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Army Of Dude

The 'awakening group' movement first appeared in Anbar in late 2005 (or if you're John McCain, it started in a time warp before and after the surge) and has since grown to a large, lethal force that battles elements of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq. That is usually where the media narrative leaves you, insinuating that these groups are patriotic volunteers casting out the demons of al-Qaeda. What they don't mention is both the original motivations for these groups and their history of battling American soldiers. One of the latest to operate (and propped up by my unit in Diyala Province) is the 1920 Revolution Brigade. I covered their nationalist history a year ago, citing their name was a throwback to the 1920 revolution to oust British influence. So this group in particular didn't start in 2005, 2006 or even 2007, but in 2003 for one reason: to attack and kill Americans.
So the enemy of our enemy turns out to be our allies only because we pay them not to be our enemies:

Unfortunately, we couldn't take out the trash that easily. We grudingly worked with the 1920s as per our orders. We were moderately successful in tracking down al-Qaeda operatives (or possibly doing in-house cleaning) and caches. But the point isn't the success of turning over a new leaf with insurgents, though. We traded in our values, our self reliance to get things done, for $300 a head. We did not destroy our enemy but rather aided them. We secured not only their future success, but the future instability with the Iraqi government. Maliki and his Shia government adamantly oppose the Sunni groups and have said in the past that they will never become a permanent part of Iraqi forces
So, one part of why the surge worked is because we managed to buy our Sunni allies with $300. But, in all things, inflation may appear to be a major factor in our purchase. Also, a rose by any other name......

But they don't pay the former insurgents, we do, as taxpayers. That's why they're trying to leverage the American military into giving them more money, the ol' "pay me more or I'm going back to killing you" ruse. And for their part, they'll probably be successful. Commanders know that they're important not for killing al-Qaeda, but for not fighting us. They're not allies, they're enemies with benefits. And they're holding the cards.

Why isn't there an outcry from the media and citizenry about these people? Quite simply, the military led the media by its nose when they characterized insurgents as "concerned" and proudly spoke of them as volunteers. To further confuse people, they were renamed 'Baqubah Guardians' and then finally 'Sons of Iraq,' each name a brighter shade of lipstick for the same dirty pig. They're only growing stronger and more experienced as time goes on, watching coalition forces close up, looking for every weakness. They've already discovered a big one: our over-reliance on their dirty, sectarian work.

Army of Dude

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Army Of Dude on Memorial Day.


Codpiece Day

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I have to give Digby credit for coining Codpiece Day. However, Kyle E. Moore over at Comments From Left Field makes the point for the day.

Well, boys and girls, we’re still in Iraq, and since declaring the end of major combat operations, a full 97% of the men and women who have died in Iraq have done so following that potentially great day. And, of course, if we choose to elect John McCain as our next Commander in Chief, we will have many more Mission Accomplished Days to celebrate.
Do I really need to add to that?

Oh hell, of course I don't. Besides, rhetorical question. Duh.
The Green Zone has been stained red with American blood.

BBC

Three US service personnel have been killed and 31 wounded by rocket attacks on the Green Zone and a base elsewhere in Baghdad, the US military has said.

The rocket attack at 1530 (1230 GMT) on the Green Zone, which houses government offices and foreign embassies, killed two personnel and wounded at least 17.

A separate attack at the same time on a forward operating base in the Rustamiya district killed another and injured 14.

The attacks came after fierce fighting between US forces and Shia militiamen.
Somehow, I do not think this is going to jive with the testimony I am sure the White House has already written for General Petraeus's appearance before congress.
Xinhua.com

BASRA, Iraq, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Up to 30 people were killed and some 60 others wounded in the ongoing fierce clashes between Iraqi security forces and the Shiite Mahdi Army militia in the southern oil hub of Basra, medical and police sources said on Tuesday.

    "Two hospitals in the city have received 30 bodies, including three policemen," a medical source in the city told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
There is also word of the arrest of 17 US soldiers:

ICH

25/03/08 "RTI" -- - Reported, Abu Al-Khasib another city close to Basra, now under Mahdi Army control, Iraqi government calls special forces from Karbala led by Maliki’s “brothers in law” to move to Basra.

Just reported from Alwasatonline reporter in Basra, Mahdi Army managed to arrest 17 American soldiers, and seizes 7 hammer military vehicles, because of these developments the Iraqi government offered to negotiates with MA but Muqtada Al-Sadr refused any negotiations, also 250 Iraqi soldiers gave themselves up to Mahdi Army.
I wonder how long the Legacy Media can keep this out of the news? At some point, the internet is going to be screaming bloody hell over the disaster that appears to be unfolding in Iraq at this moment.
Christian Science Monitor

The Mahdi Army's seven-month-long cease-fire appears to have come undone.

