around it.

    The U.S. military is treading carefully in Najaf, moving to put down a militia loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr while staying away from the Imam Ali Shrine and other sensitive Shiite holy sites.

    On Wednesday night, al-Sadr's militiamen attacked a U.S. convoy about a mile from the Imam Ali shrine, witnesses said. The militiamen fired a rocket-propelled grenade that missed the convoy and hit a house, wounding two people. The Americans then opened fire, killing an Iraqi woman and wounding four, the
  2. Mission Accomplished:


    Hey, if it was only about regime change, then Bush was right, eh?

  3. We are going back and asking former Sadam's army to take control. Namely the Suni's Baaths that we are supposed to destroy:confused: :confused:

    Funny isn't it...???

    Former Iraqi Soldiers to Replace U.S. Marines in Fallujah
    Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Baghdad Area
    By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Fred Barbash
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Thursday, April 29, 2004; 7:45 AM

    FALLUJAH, April 29--A new agreement to end the siege of Fallujah was announced Thursday under which a force of former Iraqi soldiers and commanders will replace U.S. Marines in and around the embattled city.

    The plan amounts to a reformation of a segment of the the Iraqi Army which was disbanded after U.S. forces toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. The force, composed of Sunni Muslim soldiers, would ultimately take responsibility for stabilizing the Sunni stronghold and subduing, if necessary, any insurgent activity.

    In other developments Thursday, the military announced that a total of nine American troops were killed in two separate incidents. Eight of them died in a car bomb attack south of Baghdad.

    The announcement of the Fallujah agreement followed nearly three days of intense combat in the city, including aerial attacks by U.S. warplanes and helicopters.

    Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, a top Marine commander in Fallujah, said that under the agreement, a new "Fallujah Protection Army" of between 900 and 1000 troops will form a subordinate command reporting to Lt. Gen. James P. Conway, the commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which is in charge of Western Iraq, including Fallujah. ........
  4. Of course mission IS accomplished:

    Treasury has been looted, taxpayer money transferred to HAL, Betchel, Rand .....

    Oil companies in control of second largest oil fields....

    Oil prices scraping making new highs, Chevron can't believe the windfalls....

    Israel "feels" safer...

    Domestically, issues are on the back burner...

    Yes, mission is accomplished and more.... :( :( :( why would they have it any other way. Long live the mushroom errrrr the stupefied taxpayers...

  5. Strategically, one of the best moves they've made.
  6. I'm afraid this latest version of the Somalia cut and run routine will encourage al Qaeda. They see when push comes to shove, we will back down. Then they watch the talk shows and read the internet and see that many voters do not support the President, they see a true hero like Pat Tillman being disparaged, they see terrorists called freedom fighters by Americans and they can only conclude that we are no different than the Spaniards.

    The actual decision to have the former Iraqi army in charge of security may not be totally crazy. As I said previously, the occupying authorities should have tried to keep the Iraqi army largely intact and merely replaced its top leaders with people not beholden to Saddam.

    However, once we faced off with the insurgents in Fallujah, nothing less than total victory was an acceptable result. Civilian casualties were regrettable but you have to be preapred for that if you are going to occupy a country. Obviously, our genius leaders failed to consider that possibility.

    Since we are obviously not prepared to impose our will in Iraq and seem to be intent on just smoothing the way for Muslim fanatics to take over and massacre the remaining Christians, I think we should consider withdrawing immediately. Why waste any more American lives when the mission is obviously a failure?
  7. BSAM


    Another reversal of our policy. Just like the reversal to let the former Baath Party members join in with the new government. I can't figure out what our "policy" is, in Iraq!

    Time to bring our guys home. Looks kinda like Little George may be getting consultation from Spain on this Iraqi quagmire. We seem to be drifting toward a policy of appeasement.
  8. Reversal of policy?

    George Bush doesn't flip flop.

    When he says no nation building, then begins nation building, then reverses his position, dat aint no flip flop.

    Dats just practicing politics.

  9. WTF? Now MSNBC is reporting that the Marines are denying there is any deal and that the most likely outcome remains a strike at insurgents in Fallujah.
  10. BSAM


    See, sometimes EVEN liberals are right. Congratulations, ART!!!:)
    #10     Apr 29, 2004