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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2006

    Iraqi elections solve little

    From Middle East Reference, a very interesting article:

    The participation of Sunni Arab parties in the new government is even less likely given the new US strategy in the country. The Bush administration has made it clear that it wants to remove the bulk of its troops from the country by early next year, and seeks instead to replace its boots on the ground with bombs from its planes. Through most of 2004 and 2005, US planes were launching around 25 air strikes a month. From November, that figure jumped to 120, and to 150 in December alone. Just as Britain tried to crush the Kurdish and tribal revolts of 1920s Iraq through intensive RAF bombing raids, US military officials are arguing that their role now is to provide the airpower to complement Iraqi ground assaults on rebellious Sunni Arab areas. The consequences of that strategy became all too apparent when a US fighter plane dropped a bomb on a residential house in the town of Baiji on 2nd January, incinerating the whole family of six. The US military released a statement admitting that they had hit the “wrong house”, but that this nonetheless had “successful effects against the insurgents”. Increasingly it is justifying its actions by claiming that it is acting with the permission of the Iraqi government. If anything is likely to drive the Sunni Arabs of Iraq away from accepting the new government, dispelling thoughts of national unity and perpetuating the brutal war, it is going to be this combination of wrong houses and American ‘successes’.
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