Yes this is how bad things have gotten. The British had to storm a primarily Shia police station in the supposedly calm southern part of Iraq (Basra) so they could save the lives of two of their men.
Read between the lines the iraqi police force are more loyal to AL-Sadr and the Mahedi Army then to the COalition.
This adventure cannot end soon enough for me. It pains me to say this but at this point we should just withdraw and concede failure. The Bush Doctrine is worthless. There is no way in hell these animals will be democratic, and they have had their chance.
We fought and died for these people's freedom and what did they do? they wiped their @ss with it. What a disgrace this is turning out to be.
Attacks in Southern Iraq
Raise Doubts on Free Rein
For Militias Linked to Iran
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 21, 2005; Page A12
A surge of violence in Basra, Iraq's second-biggest city, has raised new doubts about the U.S.-led coalition's strategy for pacifying southern Iraq by giving free rein to Shiite religious militias with ties to neighboring Iran.
Backed by the U.S., the British forces in southern Iraq have effectively looked the other way as Shiite Muslim religious parties solidified their control over the city's government and as militia members joined the local police force while maintaining loyalty to militia leaders. The policy choice rested on an unspoken trade-off, with the British banking on the militias' ability to prevent insurgents from sowing instability or endangering Basra's ports and oil fields.
The coalition strategy for Basra has left militiamen in control of Basra's police force and Shiite fighters in plain clothes circulating openly in the city. A combination of the two forces has been blamed for the abduction and murder of two journalists, including one American. [B]The forces are also at the center of the growing international dispute with Britain that erupted this week after British tanks crashed through a Basra prison and British forces raided a private house to free a pair of undercover commandos who had been arrested by Iraqi police and then handed over to militiamen.[/B]
The new violence has sparked fears that the Shiite militias aren't under the control of either the British forces in the city or the central government in Baghdad. In the case of the British soldiers, the Interior Ministry in Baghdad ordered officials in Basra to release the two men, but the demands were ignored.
"The British policy was the triumph of short-term stability over long-term success: The Shiite militias metastasize like cancer when they find out they can get away with things," said Michael Rubin, a former adviser to the American occupation authority in Iraq now at the American Enterprise Institute. "We always think we're playing the Iraqis, but they always end up playing us."
The uptick of violence in southern Iraq comes amid unrelenting insurgent attacks throughout the country. Eight American soldiers were killed in roadside attacks yesterday, while a suicide car bombing near the northern city of Mosul killed a State Department security officer and three American security contractors.
It is also happening as Shiites ratchet up their demands for far-reaching regional autonomy in southern Iraq ahead of a key referendum next month on the country's draft constitution. Shiite leaders are pressing for the creation of an oil-rich quasistate comprising Basra and eight neighboring provinces, a step fiercely opposed by Sunni Muslim Arabs, who complain that Shiite leaders are using militias and government forces to intimidate them through mass arrests and targeted killings.
The new tensions in Basra stem from the Shiite religious parties' growing impatience to impose strict religious law across the region and establish a largely independent regional government, said Kenneth Katzman, an Iraq expert at the Congressional Research Service, which provides analysis to U.S. lawmakers. He noted that Shiite militias in Basra have already begun effectively segregating the city's schools, beating up or arresting alcohol sellers and forcing men to wear beards.
"The militias and the parties want Islamic law and a form of Islamic government in Basra, and they're increasingly impatient with anyone trying to restrain them," he said. [B]"What we're seeing is the creeping Islamization of that entire region."[/B]
The Shiite parties' main instrument for expanding their power over Basra has come from their ability to place militiamen in the city's police force. In an interview with a British newspaper this summer, Basra's police chief, Gen. Hassan al-Sade, admitted that three-quarters of his force of 13,600 men were openly loyal to the religious parties. Western visitors to the city say police cars there are emblazoned with posters of the Shiite parties.
