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They have infiltrated every branch of public service and every political office they can get their hands on.
October 29, 2006 6:25 AM   Subscribe

Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
posted by amberglow (48 comments total)

 
And this is new, from Newshour, but without a name: The highest ranking or certainly one of the highest ranking men in the United States military today has recommended that we remove all troops from Baghdad, all American troops from Baghdad…
posted by amberglow at 6:34 AM on October 29, 2006


Somebody deciding to use irregulars to do the dirty job they can't do, without losing moral grandstanding ? Absolutely nobody did ever do that in Afghanistan, nobody gave afghani warriors training and weapons, Stingers DO NOT exists, it's a plot by the liberal cabal.
posted by elpapacito at 7:08 AM on October 29, 2006


there is no cabal
posted by disclaimer at 7:46 AM on October 29, 2006


MetaFilter: Sometimes we have a feeling of complete hopelessness.
posted by rdone at 8:05 AM on October 29, 2006


Planned, enduring chaos is really working out quite nicely for the Iraqi people. I understand most of them were under privileged before.
posted by BillyElmore at 8:15 AM on October 29, 2006


Quick, someone mark a red cross on the front door of the White House!
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:27 AM on October 29, 2006


Just when I thought I couln't get any more cynical about the U.S.'s role in Iraq...
The article states that the "Salvador Option" was exposed by the U.S. media, but I missed that. When did that happen?
posted by lekvar at 8:51 AM on October 29, 2006


So what' "School of the Americas" in Arabic?
posted by PenDevil at 8:58 AM on October 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


The article states that the "Salvador Option" was exposed by the U.S. media, but I missed that. When did that happen?

Negroponte Iraq Salvador
posted by y2karl at 9:14 AM on October 29, 2006


The Salvador Option
posted by taosbat at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2006


Newsweek January 8, 2005: ‘The Salvador Option’ - The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq
posted by y2karl at 9:21 AM on October 29, 2006


Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. This war is so the stuff of Greek tragedies that someday someone should commission a VR Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles project so as to write a trilogy of trilogies about it. There is no end to characters, themes or plots.
posted by y2karl at 9:33 AM on October 29, 2006


Karen Hughes might be the go-to girl for that, y2karl.
posted by taosbat at 9:45 AM on October 29, 2006


So who is this "highest ranking military man" who spoke to Mark Shields? I know fuck-all about the military, but a quick scan through Wikipedia suggests General John Abizaid, Commander of USCENTCOM. I also noticed General Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps is retiring this November, two months early.
posted by ryanrs at 9:55 AM on October 29, 2006


Why does this remind me of how we gave money and training to the Taliban some decades ago?
posted by juliarothbort at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2006


julia, prob because it's really like that...we created that mess to counter the Soviets, and this mess to counter the Sunnis. We do it a lot, apparently, all over--and it's appalling.
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on October 29, 2006


oh---today's deaths and attacks and bodiycounts, from Reuters (note the euphemistic name for the list): Security developments in Iraq, Oct. 29
posted by amberglow at 10:24 AM on October 29, 2006


julia, prob because it's really like that...we created that mess to counter the Soviets, and this mess to counter the Sunnis. We do it a lot, apparently, all over--and it's appalling.

Exactly. A big giant lietmotif of American foreign policy seems to be supporting killers and assholes because they hate our enemies. Eventually, they turn against us, because they are, after all, killers and assholes.

Seems like we haven't learned a damn thing for the last 100 years.
posted by juliarothbort at 10:26 AM on October 29, 2006


we haven't--or rather, those who make these decisions are still the same people who made them decades ago.

More on this and the backstory (Steele, El Salvador, Honduras, Negroponte and the CIA, etc) here: You Get What You Pay For, and in Iraq We Paid for Death Squads
posted by amberglow at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2006


What has been America's smartest move since 1946? It's hard to find an unqualified 'victory' with the major exception of outlasting the Soviet threat and empire...which was done mostly by just allowing them to bankrupt themselves and by what now looks like incredible restraint by Reagan/Carter/Nixon/Kennedy. Can you imagine if Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Perle had the power then that they do? Scary thought.
posted by cell divide at 10:34 AM on October 29, 2006


enduring chaos

If the true purpose of this war were to transfer my tax dollars to Halliburton, I would have to say it's been an overwhelming success so far. And the longer it goes on, the better.
posted by neuron at 10:41 AM on October 29, 2006


cell divide, Smartest move since 1946? IMHO, normalizing relations with China. Nixon's visit took place less than 20 years after the end of the Korean conflict while the Vietnam war was still ongoing. While it took until 1979 for relations to be fully normalized, Nixon's visit was a very ballsy move that I think did a great deal towards stabilizing S.E. Asia.

