'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The No-Kidding Mission 

You know, I keep reading these stories about how the use of Iraqi forces in the Fallujah assault is going to be more than cosmetic this time. You know what I'm talking about, stuff like this:

U.S. officers here seem aware that the Iraqi troops' presence might appear primarily cosmetic, but they insist that is a false impression. Some of the U.S. advisers will accompany the Iraqis into battle, so it's in their interest to make sure the Iraqis are ready.

"They have a no-kidding mission," Farrelly said.

My instinct is to view this whole narrative as propaganda designed to paint the Allawi administration as an independent sovereign government rather than a US sock puppet, but stories like this

An Iraqi military commander has deserted US forces hours after he received a full briefing on US military plans to storm the rebel-held city of Fallujah, CNN has reported.

The pool report sent to Reuters and other media from a US marine unit quoted US officers as saying the desertion of the unidentified captain, a Kurdish company commander, would not change plans to retake the city before elections scheduled for January 27.

They said they believe the officer, who commanded 160 Iraqi soldiers training with US marines at a base on the outskirts of Fallujah, was not likely to hand over battle plans to rebels in the Sunni Muslim city.

The officer disappeared on Friday morning, one day after US marine officers gave him a full briefing on the battle plans. US officers found his uniform and automatic rifles on his bed.

"This man has no known ties with Fallujah and they (the US military) don't believe in the first instance that he is headed for Fallujah. They believe that since the captain is a Kurd, he is more likely headed up north and going home," the report said.

"It is significant that he disappeared the morning after he had a full and detailed brief on the full battle plan for the assault on Fallujah," it added.

lead me to believe that these guys aren't kidding. Maybe the US military high command really thinks it will be storming insurgent-controlled cities with an Iraqi proxy army relatively soon. Or maybe the White House thinks so. I know it's nutty, but they did actually try that whole Fallujah Brigade experiment.

I also found it interesting that the deserter in the above story was a Kurd. I wonder what the demographic make up of these "Iraqi forces" is like. Is the new Iraqi army predominantly Kurdish? That would really explain a lot.

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