If anybody can decipher a logic in General Petraeus's handling of the Iraq War, please help us. If he promotes and stands for the principle that only the Iraqi army and police should be armed in Iraq, why he was willing to cut a deal with insurgents in Anbar Province who were killing the US troops? Why did he arm them and put on a US payroll? If he did it to pacify the insurgents and protect the US military personal serving in Iraq, why did he encourage the Iraqi government’s crackdown on the Mehdi Army fighters who were honoring a several-months-long cease-fire? Why did Petraeus send his soldiers into the bloody street fighting in Basra or Sadr City?
If Maliki-spearheaded conflict with the Mehdi Army fits the newly launched US strategic confrontation with Iran, why confrontation with an autochthonic, independent Iraqi group, not with militia-like Badr Brigades that were formed, financed and trained in Iran during the Saddam Hussein era and fully controlled by Tehran? Does it matter to the US interests if the Sadrists get more seats than Maliki followers in the election scheduled later this year?
If Petraeus sees the battles with the Mehdi Army as just a first step, after which he will proceed with dismantling of the Badr Brigades, does he understand that he would eventually replace a fight against the Sunni insurgents with the far bloodier fight against the Shiite insurgents?
As you certainly know, there are three times more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq. The question is what General Petraeus is trying to accomplish in Iraq. Frankly, I have no idea what he is doing.
Apr 21 2008 - 2:45pm