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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Iraqis Claim They Are Ready To Take Over Security

That's the report from the AP just a few minutes ago, and I wish I shared their confidence:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday he believed Iraqi forces would be ready by June 2007 to take full control of security in Iraq, an issue on which he pressed President Bush during their meeting in Amman, Jordan.

In making the argument that his military and police could handle security in the country, al-Maliki has routinely said the force could do the job within six months.

"I can say that Iraqi forces will be ready, fully ready to receive this command and to command its own forces, and I can tell you that by next June our forces will be ready," al-Maliki said in an interview with ABC News.

Bush and al-Maliki agreed that the United States would speed efforts to turn security over the Iraqi forces, although they mentioned no timetable during a post-summit news conference.

Al-Maliki also said he rejects all Iraq's militias, including the Madhi Army of the powerful, anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who is a key ally of the Shiite prime minister. Despite such promises in the past, al-Maliki has frustrated the Bush administration by doing little to curb militias, which have been heavily involved in Iraq's spiraling sectarian violence in city's such as Baghdad.

Al-Malaki said he reassured Bush of "the government's resolve to impose the government's authority, bring stability, hold to account outlaws, and limit the possession of arms to the hands of the government."

Al-Maliki said he was determined to ensure that Iraq's security forces have the weapons and the training needed to fight more effectively on the battlefield.

"We mean by arming, the weapons fit to fight the terrorists ... the light and effective weapons, vehicles, armor vehicles and helicopters that will be active in the next phase in the fight against the terrorists," he said.

One of the main goals of the U.S. coalition is to train enough Iraqi soldiers and police to take over its security responsibilities, especially in western Iraq, where al-Qaida in Iraq is powerful, and Baghdad, where fighting between Sunni militants and Shiite militias is escalating.

Bush said the U.S. would accelerate a planned handover of security responsibility to Iraqi forces but assured al-Maliki that Washington is not looking for a "graceful exit" from the war.

Earlier Thursday, al-Maliki called on lawmakers and Cabinet ministers loyal to al-Sadr to end their boycott of the government in response to his summit with Bush.

"I hope they reconsider their decision because it doesn't constitute a positive development in the political process," al-Maliki said at a news conference on his return to Baghdad from a two-day visit to neighboring Jordan, where he met with Bush and King Abdullah II.

Anyone heartened by this development? We're not, and it's due mostly to the fact that al-Maliki seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand, he enjoys the support he's received from Moqtada al-Sadr, and wants him left to his own devices, and on the other hand, he wants his militia disarmed and disbanded. But al-Sadr's actions within the parliament sends a much different message to us. It tells us that he's playing the game of politics in Iraq very well.

If he withdraws support from al-Maliki, then the prime minister is assailed, and he can ride to the rescue when the time is right, which will no doubt garner more favor from al-Maliki. It's almost as though al-Maliki is pinning his hopes on al-Sadr helping him run and control the country. Too bad that al-Sadr doesn't buy that same idea. He dislikes the new Iraqi government just as much as the Iranians do. He doesn't like the fact that al-Maliki, or any other officials of the new Iraqi government, hasn't ordered the "infidels" from Iraqi soil.

I'm happy that al-Maliki has the confidence that his countrymen can take up the duties in the next six months. And I'm happy that the president wants to conduct a draw down of troops as the Iraqis take up more duties. What I'm not happy about is exactly what Marcie just observed, which is as this sort of talk continues, we expect the violence to decrease. The terrorists will begin to lie low, awaiting our departure.

That was a warning that has been pushed around the blogosphere, and it came from the administration. That's why we weren't setting any sort of a timetable in the first place. Now, a date has been issued by al-Maliki. We predict that the Mahdi militia will stem its violence as the date approaches, allowing al-Sadr to point out that his army has disbanded, and luring the Iraqi government into a false sense of security. As soon as we're gone, then I'm afraid that violence is going to start right back up again. The Shi'ites and Sunnis hate each other, and their blood feud goes back to just after Mohammed's death. And while their relations have soothed over the years, there are some--amongst the most militant of both sects--that have taken up the sword in the continuing feud.

Of course, I could be wrong. We could leave, and if Iraq is stable enough, there may be a serious reduction in violence. But I'm a realist, and I don't think things will be hunky-dory when we pull out and they take over. I'm betting that there will be a reduction in violence until we leave, and then it's going to ratchet back up, and I also believe that al-Sadr will fuel that fighting. I don't have any evidence to back it up. It's just a gut feeling.

Publius II


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