Thursday, June 22, 2006
Somewhere, Joseph Conrad Is Laughing....
...or crying. Can't decide which, after reading this:
TRACY, California (AP) -- The Pentagon waited nine months after completing an investigation into the deaths of two U.S. soldiers before notifying relatives the men were killed by Iraqi troops, the military acknowledged Wednesday. The June 2004 deaths of Army Spc. Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr., 34, of Tracy, and 2nd Lt. Andre D. Tyson, 33, of Riverside, were originally attributed to an ambush during a patrol near Balad, Iraq. The Army said this week a military investigation found the two had been shot by Iraqi civil defense officers. No possible motive has been divulged. Military officials visited Tyson's family on Tuesday and McCaffrey's on Wednesday to deliver the report, which was completed on September 30, 2005, according to Sen. Barbara Boxer. The California Democrat called the nine-month delay troubling. "If the American people knew that the people we are directly helping train turned on our soldiers, support for this war would slip," Boxer said. "It's very disturbing to think that the Pentagon might be told to keep this kind of thing close to the vest."This ties in rather neatly with this:
THE level of violence in some areas of Iraq is worsening dramatically and US forces may soon be asked to leave by the Iraqi Government. In an exclusive interview with The Australian, former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage has given a gloomy assessment of the situation. "The British used to make a big deal of walking around in their berets in the south," he said. "Now they won't even go to the latrines without their helmets. The south has got much rougher, it's mainly Shia on Shia violence." Mr Armitage said much of the violence came from differences over how the Islamic religion should be interpreted. And he said he believed the Iraqis would soon ask the US to leave their country. The most optimistic scenario following a US withdrawal would be that Iraq would become a loose federation - although the term federation would not be used because it upsets neighbouring Turkey - with a weak central government. "The difficulty then will be to stop them (the Iraqis) causing violence for their neighbours," Mr Armitage said. This was because almost all of Iraq's neighbours had restive Shia minorities and the governments of both Iraq and Iran would come under pressure to intervene on their behalf.Oh, and there's also this from a few months ago:
Since the Iraqi elections in January, US foreign service officers at the Baghdad embassy have been writing a steady stream of disturbing cables describing drastically worsening conditions. Violence from incipient communal civil war is rapidly rising. Last month there were eight times as many assassinations committed by Shia militias as terrorist murders by Sunni insurgents. The insurgency, according to the reports, also continues to mutate. Meanwhile, President Bush's strategy of training Iraqi police and army to take over from coalition forces - "when they stand up, we'll stand down" - is perversely and portentously accelerating the strife. State department officials in the field are reporting that Shia militias use training as cover to infiltrate key positions. Thus the strategy to create institutions of order and security is fuelling civil war. Rather than being received as invaluable intelligence, the messages are discarded or, worse, considered signs of disloyalty. Rejecting the facts on the ground apparently requires blaming the messengers. So far, two top attaches at the embassy have been reassigned elsewhere for producing factual reports that are too upsetting.And as you read these three stories, note that two of them came from papers outside of the US. The US media is in the RNC's hip pocket and always will be.
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