Tag Archives: Mosul

Violence In Iraq-So What’s New?

American troops have left the cities of Iraq, but violence continues as al-Qaeda pursues its program of war and destruction. General Robert Caslen, who is in charge of American forces in northern Iraq, said recent attacks in Mosul simply demonstrate that militants are still active and will not vanish just because Iraq soldiers are in the field. He noted there are still several issues which are causing violence in the area. Iraq and Kurdish leaders in northern areas of the country are still at odds over oil wealth near Mosul. Prime Minister Maliki has yet to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation to Sunnis.

The immediate issue is who is in charge in Mosul and Kurdistan. Kurds do not wish to once again be under control of Iraqis but Iraq hungers for the oil wealth in northern sectors of their nation. In the meantime, hovering in the shadows is al-Qaeda whose primary goal is fostering discontent and anger. At this point, the United States has lost power to foster peace.

So You Thought Al-Qaeda Was The Problem!

George Bush is quietly at work in Texas chopping wood, Dick Cheney is haunting grave yards in search of WMD and who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Don Rumsfeld. But, the mess they created in Iraq will not go away. As American troops begin the process of withdrawal a new war looms on the horizon between Kurdish and Iraqi forces. An Iraqi army brigade recently attempted to enter the city of Mosul which sits in the center of oil, but its path was blocked by Kurdish troops. Technically speaking, Kurdistan is part of Iraq, but for all realistic purposes it functions as a semi-independent nation. Kurdish and Iraqi forces now face one another along a 300 mile line in northern Iraq.

The Obama administration has a mess on its hands. If it attempts to mediate the dispute which is bound to explode in violence it only results in getting caught in the middle of a civil war. If it allows events to unroll the prospect is for a civil war and bloodshed that will tear apart the still fragile nation of Iraq.

Of course, it is possible in the coming years for al-Qaeda to end its conflict with the Iraq government and become an ally in its war with Kurdistan. As I recall, then president George Bush promised America his invasion of Iraq was for the purpose of spreading democracy and ending terrorism. Now, I know why George focuses on chopping wood.

Is The Iraq Exit Date Clear?

General Raymond Odierno, top military leader in Iraq, refused to offer a certain date which would mark the end of an American presence in the city of Mosul. Odierno said US forces were in the midst of a neighborhood-by-neighborhood sweep of Mosul in order to have the city safe to hand over on June 30th to Iraqi troops. “We expect that to end here within about 30-45 days, and then there will be a decision to be made.” He hopes the operations to end terrorism in the city will be completed before the deadline.

The problem is suicide bombings continue and it becomes increasingly clear the optimistic Bush statements concerning “success of the surge” were hyperbole and not close to reality. The Iraq army is far from being an effective fighting force.

Bush Sacrificed Iraqi Christians On Altar Of WMD

The exodus of Christians from Mosul continues as thousands flee attacks by Muslim fundamentalists. During the past few weeks over a dozen Christians were murdered in Mosul and lacking any security, thousands of families have fled for safety to churches or to the homes of friends in the north. Close to half of the city’s Christian population has left because the Iraq created by the American invasion has been a disastrous event for those who are not Muslims. Christians whisper they are being targeted by a systematic campaign to get rid of them, and while most believe it is the work of Muslim fanatics, others point to Kurdish groups which want the city to become a Kurdish bastion.

During a visit to a monastery by General Tony Thomas, refugees were promised that anyone who killed Christians would be destroyed by his forces. Powerful words, and little action to carry them out. In most probability, Christianity will never again be a powerful force in Iraq. George Bush could not find WMD and he could not find a way to prevent the destruction of Iraq Christianity.

Al Qaida Bastion In Mosul Braces For War

Mosul resembles a dead city as American and Iraq troops begin their attack which is designed to crush the last remaining al-Qaida forces in the city. Patrick Cockburn, writng for The Independent, says soldiers are shooting at any civilian vehicle. Two men, a woman and a child in one car which failed to stop were shot dead yesterday by US troops who issued a statement saying the men were armed and one made “threatening movements.” The British correspondent reached Mosul in a convoy of armed soldiers who were escoting Khaso Goran, the deputy governor of the area.

Supposedly al-Qaeda is nearly defeated but no one moves around the city without being in an armored car or with military and police in close proximity. Goran, says last September ninety people were killed in Mosul, in March of this year 213 died. The real question is not whether al-Qaida in Mosul can be pushed out of the town, but are al-Qaida forces lying low and biding their time or are they really defeated? No one knows the answer to that question which can not adequately be answered until months have passed.

Shiite Mahdi Army Battles US And Iraq Forces

Senator John McCain is boasting that his ideas to increase the number of American troops has produced the components of victory in Iraq. Usnfortunately, he forgot to inform the Mahdi militia of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr the surge was working. Armed Mahdi militia appeared on the streets of Baghdad for the first time in months as al-Sadr announced a nationwide campaign of strikes and demonstrations to protest a government crackdown on his movement. US and Iraq troops supported by helicopters fought Shiite militiamen on the streets of Baghdad and the city of Mosul in the north was also the scene of fighting between the groups. An escalation in fighting could end Sadr’s unilaterial cease fire and spark a major war that would make a mockery of Bush and Cheney claims the war in Iraq was headed toward victory.

In southern Iraq fighting continued for control of Basra as Shiite groups clashed with the Iraq army. It was unclear exactly who was in control of the city since Iraq police prevented reporters from having free access to areas where there was fighting. Brtish troops who had been occupying Basra for years, but had recently left the city in charge of the Iraq government, remained at the Basra airport and were avoiding becoming engaged in any fighting.

During the past several months there has been confusion as to the best way to handle the Madhi army and the Iraq government has probably decidede on a policy of confrontation. The result is more fighting. Were there other possibilities to resolve issues raised by the Mahdi army?