Just as soon as we think the situation in Iraq is going to get worse, it does.
Business for the new, improved Iraqi version of al-Qaeda is booming. The Iraq central government is farther pushing the country into a wide-open, no-holds-barred, bloody civil war each and every day.
And literally scrambling around in the crosshairs of a shitload of gun barrels are US military personnel.
- U.S. troops killed 12 militants during an “uptick” in fighting Sunday, the military said, as fierce clashes broke out in Baghdad’s Sadr City district after radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned he will declare war if a crackdown against his followers persists.
Sadr City, a sprawling district of some 2.5 million people in eastern Baghdad, has seen daily clashes between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces who have launched a crackdown against Shiite militias led by al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.
But (US military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steve) Stover said the fighting on Sunday was among the fiercest.
“There was an uptick in violence in comparison with the past couple of weeks,” Stover said, although he declined to link it to al-Sadr’s warning, which was broadcast over mosque loudspeakers in the district late Saturday.
“We’re not looking for a fight but what we are doing is protecting the Iraqi people,” Stover said.
— Bushra Juhi, Associated Press, (4/20/08)
According to Sadr, however, protecting the Iraqi people means for the US to get the shit out of Dodge — or Baghdad.
And Col. Stover’s little verbage from the AP story — “uptick” — might be the call sign for the last phase of US involvement in Iraq.
From “Mission Accomplished” to the “surge” and finally to an “uptick,” Decider George’s horrible little war, now officially considered a “major debacle” by his own Pentagon people, could be gearing for a traumatic ending.
In a statement today, Sadr ripped into Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for allowing the fighting to continue against his Mahdi Army.
Maliki said earlier in the day the central Iraq government would not tolerate armed groups, including Sadr’s militia and the country was not going to become the “the new Somalia.”
(Nothing but chaos and turmoil in Somalia since 1991 — tribal factions have continued to slaughter each other — and the US was slightly, but terribly involved, i.e., the ‘Black Hawk Down’ episode in 1993, and on Sunday, news reports indicated 81 civilians were killed in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, during the current fighting between Ethiopian troops and Islamic militants).
And Sadr appears fairly pissed. Just yesterday, he gave a “final warning” to the government to halt a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown against his followers or he would declare “open war until liberation.”
And on Sunday, in response to Maliki, the words got harsh:
- “As far as I’m aware, the Iraqi forces supported by the occupation forces attacked some of our believer brothers.
“They killed them in the most gruesome of ways and then burned them, and refused to hand over their pure bodies for burial,” he said, referring to clashes in Nasiriya on Saturday that left 16 militiamen dead and another 22 wounded. Eleven police officers were also wounded in the fighting.
— cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast, (4/20/08)
While Sadr was delivering his “final warning” on Saturday, the real US nemesis, al-Qaeda, also exploded some words out into the riddled air:
- BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — A man claiming to be the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq mocked the death toll of American troops and urged his fighters to launch an offensive against U.S. forces in the next few weeks.
“The reason I give this speech is that the enemy declared — even though it might be lying — that its death toll in Iraq has reached 4,000,” he said.
“So we call upon our heroes … to ask every group within a month from the time it hears this, to offer the head of an American as a gift to the deceitful [President] Bush,” he continued.
As of Saturday, 4,036 U.S. troops had died in the Iraq war.
— cnn.com, (4/19/08)
Talk about a damn uptick! These nasty-assed al-Qaeda boys are booming bombers. Decider George and his follow-up boy, Jackboot John McCain, won’t and can’t bear the understanding there would not be an al-Qaeda in Iraq without the US invasion and subsequent Iraq meltdown.
The best foreign newsman in Iraq gives an assessment:
- “God is Great,” screamed a man seconds before he blew himself up, killing 10 people in a restaurant in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq. A series of suicide bombings have shown over the past week that al-Qa’ida in Iraq, though battered by defections over the past year, is striking back remorselessly at Sunni Arab leaders who ally themselves to the US.
In another attack in the village of Albu Mohammed, south of Kirkuk, an elderly man thought by guards to be too old to be a bomber, walked unsearched into a tent filled with mourners attending the funeral of two Sunni tribesmen who had been killed after they joined al-Sahwa, the Awakening Council, as the pro-US Sunni group is called. The man detonated the explosives hidden under his long Arab robes, killing at least 50 people.
A vicious civil war is now being fought within Iraq’s Sunni Arab community between al-Qa’ida in Iraq and al-Sahwa while other groups continue to attack American forces. In Baghdad on a single day the head of al-Sahwa in the southern district of Dora was killed in his car by gunmen and seven others died by bombs and bullets in al-Adhamiya district.
— Patrick Cockburn, independent.co.uk/news/world, (4/19/08)
And last week:
- â€œWhere the American invasion stands now, after five years, is failure and defeat,” the voice on the tape — supposedly that of Ayman al-Zawahiri — said in the roughly 16-minute recording, which was posted Thursday on several militant Islamist Web sites.
The tape referenced testimony by David Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Iraq, before Congress this month, when he said that further troop withdrawals in Iraq will have to wait at least another 45 days.
“It is all a silly episode to disguise failure in Iraq and so Bush would avoid making a decision on withdrawing troops — which is considered to be a declaration of crusaders’ defeat in Iraq — and move forward the problem to be the next president’s issue,” he said.
— cnn.com, (4/17/08)
Uptick of the situation is grim indeed.
Decider George has already gone down in history, gone way down, down to a place where there is absolutely no uptick at all.
And the horrible, aching horror of it all is that he’s dragged everybody else down with him.
Especially those mostly-young US peoples having to live and survive in Decider George’s inferno.