Thursday, March 09, 2006

"So you say you want a revolution?"

I wanted to see if there was an update on the The al-Rawafid Security Company abductions, and there is, but I also noticed this in the massive A.P. story just posted:
In Washington, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the U.S. military would depend on Iraqi security forces as much possible if Iraq's sectarian violence grows into a full-fledged civil war.

"The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur, to have the _ from a security standpoint _ have the Iraqi security forces deal with it, to the extent they are able to," Rumsfeld told the Senate Appropriations Committee as he testified in support of the administration's request for $91 billion in funds mainly to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said the key to avoiding civil war is for Iraq's political leaders to form a government of national unity.

Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, suggested separately that Iraq has been moving in the direction of civil war and described the situation in Iraq as "changing in its nature from insurgency toward sectarian violence."
I posted yesterday that there was a formation of a consensus (excluding Pace and Rumsfeld) that a civil war was developing in Iraq. I didn't come out and say such, but Zen picked up on it.

Here are (some of) my comments in response to Ezzie's (I invite all to read the entire discussion):
Now, military analysts -- with a great deal more experience than you or I and with better sources -- state that this conflict is sectarian and intensifying.

Is it not sectarian in nature?

Is it not intensifying?

Does not that mean that the trend line is toward a broad sectarian conflict in the country?

That could be reversed, and I hope that it will be. But, Khalizad has sounded a pretty clear alarm on this one. He may be the one person on earth with the best idea, or the best information at least, as to what is really happening. Compared to him, Murtha, Pace and Rumsfeld are peripheral.
Now, add to the consensus General John Abizaid (forgive the repetition, but it serves my point):
Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, suggested separately that Iraq has been moving in the direction of civil war and described the situation in Iraq as "changing in its nature from insurgency toward sectarian violence."
This war has evolved, at least in the terms that Washington is compelled to apply. First, it was a conventional war with a superpower blowing a small scale and depleted military out of the water -- well, sand.

Then it was a low grade conflict against terrorists and dead-enders.

Then it was an insurgency.

Now, it has become a civil war.

One example of the scale of this conflict can be seen in the Times of London story on al Rawafid. Numerous apparent Iraqi police raided the security company yesterday, in the middle of the day and with police in the area, and conducted several hours worth of looting. They then hauled their captives off. No police responded to the scene. The aforelinked A.P. story has more:
In an audacious attack on locally owned security firm Wednesday, gunmen dressed as Interior Ministry commandos stormed into the company's east Baghdad headquarters and took away 50 people, many of them former military personnel from Saddam Hussein's regime.

"We can confirm based on our investigation that individuals dressed like this, in chocolate-chip desert combat uniforms, riding in eight vehicles, drove up and kidnapped 50 local nationals," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said, referring to his combat fatigues. "We don't know who did that. In our conversations with Iraqi authorities, they don't know either."

The al-Rawafid Security Co. was attacked by gunmen who arrived in a convoy of vehicles, including several white SUVs and a pickup truck mounted with a heavy gun, that they used to carry away the hostages, said al-Mohammedawi.

The victims did not resist because they believed their abductors were police special forces working for the Interior Ministry, he said.

"It was a terrorist act," ministry Undersecretary Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Khefaji said.

Al-Rawafid headquarters are in Zayouna, a volatile neighborhood of Sunnis and Shiites in east Baghdad. One of its main clients is Iraqna, a cell phone company owned by Egyptian telecom giant Orascom.
Interesting how quickly this was pegged on the terrorists. Certainly, they don't want development in Iraq and this security company has helped to promote that. But does this General mean to say that the Iraqi security forces could not stop an hours long raid in the middle of the day? It seems that this was a rather conspicuous event.

They were either inept or complacent.


Blogger zen said...

I'm not entirely sure it's an either/or situation. Likely it's both.

9:43 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...


4:19 PM  

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