Monday, August 28, 2006

Stand up stand down

It doesn't appear that Bush's "stand up stand down" policy is working out very well.
A group of Iraqi soldiers refused to go to Baghdad to participate in the effort to restore order in the Iraqi capital....
And this doesn't exactly sound like unit cohesion to me. Brigadier General Dana Pittard says that the Iraqi troops, who are Shiite,
felt ... like they were needed down there in Maysan, in that province.
Chain of command apparently has an entirely different meaning among the Iraqi troops that US forces are training and that now the generals defer to troops based on how they feel about things. Can you imagine US troops telling their superiors what their deployment would be based on feelings and that US generals would say, oh, ok.

But the feeling of these Iraqi troops is entirely understable given that the Shiite militia of Moqtada-al-Sadr, the Mahdi Army, have been fighting Iraqi troops. Baghdad, we have a problem. US ambassador Khalilzad has said that the Iraqi government must move to disband the militias. But Prime Minister Maliki is unlikely to touch the Mahdi Army of al-Sadr because al-Sadr has 30 seats in parliament and close ties to Maliki. Given that Maliki will likely not condemn al-Sadr's militia, others most assuredly will not disband.

And while this seeminly intractable situation remains just that, American troops will continue to slog around Iraq, hoping not to get blown up, because George Bush doesn't want to look like a loser.


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