Monday, August 06, 2007

Stepping Up As Others Step Down

By Cernig

What happens when you conspire to arm any side in a civil war? The other side gets pissed.

The US military in Iraq is reporting that Shiite militia are stepping up to attack US troops as Sunni insurgents step down.
Attacks against U.S. forces were down sharply last month nationwide, and military officials have expressed cautious optimism that a security crackdown is working. At the same time, the number of attacks launched by breakaway factions of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia has increased, said Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the U.S. second-in-command.

He did not provide a total number of militia attacks. But he said 73 percent of the attacks that wounded or killed U.S. troops last month in Baghdad were launched by Shiite militiamen, nearly double the figure six months earlier.
But will the military admit that this pattern is part of the inevitable blowback from the Anbar Awakening (of Sunni opportunism)? Hell no. They'd rather blame Iran, despite the utter lack of evidence.
Odierno said Iran has sharply increased its support for the fighters ahead of a September report to Congress on progress in Iraq, leading to the surge in rogue militia action.
I suspect Iraqi insurgents are probably very insulted that the US military pretends to think they can't get the job done without Iranian hand-holding - despite the thousands of disbanded military personnel to provide experience, the years of practise, the thousands of tons of munitions and thousands of guns the US has allowed to go unchecked. But back here in the US, that pretense is being swallowed whole as it is preferable in PR terms to a narrative that says the US is incompetent at its main export, armed intervention.

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