Rockets fired from the capital's Shiite district of Sadr City slammed into the Green Zone Tuesday, the second time in three days, and firefights erupted around Baghdad pitting government and US forces against the militia allied to the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

At the same time, the oil-export city of Basra became a battleground Tuesday as Iraqi forces, backed by US air power, launched a major crackdown on the Mahdi Army elements. British and US forces were guarding the border with Iran to intercept incoming weapons or fighters, according to a senior security official in Basra.

So much for the success of The Surge™. Be prepared for BushCo™'s call to increase the troop levels. You know, to restore the success of the Surge™.

Worse. Fucking. President. EVER. Worse. Fucking. Administration. EVER. And all of this done just to prove he had a bigger dick then daddy.

New York Times

WASHINGTON — Troop levels in Iraq would remain nearly the same through 2008 as they have been through most of the five years of war there, under plans presented to President Bush on Monday by the senior American commander and the top American diplomat in Iraq, senior administration and military officials said.
<sarcasm>Imagine that. The promised troop reduction pre surge has been abandoned. A raise of hands of all those who are shocked, Shocked! I tell you, at this unforeseen turn of events.</sarcasm>
Star Tribune

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq - Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday endorsed, for the first time, the idea of pausing the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq this summer.

"A brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense," Gates told reporters after meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. Petraeus has indicated in recent weeks that he wants a "period of evaluation" this summer to assess the impact on Iraq security of reducing the U.S. military presence from 20 brigades to 15 brigades.

In other words, you bastards lied to us about the surge, its purpose, the goals, and its actual success. Had the surge produced positive change, made the political, ethnic and religious conditions more favorable for peaceful coexistence, would there even need to be a discussion of "consolidation and evaluation?" Of course not. We could bring our service personnel home without any type of waiting and evaluating. There would be clear, observable facts on the ground even as I type this post. But that is not the case, is it?

11 Killed in Baghdad

5 US soldier killed

Arming Iraq's Future Gangs

Iraqi Women Struggle

The wingnuts can scream all they want about schools being painted, etc., etc., etc. But in the end, there is still too much conflict, death, and destruction in Iraq to claim any kind of success.

The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON - The Army's top officer, General George Casey, told Congress yesterday that his branch of the military has been stretched so thin by the war in Iraq that it can not adequately respond to another conflict - one of the strongest warnings yet from a military leader that repeated deployments to war zones in the Middle East have hamstrung the military's ability to deter future aggression.
And yet Cheney's pipe dream is still on the table.

It's fucking insane.
Washington Post

MoveOn, saying it had no reason to believe it was paying "anything other than the normal and usual charge," said yesterday that it would send the Times $77,000 to make up the difference.

The Times also violated its own advertising policy, which bars "attacks of a personal nature," Hoyt reported. He wrote that the episode "gave fresh ammunition to a cottage industry that loves to bash The Times as a bastion of the 'liberal media.' "

Many Republicans have seemed to prefer talking about MoveOn's ad rather than the war itself.

Even the Washington Post notes it's nothing more than a diversion from the war itself.

Pathetic.
New York Daily News

The old gray lady has some explaining to do.

Officials at the New York Times have admitted a liberal activist group was permitted to pay half the rate it should have for a provocative ad condemning U.S. Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus.

The MoveOn ad, which cast Petraeus as "General Betray Us" and attacked his truthfulness, ran on the same day the commander made a highly anticipated appearance before Congress.

But since the liberal group paid the standby rate of $64,575 for the full-page ad, it should not have been guaranteed to run on Sept. 10, the day Petraeus warned Congress against a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Times personnel said.

"We made a mistake," Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications for The Times, told the newspaper's public editor.


I swear, if there was ever a case of hitting your head against the brick wall because it feels good when you stop, the orcosphere and it's legacy media cohorts are prime examples. This well was dry from the beginning and yet they continue to go back to it time and again.

General Petraeus' testimony had zero affect on the opinion of the American populous. Yet, here they go again, attempting to score some kind of political resurrection by attacking the New York Times' selling of ad space. In truth, all they are doing is making their voices become background noise to be filtered out with the rest.

But what the hell. Go ahead fellas and fillies, keep beating that particular wall. However, I recommend some Ibuprofen, a strong cup of coffee, and maybe a few minute break in between bashes. Oh, and I suggest you don't add cream and sugar to the coffee, it ruins the ability of caffeine to reduce the pain.

What Slogan Will We Hear Tonight?

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The Gavel

Great comparison between the Slogans of BushCo™ and the truth in Iraq.

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