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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

it sucks being right

I recently wrote about George Bush's policy, reported by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, of arming Salafist groups as part of a misguided anti-Shia campaign. (See my entry of May 26, 2007.) In it, I speculated that some part of this U.S.-supplied weaponry would ultimately be used against U.S. interests and troops, potentially in Iraq. The New York Times for June 11, 2007 corroborates my concerns. The two-column headline across the upper right corner of the front page says it all: 'U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies'.

According to the Times article:
'In some cases, the American commanders say, the Sunni groups are suspected of involvement in past attacks on American troops or of having links to such groups. Some of these groups, they say, have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and supplies.'

But the U.S. would not knowingly supply weapons to groups with a history of attacking U.S. troops, would they? Surely, there is a policy against arming such groups. Indeed, such a policy seems to exist, but
'The requirement that no support be given to insurgent groups that have attacked Americans appeared to have been set aside or loosely enforced in negotiations with the Sunni groups elsewhere, including Amiriya, where American units that have supported Sunni groups fighting to oust Al Qaeda have told reporters they believe that the Sunni groups include insurgents who had fought the Americans.'

This is the new Bush/Cheney strategy for Iraq: trust supposedly former allies and affiliates of al-Qa'ida—people with histories of attacking U.S. troops—by giving them arms, ammunition, cash, fuel, and supplies to fight their al-Qa'ida comrades and hope that they don't turn their new U.S.-supplied weapons against U.S. troops. Adding to the contradictions, the U.S. has spent $15 billion on Iraq's army and police force and is now arming groups that are opposed to the new Iraqi government altogether.

When I wrote my earlier entry, I predicted something like this but I could not have conceived that the U.S.-supplied arms would be so directly transferred by the U.S. to those attacking U.S. troops. I also predicted that I would soon be surprised yet again by the dangerous stupidity of Bush and Cheney. With these idiots in charge, it's no longer any fun being right all the time. The only thing that would defy belief at this point is sanity.

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