DEMANDS US LEAVE BEHIND "HEAVY WEAPONRY" AND BASES
THE WORLD'S FASTEST GROWING REFUGEE CRISIS
Bush Co. and the American military has been negotiating with insurgency and resistance groups in Iraq since shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
As we know now, the insurgency became a self-fulfilling prophecy when the US sacked hundreds of thousands of Iraqi army and police officers and sent them home with their guns, ammo and looted explosives in May-July, 2006.
It's never been entirely clear from the American side just how successful these negotiations with those Bush-branded "terrorists" have been. They're barely mentioned in the US media.
In the Arab world, Gulf media regularly reports on these meetings, discussions and negotiations. The Americans are portrayed as being hard bargainers who want the resistance to lay down their arms. Something the resistance simply will not do, when there are Army uniformed death squads roaming the cities and villages slaughtering whole families.
In short, the insurgency and resistance groups claim they are fighting the American occupation, but they are also protecting themselves, their families and their communities from the Shiite avengers once kept in check by Saddam Hussein's insanely brutal security forces.
All the while, terrorist attacks by Sunnis, Shia and the always-mysterious 'foreign fighters' result in dozens of dead and injured, most of whom require vengeance on their behalf by their brothers, fathers, uncles, neighbours, co-workers.
And on and on the circles of death and bloodshed turn and twist. The hurricane of violence that never really fades away.
For the Americans, the War On Iraq can barely get any worse.
Millions of Iraqis blame the US not only for occupying their country and letting these forces of death loose amongst them all, but they also blame Americans for actually playing a part in the major terrorist attacks, be it via the CIA, private security forces or the ubiquitous Mossad counter-terror operatives.
The Iraqis were liberated and they were given the chance to vote in democratic elections, but those now in government simply cannot supply the security that Iraqis are demanding, be they Shiite, Sunni, Kurd or Christian. If a government can't protect its own people from dozens of major terrorist attacks each and every week, then what good are they?
Amongst all this terror and horror and paranoia, insurgency leaders have appeared now and then to proclaim an offer of a 'truce' with the Americans.
What makes today's announcement so unusual, then, is that it comes with clear, heavy demands.
From CNN.com :
The leader of an umbrella organization for Iraqi insurgent groups is offering the United States a one-month truce to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq and turn over its military bases "to the mujahedeen of the Islamic state."
...Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council, said that if U.S. forces begin withdrawing from Iraq immediately and leave their heavy weaponry behind, "we will allow your withdrawal to complete without anyone targeting you with any explosive or anything else."
"We say to Bush not to waste this historic opportunity that will guarantee you a safe withdrawal," al-Baghdadi said on the audiotape.
The United States was given two weeks to respond to the offer.
The Mujahideen Shura Council is an umbrella group formed in late 2005 that includes several terrorist and insurgent groups, including al Qaeda in Iraq.
Obviously, the United States is not going to agree to such a truce, or withdrawal, but it shows just how powerful the forces of the resistance and the insurgency now view themselves. They know they may be the last chance the United States has of stopping Iraq from being consumed by Iran's Shia.
And then, inside this sectarian war, the superhuman savagery of the revenge attacks and death-inducing torture, Sunnis and Shia are talking to each other, about how they are going to get rid of the Americans once and for all from their lands.
From Dahr Jamail :
The displacement of Iraqis from Iraq is currently the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis, according to the Washington-based group Refugees International which works towards providing humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people.
The United Nations estimates that at least 2.3 million Iraqis have fled the growing violence in their country. They estimate that 1.8 million Iraqis have fled to surrounding countries, while another half million have vacated their homes for safer areas within Iraq. An estimated 40,000 people are leaving Iraq every month for Syria alone, according to the UN.
He provides a concise explanation for the growth of sectarian violence in Iraq during the past twelve months :
Sectarian violence increased in Iraq after the bombing last February of an important Shia shrine located in Samarra, 60 km north of Baghdad. Shia death squads started appearing in massive numbers afterwards to carry out mass killings of Sunnis, and setting fire to their mosques.
U.S. forces failed to provide protection for civilians on either side. Meanwhile, armed Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation increased rapidly during 2006.
"Resistance fighters are Iraqis who are trying to put an end to this vicious occupation," a senior political analyst at Baghdad University told IPS on condition of anonymity. "The Americans ignited sectarian war so that they reduce the action of national resistance, but the result came to be the opposite, and they are being hit harder and more often."
The Sunni-dominated areas of Baghdad and western Iraq faced the worst U.S. military operations during 2006. The policy of siege, raids and large-scale detentions led to massive killing of civilians in cities like Haditha, Karma and Ramadi. "Those Americans take us all for terrorists," the manager of a human rights NGO in Ramadi to the west of Baghdad told IPS.
- "We cannot go to work, cannot go to pray in our mosques, and cannot send our children to schools," young mother Um Rheem from the Shaab quarter in Baghdad told IPS.
"Many Sunni men have been killed by Shia death squads who have the full support of the government and Americans." Such fears are common in many areas in Baghdad where the Sunnis are a minority.
Other areas have other problems to live with. "In areas where Sunnis are a majority, death squads attack in hundreds, taking advantage of curfews and using government police cars," Mahmood Abdulla from the predominantly Sunni Jihad quarter of Baghdad told IPS.
"When we defend ourselves and our homes, they shell us with mortars and Kaytousha missiles. All of this takes place under the eyes of Americans and Iraqi government officials."
Shia Iraqis complain that they cannot go to Sunni dominated areas for work, and they cannot travel on the highway that leads to Syria and Jordan for fear of Sunni militias looking for revenge.
"Sunnis who lost family members would kill any Shia they find, and so we cannot go through their areas," Sa'arat Hassan, a vegetable merchant at the Jameela wholesale vegetable market in Baghdad told IPS.
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