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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: The Great Divide

“Bombs still rattle the capital and elsewhere, but far less regularly. U.S. helicopters still thunder through the sky, darting here and there and raising a racket that disturbs sleep and sends packs of wild dogs into a howling nighttime frenzy.
The tanks in the streets these days aren’t American, by and large, but old Russian T-72s driven by Iraqi soldiers. Faces at military checkpoints are increasingly Iraqi.

As of Wednesday, 27 U.S. military personnel had died in March — the lowest monthly American death count since February 2004 and the second-lowest of the war, according to an Associated Press count.
Coincidental with the sharp drop in American deaths was the huge rise in the number of execution-style killings among Iraqis. Since the beginning of the month, at least 385 people — an average of more than 13 a day — have been found slain, the apparent victims of sectarian hatred and settling of old scores after a Shiite shrine was bombed Feb. 22.
The count climbs to at least 486 when the last six days of February are added, according to figures compiled from daily AP reports based on police accounts.”
-Associated Press, March 29, 2006

“Very low American death count in March! Whoo hoo! Of course, most of that isn’t because people aren’t trying to kill us. It’s because we’ve pulled back as much as possible. American bases (where we are keeping most of our troops) are usually outside the cities, and we’re letting the Iraqis go on patrol for us, so there just aren’t as many chances for the enemy to kill our troops. This isn’t victory, this is retreat, and while the American troops are thankfully staying out of harm’s way, the Iraqi civilians are not so lucky.”

“Execution-style killings and kidnappings of civilians happened before late February, of course — but not nearly in such big numbers.
In one rough accounting of the rise, for example, the AP reported 36 bodies found in Iraq in December, 150 in January and 195 in February. To date in March, the AP has reported 374 bodies found.”
-Associated Press, March 29, 2006

“What could be fueling these tensions in Iraq? Why are the people suddenly so seemingly violent?”

“Bush said that Saddam was a tyrant and used violence to exacerbate sectarian divisions to keep himself in power, and that as a result, deep tensions persist to this day.

‘The enemies of a free Iraq are employing the same tactics Saddam used, killing and terrorizing the Iraqi people in an effort to foment sectarian division,’ Bush said.”
-Associated Press, March 29, 2006

“Oh. It was that Saddam was violently fueling these deep divisions between the people of Iraq. I guess now that he’s not in power to control it the violence is overflowing. Since this sounds so evident now, why didn’t we plan on this kind of thing when we invaded?”

“There are other differences that suggest that peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than our historical experience in the Balkans suggest. There has been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia.”
-Paul Wolfowitz, February 27, 2003

“But Paul Wolfowitz was one of Bush’s inner circle in the plans to invade Iraq. He said that there was no record of ethnic militias fighting. Now Dubya is saying that Saddam was using violence to fuel sectarian divisions. I know that the wording is a little different, but wasn’t Wolfowitz saying that there weren’t deep divides between the people and Dubya is now saying that there were? I’m not sure I understand..”


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2:32 AM  

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