Monday, April 30, 2007

Maliki Purging Iraqi Officers Who Pursue Shiite Militias

Part of the justification for the Bush administration's "surge policy" in Iraq was to give the Maliki government time to try and forge political reconciliation between warring Sunnis and Shiites.

Astute observers of Iraq like Mike at Crest thought Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki was going to use the "breathing space" created by the additional U.S. surge troops to consolidate power for his Shiite allies and hurt Sunni groups as much as possible before the inevitable American troop draw down begins. This way, when the U.S. left, Maliki and his Shiite allies would be in a strengthened position to handle the conflict with Sunnis.

The Washington Post has a front page article today that suggests that's exactly the policy the Maliki government seems to be pursuing:

BAGHDAD, April 29 -- A department of the Iraqi prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to U.S. military officials in Baghdad.

Since March 1, at least 16 army and national police commanders have been fired, detained or pressured to resign; at least nine of them are Sunnis, according to U.S. military documents shown to The Washington Post.

Although some of the officers appear to have been fired for legitimate reasons, such as poor performance or corruption, several were considered to be among the better Iraqi officers in the field. The dismissals have angered U.S. and Iraqi leaders who say the Shiite-led government is sabotaging the military to achieve sectarian goals.

"Their only crimes or offenses were they were successful" against the Mahdi Army, a powerful Shiite militia, said Brig. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commanding general of the Iraq Assistance Group, which works with Iraqi security forces. "I'm tired of seeing good Iraqi officers having to look over their shoulders when they're trying to do the right thing."

So if all the U.S. surge offensive is doing is helping Maliki and his Shiite allies strengthen themselves for the coming all-out Sunni/Shiite civil war, what the hell are we bothering for?

That said, do you notice any similarities between the purge of the Iraqi officers who fail to follow Maliki's sectarian policies with the purge of U.S. attorneys who failed to follow out the Bush administration's partisan goals to make the Grand Old Party into a permanent majority?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?