"You have fighters from the different militias in the police force who don't give their allegiance to the police commander or the governor," said Peter Khalil, a former security adviser to the occupation authorities who now works for the Eurasia Group, a consulting company in New York. "These guys have just seeped in for months, with no transparency in their recruitment and no vetting of their backgrounds."
Sunni residents of Basra have complained for months that Shiites are using government security forces to conduct mass arrests and targeted killings designed to intimidate them. Shiite leaders have denied the accusations, but tensions between the two groups continue to rise.
Three British soldiers have been killed so far this month in roadside bombings that London attributed to Sunni militants who infiltrated the region from the restive central province of al-Anbar. The Sunni fighters' ability to carry out the attacks in a predominantly Shiite region suggested that embittered Sunni residents of the Basra area have begun offering shelter and other logistical support to militants from other parts of the country, Mr. Katzman said.
"The fact that Sunnis there are now welcoming insurgents from the rest of Iraq is obviously very worrisome," he said.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=bitonti]let me know when you ladies grow the nads that will allow you to actually respond to the factual content of my post.[/QUOTE]
Bit - you're obsessed with professing Iraq as lost cause and I won't waste time responding to obsession, unless she's really hot.
[QUOTE=quantum]So...is bit really Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon?[/QUOTE]
I'd say in this thread Bit is like a US President in an alien invasion film, one who's just seen the awesome of the extraterrestrials and who now realizes there's no hope. [I]"God help us all"[/I] he might wearily croak into the microphones in a press conference before a lazer ray blows his stage up, thus hammering home the gravity of the situation to the dazed nation - and whoever is playing the hero, of course.
[QUOTE=bitonti]So you think it's healthy to have British troops attacking Iraqi police stations?[/QUOTE]
Not really. But, is every Iraqi police station being attacked by British troops or are you projecting like a West Side Stadium architect? This war didn't break out yesterday, it's a grind. These incidents are going to happen. No one said they won't. You, though, have been consistently anti-Iraq since day 1 scooping up whatever comes floating down the river to feed your argument while ignoring everything that damages your hypothesis.
[QUOTE=bitonti]as for sackdance don't blame me that all the news coming out of Iraq is bad. The administration has been through how many leaders on the ground?
Maybe just maybe it's time to face the fact that this was a bad idea from the word go.
There's no sense staying the course when the course is doomed.[/QUOTE]
Hear the news coming out of Union Square that Cindy Sheehan got about a few dozen supporters at her anti-war rally a couple of days ago? Didn't think so.
[QUOTE=quantum]:eek: Missed today's medication? Sometimes you make sense; you do know football, and you are a Jets fan. Don't feel so persecuted.[/QUOTE]
in this forum you and I have never seen face to face. Don't pretend like there's room in your closed mindset for "reasonable" dissent - there isn't. You are like many posters here and are operating under the maxim either you are with George Bush or you are with the terrorists. If you can search the forums and come up with a complimentary post by you quantum referencing one of my political posts, I'd be happy to retract my statement and apologize. Such posts do not exist and I am not playing the martyr but I am calling you on that.
[QUOTE=bitonti]in this forum you and I have never seen face to face. Don't pretend like there's room in your closed mindset for "reasonable" dissent - there isn't. You are like many posters here and are operating under the maxim either you are with George Bush or you are with the terrorists. If you can search the forums and come up with a complimentary post by you quantum referencing one of my political posts, I'd be happy to retract my statement and apologize. Such posts do not exist and I am not playing the martyr but I am calling you on that.[/QUOTE]
I dispute your characterization of "closed mindset".
I don't think you're 'with the terrorists'; Chicken Little perhaps. Intentionally unwilling to see any good news makes you intellectually dishonest, but not a terrorist.
Where's the search feature? ;)
I'm not asking for an apology; we're just not seeing "face to face" (or "eye to eye"?) again. I sometimes agree with parts of your posts, but then you get all Howard Dean, X-Files on me. Not a biggie. :)