It's kind of scary, not just that Bush is worse than Nixon, but how much worse than Nixon he is. He was really supposed to be the nadir of postwar American Presidents.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:02 AM on October 29, 2006


At least Nixon HAD some redeeming qualities. I think that the best that any die-hard apologist will be able to mumble in 10 years' time is that Bush was some sort of "holy fool" who was manipulated into his horrible, horrible "decisions" by Cheney and his co-conspirators.
posted by clevershark at 11:21 AM on October 29, 2006


And this is new, from Newshour, but without a name: The highest ranking or certainly one of the highest ranking men in the United States military today has recommended that we remove all troops from Baghdad, all American troops from Baghdad…

I saw this Friday night. It just might work. It puts the burden on the Iraqis to make it work. One theory about why they don't seem effective now is that they continue to rely on US forces and if they don't have this then they will take things more seriously.
posted by caddis at 11:24 AM on October 29, 2006


Eritrea has strongly denied it has deployed 2,000 troops in Somalia, claiming instead the US is using its arch rival Ethiopia to carry out a war in the country.
posted by taosbat at 11:35 AM on October 29, 2006


I think that the best that any die-hard apologist will be able to mumble in 10 years' time is that Bush was some sort of "holy fool" who was manipulated into his horrible, horrible "decisions" by Cheney and his co-conspirators.

Never underestimate the power of denial.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:52 PM on October 29, 2006


Nothing as satisfying as being right about Necroponte, except possibly being wrong, which would have been nice. Prosecutions are in order.
posted by mwhybark at 1:05 PM on October 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


...The Defense Department cannot account for 14,030 weapons — almost 4% of the semiautomatic pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other weapons it began supplying to Iraq since the end of 2003, according to a report from the office of the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction...

Missing from its inventory books were 13,180 semiautomatic pistols, 751 assault rifles and 99 machine guns, according to the audit requested by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee...
posted by taosbat at 1:56 PM on October 29, 2006


why does the FPP link not work for me? It goes to an Independent index page.
posted by wilful at 4:48 PM on October 29, 2006


I think it was temporary, wilful. I saw your comment and clicked the FPP link and got to a 404-default index page. But, the link is working properly now.
posted by taosbat at 5:12 PM on October 29, 2006


While I was on the Times site, I noticed this about Afghanistan.
posted by taosbat at 5:18 PM on October 29, 2006



Missing from its inventory books were 13,180 semiautomatic pistols, 751 assault rifles and 99 machine guns, according to the audit requested by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee


I don't think we have to call Matlock to solve this one. Your average Soldier, E-1 through E-4, pulls less than what? $25K? $35K? with combat duty. You can sell one of those sweet HK MP5's for $600-$900.
posted by tkchrist at 10:59 PM on October 29, 2006


Why does this remind me of how we gave money and training to the Taliban some decades ago?

And that was when, exactly? The Taliban were founded in 1994, long after the US left Afghanistan. Remember, the Taliban took over Afghanistan from the mujahedin warlords that the US had supported.

Basically, "the Taliban" represented a flag of convenience to many warlords, both then and now. As since the time of Alexander. It should never have been our political goal to disestablish the Taliban, something well-nigh impossible. Indeed, despite their human rights record, it's a shame that we were unable to manage a rapprochement with them in 1998 or 1999, because that would have disrupted al Qaeda something fierce. And today?

Smartest move since 1946? IMHO, normalizing relations with China.

Good call.
posted by dhartung at 11:03 PM on October 29, 2006


I don't think we have to call Matlock to solve this one. Your average Soldier, E-1 through E-4, pulls less than what? $25K? $35K? with combat duty. You can sell one of those sweet HK MP5's for $600-$900.

Sorry, but what's the implication there? That they never left home, or are being sold on the street in Iraq? Cause the latter would be treason, wouldn't it? Bound to be used against them.
posted by dreamsign at 11:54 PM on October 29, 2006


$6-900??

That's an absolute steal!

In addition to getting a class 3 firearms license, you'd be paying $18K in the US for one.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 6:08 AM on October 30, 2006


tkchrist: I don't think we have to call Matlock to solve this one. Your average Soldier, E-1 through E-4, pulls less than what? $25K? $35K? with combat duty. You can sell one of those sweet HK MP5's for $600-$900.

