Sunday, February 17, 2008

Awakening Discontent In Iraq

By Cernig

It seems to be escaping most people's notice - especially rightwing pro-war cheerleaders who are frantically looking the other way - but there are now two Awakening groups in two separate provinces who are refusing to co-operate with US and Iraqi forces.
U.S.-allied fighters in a province south of Baghdad have quit working with American troops after two incidents in which U.S. soldiers killed militia members _ the second province where citizen militias have stopped cooperation with the United States.

Citizen brigades in the province of Babil quit work after three members were killed by U.S. forces Friday, a local police spokesman said Saturday.

Another high-profile fatal incident occurred in the same province a little over two weeks ago. Nationwide in that time span, 19 citizen militia members have been killed and 12 wounded by U.S. forces, said the police spokesman, Capt. Muthanna Ahmed.

The action in Babil province follows a strike by citizen brigades members in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, that has gone on for more than a week. The citizen militias allege the local police chief leads a death squad and seek his removal, among other demands.

Also this past week, a leader in another powerful citizens militia warned that U.S. and Shiite-dominated Iraq forces should no longer interfere in its work, suggesting coordinated efforts against insurgents might be coming to an end.
The US military are playing down these actions, saying they are unrelated, with no underlying trend.

Yes, three separate Awakening groups decide they can't trust US occupation forces any more but that doesn't show an underlying trend...

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government have announced there's been an 80% drop in violence in Baghdad - which is 20% more than the US military says there has been - and this news is getting all the rightwing attention today. But the drop in violence, whether 60% or 80% or some other figure, is two-thirds due to Awakening co-operation and the Sadrist cease-fire. Both of those are showing signs of being time-limited.

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