First we were told that the US’s surge in Iraq was going to provide exactly the number of troops required to lock down the dissident areas of Baghdad. The problem, it was explained patiently to us, was that areas had been cleared but security hadn’t been maintained and now – stroke of genius – it would be.
Then when the car bombings resumed with ever greater ferocity, we were told that, no, of course the surge was never going to be able to lock down the terrorists/insurgents – because after all what could you do about suicide bombers? But the surge would be able to put a halt to the death squads and all these braces of bodies turning up in a street.
And now of course the death squads are back according to the indispensable ‘Iraq Today’ (now moved to http://warnewstoday.blogspot.com).
On Saturday, eleven bodies were found across Baghdad, seven in Khalis 50km north, five in Kut 180 km southeast, a family of four in Kirkuk, the mayor of Massayab was assassinated, as was the head of the muncicipal council in Fallujah, and two to seven dead in a minibus bombing in Baghdad.
And that is just a selection of the random killings, excluding the far more numerous attacks on the occupying forces and Iraqi government troops, the random mortar bombings and much more.
And that was just Saturday.
But now the Iraqi government and US forces have come to their greatest conflict yet, with prime minister Al-Maliki rearing like a Pomeranian terrier squeezed too hard, and yapping at Gen Petreus to stop construction of the wall being built around the Sunni Adhamiya neighbourhood – which the US is selling as part of its separation strategy, but which is really a ghettoisation strategy to deal with a Sunni area from whence many of the mortar attacks come.
What is really amazing is that the US is simply ignoring Al-Maliki’s request, with the US military saying it would ‘remain in dialogue’ with, erm, the elected leader of the country they’re occupying.
It’s extraordinary because bit by bit, the occupying forces are unifying Iraq – into a force ranged against them. As Haifa Zangana – an opponent of the war and occupation who was imprisoned and tortured under Saddam Hussein – notes, 75% of violent actions are now directed against occupying forces.
The attacks – 5,000 a month – are increasingly being made by ordinary Iraqis with no political affiliation. The final act of the occupation may yet be the over-running of the Green Zone. Get the popcorn and pull up a chair.