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Four Color Politics

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

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Get Out

“Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded the removal of American checkpoints from the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday, in what appeared to be his latest and boldest gambit in an increasingly tense struggle for more independence from his American protectors.
The language of the declaration, which implied that Mr. Maliki had the power to command American forces, seemed to overstep his authority and to be aimed at placating his Shiite constituency.”
-New York Times, October 31, 2006

“Heh. Silly little puppet. Doesn’t he know who he is talking to? We are the U.S. of A.. We invade countries for no reason whatsoever. What makes him think that we will listen to him?”

“On Tuesday, U.S. forces dismantled road blocks around the Mahdi Army's Baghdad stronghold, the Sadr City neighborhood, following an order from the prime minister that was the latest in a series of challenges to the U.S. designed to test Washington's readiness to give him a greater say in securing the world's most violent capital.
Aides to the prime minister say he hopes to expand his authority by exploiting the pressure on President Bush over rising voter dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war and the rising U.S. death toll.”
-Associated Press, November 1, 2006

“Oh.. I guess we did listen to him. Odd. Still, no big deal. It just means that our troops won’t be caught up in those vulnerable check points. I mean heck, it isn’t like they were doing anything important.”

“U.S. forces, who had set up the checkpoints in Baghdad last week as part of an unsuccessful search for the soldier, drove away in Humvees and armored personnel carriers at the 5 p.m. deadline set by al-Maliki. Iraqi troops, who had manned the checkpoints with the Americans, loaded coils of razor wire and red traffic cones onto pickup trucks.”
-Associated Press, November 1, 2006

“They were searching for a captured soldier? And we let them tell us to go home? Very odd. We listened to the Iraqi government even when it meant doing away with a piece of our search for a missing soldier. We must really want al-Maliki to seem legitimate.”

“A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict.
A one-page slide shown at the Oct. 18 briefing provides a rare glimpse into how the military command that oversees the war is trying to track its trajectory, particularly in terms of sectarian fighting.
The slide includes a color-coded bar chart that is used to illustrate an ‘Index of Civil Conflict.’ It shows a sharp escalation in sectarian violence since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, and tracks a further worsening this month despite a concerted American push to tamp down the violence in Baghdad.
One significant factor in the military’s decision to move the scale toward ‘chaos’ was the expanding activity by militias.
Another reason was the limitations of Iraqi government security forces, which despite years of training and equipping by the United States, are either ineffective or, in some cases, infiltrated by the very militias they are supposed to be combating. The slide notes that ‘ineffectual’ Iraqi police forces have been a significant problem, and cites as a concern sectarian conflicts between Iraqi security forces.
Other significant factors are in the political realm. The slide notes that Iraq’s political and religious leaders have lost some of their moderating influence over their constituents or adherents.”
-New York Times, October 30, 2006

“So we have a choice. We can start listening to the Iraqis or we can let the country slide further into chaos. Yep, things over there are going swimmingly.. Now we just need to figure out what to do if al-Maliki tells us that he wants us out of Iraq.”


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