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06-24-2006, 12:24 AM
Post: #1
well we know that bush is pretty much lying thanks to this memo from the US ambassador to Iraq that sounds like a desperation cry

Leaked memo shows Iraq is ruled by militias

By Patrick Cockburn

A leaked cable from the US embassy in Baghdad paints a grim picture of Iraq as a country disintegrating; in which the real rulers are the militias; and the central government counts for nothing.

The cable, signed by US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and sent to the State Department in Washington on June 6, is wholly at odds with the optimistic account of developments given by President George Bush and Tony Blair in their recent visits to Iraq.

Iraqis employed by the US embassy live in fear that other Iraqis will find out who they are working for.

"We have begun shredding documents printed out that show local staff surnames," the cable says.

'Such information is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people'
"In March, a few staff approached us to ask what provisions would we make for them if we evacuate."

The US and Britain have said they would withdraw their troops as the security situation improved, although the embassy memo suggests that it was, in fact, deteriorating.

Britain said yesterday that it was to pull out 170 soldiers from Muthana province in southern Iraq when the Iraqi government takes over security there next month.

There are chilling details about why, even in the heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraqis employed by the US embassy are frightened.

"In April, employees began reporting change in demeanour of guards at the Green Zone checkpoints," the memo says. "They seemed to be more militia-like. In some cases, seemingly taunting."

The cable portrays a society in a state of collapse
The vulnerability of the US position in Baghdad is so great that the Iraqi military units guarding the perimeter of the Green Zone, the heart of US power in Iraq, are now considered untrustworthy.

An Iraqi employee asked if she could have credentials, saying she was a journalist. This was because the Iraqi soldiers would hold up "her embassy badge and proclaim loudly to nearby passers-by 'Embassy' as she entered. Such information is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people."

The memo, leaked to The Washington Post, gives a detailed account of the limited authority of the US and the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

Entitled "Snapshots from the Office: Public Affairs Staff Show Strains of Social Discord", it is one of the most revealing documents ever made public, in this case involuntarily, by US authorities in Iraq.

Based on the experiences of the nine-member Iraq staff of the public affairs press office in the US embassy, the cable portrays a society in a state of collapse.

Its contents could torpedo the claims by aides to Bush and Blair that the media is exaggerating the state of insecurity and fear in which Iraqis live.

The cable admits that the unpopularity of the American presence in Iraq is the reason why Iraqis working for the US dare not reveal the identity of their employer even to relatives.

Meanwhile a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt struck a home for the elderly in the predominantly Shi'a city of Basra on Tuesday, police said, one of a series of attacks that killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens.

Haider Ahmed Hamid, an 18-year-old Sunni from Basra, blew himself up inside the building as a group of elderly Iraqis were lined up at a window to collect their monthly pension, police Captain Mushtaq Kadhim said. Two elderly women were killed and three people - two men and a woman - were wounded, he said.

A parked minivan packed with explosives also exploded at a busy outdoor market in the Shi'a slum of Sadr City in Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 22.

There was no new word on the fate of two missing US soldiers as more than 8 000 Iraqi and American troops combed the volatile Sunni Triangle area south of Baghdad.

An al-Qaeda-linked group said on Monday that it had captured the two US privates after an attack on Friday and taunted the US military for failing to find them.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organisation for a variety of insurgent factions led by al-Qaeda in Iraq, offered no video, identification cards or other evidence to prove that they have the Americans. The group had vowed to seek revenge for the June 7 killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in a US airstrike.

Police said the motive for the attack on the old-age home was unclear, but sectarian tensions have been worsening in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, where Britain has about 8 000 soldiers.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a state of emergency there late last month, but it has failed to quell the rampant violence as rival Shi'ite militias battle Sunnis and each other for power. - Independent Foreign Service, Sapa-AP
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08-15-2006, 03:28 PM
Post: #2
Christopher Hitchens debates George Galloway
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08-16-2006, 02:04 PM
Post: #3
Star Wars In Iraq
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