Cross posted at the front page of My Left Wing.
Remember the big “crackdown” that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered in Baghdad back in June?
It’s cracking up.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In the second month of a security crackdown in the capital, U.S. military casualties appear to be rising, even as deaths among Iraqi security forces have fallen, according to U.S. military sources and analysts.
Military “experts” suspect the disparity between U.S. and Iraqi casualty trends may be partly because Iraqi police forces have grown in strength.
If the Iraqi police forces have “grown in strength,” it sure isn’t because the Iraqi Army is helping them out. 4,000 Iraqi Army troops refused to participate in the Baghdad operation.
And if Iraqi police are gaining strength, it isn’t the kind of strength we want them to have. The Associated Press reports that Iraqi authorities have taken a police brigade out of service because of its complicity with death squads. Random members of the brigade (roughly 700 strong) are being investigated for ties to militias. U.S. military spokesman Major General William B. Caldwell said that the brigade will undergo “re-training.”
The kind of “re-training” it will take to fix that brigade’s problems involves a long wall and lots of blindfolds and cigarettes.
Meanwhile, back in the other quagmire, Jane’s reports that NATO members of the International Security Assistance Force will attempt to quell the rising militancy in Afghanistan in part by “supplying the fledgling Afghan army with substantial amounts of surplus equipment and arms.”
Land o’ Goshen. Talk about inefficiency. Why doesn’t NATO cut out the middleman and give the weapons and equipment directly to the Taliban?
Over in the Lebanon goat rope, two days after Israeli Defense Forces withdrew from south Lebanon, Hezbollah leaders announced that their weapons threatening Israel will remain along the border between the two countries. Muhammad Fanish, a Hezbollah minister in the Lebanese government, says that his organization “will never give up its arms.”
The new United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has authority, according to UNIFIL spokesman Alexander Ivanko, “to act forcefully when confronted with hostile activity of any kind.”
However, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) will take the first actions in any cases of hostile activity. Now, the LAF operates under control of the Lebanese government, which in part consists of elected Hezbollah ministers. Any hostile activity it responds to will have been committed by Hezbollah. How many senior LAF officers do you reckon are part of Hezbollah? I’ll bet a mortgage payment that the number is greater than one. Any takers?
And is anyone surprised that the European Union is considering an aid program aimed at “upgrading” the LAF?
U.S. forces gather to strike a country that doesn’t have nuclear weapons and says it doesn’t want any (Iran) while the U.S. all but ignores a country that admits it has nuclear weapons and says it wants to test them (Korea).
Fallow the Leader
Under the misrule of the neoconservative cabal, America’s global leadership has never been so inept or impotent. Our ship of state is bow down in a sand dune, and even our cabin boy Britain is about to jump over the side. It’s easy to take heart that American diplomacy may improve given the reports that John Bolton’s bid for confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is dead, but I’m not counting my chickens yet. Remember when Karl Rove was about to be indicted over the Traitor-gate affair?
The Bush administration resembles nothing so much as a cheesy summer horror flick. Just when you think the monster has been rubbed out of the picture, it comes back to life again. And again. And again…
And unfortunately, even after (if ever) we manage to rub out the neoconservative monsters, we’ll still have to cope with the horrible situation they’ve created.