Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The real deception

With extraordinary secrecy, and even an information blackout aimed at most of their Iraqi Army comrades, American troops began a major offensive on Tuesday to drive Sunni insurgents from strongholds in Diyala Province. But many insurgents still managed to flee the first villages the Americans went into, showing just how difficult it is to trap the elusive militants.
Because at least half the insurgents escaped before an offensive last June, American planners deliberately kept most Iraqi units in the dark before this one, a tactic that suggests they cannot fully trust the allies who are supposed to pick up more of the fighting as American troops scale back their presence this year.
The militants may have been tipped by leaks or by the visible movements of troops and machinery that precede any operation.

The above is from Stephen Farrell's "U.S. Attack in Iraq Is No Surprise to Many Insurgents" in this morning's New York Times. Well Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) was just reminding about the realities of the Iraqi army, wasn't she? Farrell quotes Major General Mark P. Hertling who wants to insist there was a plan, he swears, a plan, "What has been happening in Baquba and Wajihiya specifically has been somewhat of a deception effort. We have allowed the enemy to believe that Diyala has been wide open while we have been generating forces in here to nail them." I believe the "deception effort" is the Iraq War itself.

But it's cure the way Hertling wants to insist this was a plan when it wasn't. The escalation is coming to a close. Before the numbers fall back down to only a little above the earlier efforts, someone decided, "We have to do something!" It was last minute and disorganized.

The escalation had two goals in terms of areas: Anbar Province and Baghdad. Anbar had to be tossed aside quickly because the US didn't have the numbers. Baghdad couldn't be tossed away because it was the primary goal.

Attacks on the Green Zone were becoming common place (the 'crackdown' in Baghdad started to begin with when the barricades of the Green Zone were stormed on a Friday in June 2006 and even the press expressed concern). Attacks within the Green Zone were rising. The escalation was to prevent a 'falling of Saigon' from happening while Bully Boy was in the White House. That's where the focus went and why the Bremer walls became all the rage (they're better at interrupting and diverting the flow of a population than at anything else). The partitioning of the capital wasn't well received by Iraqis (no surprise) and al-Maliki was (yet again) out of the country when that started. But he insisted it would be stopped. He insisted it was stopped. Meanwhile, the New York Times was quoting an Iraqi military general saying basically, "Who cares what al-Maliki wants?" And the walls continued to be constructed cutting up the city.

It was always known the escalation would end (the troop capacity wasn't there for it to go on and on) and Odierno and others were openly stating that it would end. Now it's ending and a non-strategy session took place trying to figure out what to before the extra troops were largely gone (again, the number of US troops in Iraq will be higher than the pre-escalation level)?

The only "deception effort" is Hertling's as he tries to convince Americans (he's not aiming for Iraqis) that the chaos and violence in Diyala Province was part of the 'plan'. It wasn't.

Jamie Leigh Jones went to Iraq to work for KBR/Halliburton and instead was drugged and gang-raped, held against her will and the corporation and the executive branch of the federal government has responded by ignoring the events. Yesterday, ABC News' Justin Rood provided the latest in "Pentagon Won't Probe KBR Rape Charges:"

The Defense Department's top watchdog has declined to investigate allegations that an American woman working under an Army contract in Iraq was raped by her co-workers.
The case of former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones gained national attention last month. An ABC News investigation revealed how an earlier investigation into Jones' alleged gang-rape in 2005 had not resulted in any prosecution, and that neither Jones nor Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been able to get answers from the Bush administration on the state of her case.

Lastly, an Iraqi correspondent with McClatchy Newspapers tackles the electricty issue in "Power Supply!" (Inside Iraq):

Shortage of Electricity in Iraq is the main problem that Iraqi people suffer from .This problem is really founded in the beginning of eighties of the last century during the Iraqi -- Iran war ( 1980-1988) and it became bigger after the invasion of Kuwait having the second gulf war in ( 1990-1991).But things became worst in the third war in 2003.In the past we have the shortage for hours or days then the problem would be solved to have the full power again .In the nineties we had a schedule by the former regime as a kind of punishment to the south making the uprising against his government in 1991 having power supply at night only and that thing lasted for several years and the generators at that time were so expensive to be used in ordinary houses , shops, restaurants , factories and hotels ,but the exception were those who are so rich or who had involved with the former regime. After March of 2003 , we hoped that the situation would be better ,but soon we realized that the situation became the worst in all times .The first problem is the lack of planning and the second one which is not less important than the first one is the corruption which snorting the Iraqi budget . I had a relative who is an employee and a worker in one of the projects to have new supply power station in the south. He said that he is at home since October 2005 while he has his salary coming to his house without going to work or even knows where it is and the same thing for all the workers in the project. The point is that the manager of the project has the project money in his pocket and of course with few engineers and officials pretending that the project is going on having some obstacles of funds to get.

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