Rubbish. At any level below company, access to weaponry and ammunition is so tightly regulated this could never happen. For example, a brigade-level field exercise I participated in was shut down for well over six hours because some clueless 2lt lost his sidearm when he wandered off during a road march halt to take a piss.

Not to mention, no grunt I ever ran with was so stupid as to sell firearms to anyone they would likely be facing off with in the near term.

No, if it isn't an accounting error, the weapons were skimmed at a much higher level.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:49 AM on October 30, 2006


Rubbish. At any level below company, access to weaponry and ammunition is so tightly regulated this could never happen.

LOL. In a war zone like Iraq? PAH-leeeze.
posted by tkchrist at 9:30 AM on October 30, 2006


there is no cabal
posted by disclaimer at 7:46 AM PST on October 29


eponysterical? is that the word?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:49 AM on October 30, 2006


Spend a lot of time in a war zone, tkchrist?
posted by Fezboy! at 10:04 AM on October 30, 2006


When a humvee in my son's company rolled into a ditch in Iraq and landed upside down, they spent the better part of the rest of the day mucking out everything. Here are two pictures of Robert's CO, the pertinent platoon sergeant, & some hired help in action.

In a war zone like Iraq, lost munitions don't happen. That would be a company commander's ass. Please don't speak from ignorance.
posted by taosbat at 10:14 AM on October 30, 2006


&, that's all beside the point, anyway, if you read the article. These are "missing weapons the United States has provided Iraqi security forces."
posted by taosbat at 10:21 AM on October 30, 2006


Ok. Sorry I forgot about this post.

My point was there is a significant profit motive for enlisteds (and officers) to steal. Just like there is deal drugs and every other crime that isn't supposed to happen, BUT DOES, under ever command in every military in the wolrd. Especially in crazy fucking war zones like Iraq. And yes I HAVE lived in war zones. Though not as an active duty combatant.

I am the son of a three tour 'Nam vet and officer. My brother was a Major who served in the Gulf. My brother in law was a fighter jock and wing leader in the Gulf.

Everyone of them confirms that theft of weapons on one level or another occures in the enlisted ranks. Usually during transit.

My "LOL" was fezboy saying the enlisteds stealing weapons "could never happen" - when clearly it DOES.

They find a way to ship them our of country one way or another - they make more money that way. Many never hit tarmac. Certainly there are officers involved sometimes. Where there is a will and profit motive there is a way. This war has gone on for years now. A few weaons.. especially those designated for the less trained and monitored Iraqi forces, would be ideal for theft as they the least tracked. you red the part where they don't even have serial numbers for them. Right?

Dudes. Yes, the military is extremly careful. But think about it. There is heroin dealt in every maximum security prison in the US. Any "system" can be rigged.

My guess in this case is this:

A certain percentage of these missing arms NEVER GOT THERE AT ALL. In fact they were never procured at all. This would be fezboys " higher up the chain" skimming.

A certain percentage is accounting error.

A certain percentage is theft. I'm betting the largest percentage. I may be wrong. We will see.
posted by tkchrist at 1:37 PM on November 1, 2006


We must have "trained" millions of Iraqis by now, no? Didn't each of them get a gun?
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on November 1, 2006


The crime of exposing the truth about Iraq
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on November 2, 2006


tkchrist, do you always bet so heavily on a busted flush? Do you have any money? I'd like to play some cards if you do.

PS

My officer-father went to Vietnam three times, too; and I am a Vietnam-era veteran of the Berlin Brigade; and, my son has been to Iraq twice. What's that got to do with spewing a bunch of hooie will steadfastly ignoring the linked article?
posted by taosbat at 3:09 PM on November 3, 2006


Whoops! Corrected:

What's that got to do with you spewing a bunch of hooey while steadfastly ignoring the linked article?
posted by taosbat at 3:27 PM on November 3, 2006


Here are a couple of related links in another MeFi thread that pertain, if you'll read them.
posted by taosbat at 6:39 PM on November 3, 2006


I've never seen so much spin and lies: An American general in Baghdad called Iraq a "work of art" in progress yesterday in one of the most extraordinary attempts by the US military leadership to put a positive spin on the worsening violence.

On a day in which 49 people were killed or found dead around the country, ...

posted by amberglow at 8:52 PM on November 3, 2006


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