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LeeG
03-22-2006, 08:34 AM
Since GW cited Tal Afar extensively in his Cleveland news event as an example of progress/success in Iraq I've been googling away. It's really a mixed bag from military experts saying "yes things are better but we can't replicate this kind of operation everywhere there's insurgent strongholds" to a description of Tal Afar as a garrissoned city like Falluja but without the devastation.
One thing that is left out of GWs example is that the conflict is as much sectarian as it is an insurgency (duh) with "external" (Al Qaeda of course) jihadists taking refuge there as it's close to Syria and another post Falluja refuge. But mostly the conflicts are between the various groups that live in the city.
If anyone has any hard reports from Tal Afar that aren't US military imbeds it would be educational to put GWs presentation in context.
He didn't mention any WMD in Tal Afar so that's good.

Osborne Russel
03-22-2006, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by LeeG:
the conflict is as much sectarian as it is an insurgencyI don't see how it's an insurgency at all. The Iraqi government barely exists. Why take up arms to overthrow it? That ain't why they fire mortars into the market. Certain guys fire mortars into certain markets for certain reasons.

John of Phoenix
03-22-2006, 09:42 AM
"Certain guys fire mortars into certain markets for certain reasons."

It's interesting that no one is asking about "those reasons". Yeah, yeah, sectarian violence and all that tribal blood feud stuff, but with all the infidels wandering around, why are Muslims killing each other. "Divide and conquer."

Here ya go Lee.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/20/AR2006032001897.html

PatCox
03-22-2006, 10:03 AM
Well, it seems that a genocide of the minority Sunnis would be one way to ensure a stable Iraq. And as long as the insurgents keep inciting these reprisals against sunni cities, there is continued justification for killing.

LeeG
03-22-2006, 11:32 AM
thanks John,,seems to me that something as important as proof of success in Iraq by highlighting Tal Afar should have some better analysis than what we've seen so far. This is still pretty thin and requires the reader to analyze a lot of information. It looks like a worthwhile attempt for joint operations but everything I've read said the "terrists" had plenty of warning to leave, the solution has a lot of collateral damage and it requires a heavy military presence that essentially garrisons the city. I find very little western coverage that acknowledges the refugee situation after Falluja or Tal Afar. Basically we went, we conquered, ooo rah.
The problem with taking GWs examples at face value is that we did that in 2002/2003 and it turns out that he and his staff were wrong, wrong, wrong. Something to do with his preference to utilize prefered intel to fit the stated policy.


from the WaPo link:
A Washington Post employee interviewing residents of Tall Afar found continuing anxiety in the streets. "Al-Qaeda has started to come back again," said Jaafar al-Khawat, 33, a tailor. "They have started to kill Shiites and Sunnis who cooperate with the Americans. Last Wednesday, they killed a truck driver because he worked with the Americans."

Yasir al-Efri, 23, a law student at Mosul University, said al-Qaeda pamphlets began appearing on the biggest mosque in Tall Afar in the past two months claiming credit for attacks. "The Tall Afar mission failed," he said. "The city will turn back to how it was before the battle within two months. The Americans are busy putting cement barriers and barbed wire around their bases and no one is taking care of the infrastructure."

Sebti, the mechanic, was more fearful of sectarian conflict. "People now are afraid to send their kids to school," he said. "I have to take my son to and from the school every day. There are two gangs in Tall Afar now that specialize in kidnapping children. Police can do nothing against that."

In his Cleveland speech, Bush received supportive applause for removing Saddam Hussein but also faced polite skepticism from some who addressed him during a subsequent question period. No major Ohio politician other than the mayor appeared with Bush, whose approval ratings have sunk below 40 percent, and war protesters demonstrated outside the downtown hotel where he appeared.

One man in the audience asked about Bush's credibility given that some of the reasons he originally gave for the war proved false. The president quarreled with the contention in one instance, denying that he ever made a "direct connection" between Hussein and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, even though he often linked Baghdad with al-Qaeda generally. "I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America," he said

[ 03-22-2006, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: LeeG ]