Monday :: Apr 24, 2006

Clueless Condi Strikes Again

by Steve

More evidence that the Bush Administration and Condi Rice in particular, are detached from what is really happening on the ground in Iraq.

Condi, Monday in Turkey, according to Tuesday’s Washington Post:

The establishment of a permanent Iraqi government will provide the framework to eliminate militias that have terrorized Iraqi citizens and help curtail Kurdish attacks against Turkey, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday.
The elimination of militias is "an important element of establishing trust between the Iraqi government and Iraqi people as a whole," Rice said.
Rice rejected suggestions that the newly named prime minister, Jawad al-Maliki, is a weak and largely unknown figure. Rice, who has not yet met or spoken with Maliki, said he has the support of Iraqi citizens and much of the political leadership to form a unity government.

Meanwhile, Monday in Kirkuk, according to the same newspaper in the same edition tomorrow:

Hundreds of Shiite Muslim militiamen have deployed in recent weeks to this restive city -- widely considered the most likely flash point for an Iraqi civil war -- vowing to fight any attempt to shift control over Kirkuk to the Kurdish-governed north, according to U.S. commanders and diplomats, local police and politicians.
The Mahdi Army, led by firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has sent at least two companies, each with about 120 fighters, according to Thomas Wise, political counselor for the U.S. Embassy's Kirkuk regional office, which has been tracking militia activity. The Badr Organization, the armed wing of Iraq's largest Shiite political party, has also boosted its presence and opened several offices across the region, military officers here said.
In a meeting here last week, Sadr's representative in the city, Abdul Karim Khalifa, told U.S. officials that more armed loyalists were on the way and that as many as 7,000 to 10,000 Shiite residents were prepared to fight alongside the Mahdi Army if called upon. Legions more Shiite militiamen would push north from Baghdad's Sadr City slum, he said, according to Wise.
"His message was essentially that any idea of Kirkuk going to the Kurds will mean a fight," Wise said. "He said that their policy here was different from in other places, that they are not going to attack coalition forces because their only enemy here is the Kurds."
In response to the Shiite buildup, the Kurdish pesh merga militia has boosted its already substantial presence in Kirkuk and in the city of Tuz, where nearly 100 Kurdish gunmen arrived in recent weeks, Wise, the State Department representative, and U.S. commanders said.
The Kurds have also increased to about 15,000 the number of private security workers guarding offices and government buildings in the Kirkuk region, according to a Western official here, who said they could be called upon to fight if ethnic conflict escalated.

Yup, it looks like our little Condi has spent too much time in front of the mirrors buying shoes, and not enough time once again learning what the hell is really going on.

Steve :: 10:59 PM :: Comments (9) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!