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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:52 PM
Original message
Fallujah Battle Deepens Divide in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Raids on mosques and the arrests of several hardline Sunni clerics have raised fears the U.S.-led assault on the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah will further alienate Iraq (news - web sites)'s religious minority from the majority Shiites and autonomy-seeking Kurds.



Last week, Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, head of the Supreme Association for Guidance and Daawa, a conservative Sunni organization, accused interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government of "launching a war on Sunnis."


On Thursday, al-Sumaidaei urged Sunnis to launch a civil disobedience campaign to protest the assault on Fallujah. Hours later, Iraqi security forces raided his Um al-Tuboul mosque, a major landmark in western Baghdad, seizing weapons and arresting the cleric and about two dozen supporters.


~snip~

"There is no problem of Sunnis or Shiites," he said. "This is all Iraqis against the terrorists. We are going to keep on breaking their backs everywhere in Iraq. We are not going to allow them to win."


However, the Association of Muslim Scholars, considered the most influential Sunni group in Iraq with 3,000 clerics, has called for a nationwide election boycott to protest the assault on Fallujah.



more: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&nci...

Allawi is a * mini-me... :eyes:
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, duh...see Clark's article on it:

The Washington Post - OUTLOOK
Commentary: Section B-Feature Article
Sunday, November.14.2004.
The Real Battle
by Wesley K. Clark
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47034-20 ...


Instead, the outcome of the battle must be judged by a less clear-cut standard: not by the seizure and occupation of ground, but by the impact it has on the political and diplomatic process in Iraq. Its chances for success in that area are highly uncertain. Will Fallujah, like the famous Vietnam village, be the place we destroyed in order to save it? Will the bulk of the insurgents simply scatter to other Iraqi cities?
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. and another article in Boston Globe:
BostonGlobe-Kurds' separatist ambitions pose challenge to Iraq unity


SAID SADIQ, Iraq -- Brigadier Rahim Mohammed Shakur's allegiance to the Iraqi Army is about as solid as the faxed sheet of paper he received two weeks ago, announcing that his Kurdish peshmerga fighters were now regular Iraqi soldiers, under Baghdad's command.

"I am a Kurd," Shakur, 42, said cheerfully last week, as his tank battalion trained with 100 Soviet tanks and armored personnel carriers that his fighters raided from Saddam Hussein's army in April 2003. "If we are ever attacked, I will stop being a regular Iraqi soldier and become a peshmerga again."

Iraqi Kurdistan's de facto independence from Baghdad -- and the popular desire in the three northern provinces to secede from Iraq -- could pose one of the thorniest problems over the coming year for the ethnic, religious, and political factions trying to craft a new Iraqi federal constitution.

The importance of the Kurds is not lost on US officials; on Monday, as American forces launched the attack on Fallujah, US Ambassador John Negroponte flew from Baghdad to Sulaymaniyah for a day to ask leaders from the PUK to commit to a smooth national election process




http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes. The issue of Kurdistan has a good deal more explosive force
than the Sunni-Shiia divisions, and has the potential to drag most of
the neighbors into the conflict. Something like US-Israel-Kurds against
everybody else. With a little bad luck you could turn everything from
the N. Caucasus to Yemen, and from Pakistan to Egypt, into one big war zone.

Wheeeeeeeee.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I posted this yesterday, dispatched 4 battalions of the ING from the Syria
In addition to firing the Mosul police chief, Iraqi authorities also dispatched four battalions of the Iraqi National Guard from garrisons along the Syrian and Iranian borders.


Most of the reinforcements are ethnic Kurds who fought alongside American forces during the 2003 invasion a move which could inflame ethnic rivalries with Mosul's Sunni Arab population. Nevertheless, it appeared Iraqi authorities had no choice given the apparent failure of the city's police force to maintain order.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, I saw that one.
Mosul is a much bigger job than Fallujah, and multi-ethnic;
so I expect the coaliton to stick to attacking it with aircraft and
media bullhshit for the time being. I don't just offhand see
how they are going to "control" it any time soon unless it wants
to be controlled.

I wonder how long it takes to move the troops from the Syrian border
and Fallujah to Mosul? It looks like hundreds of miles, and I expect
they would want to keep their vehicles etc.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. and another article in Boston Globe:
In several cases during the first week of fighting, US forces had come to the aid of Iraqis who had been left to guard key sites but were unable to hold off fire from insurgents.

Many Iraqi troops have little in common with the people of Fallujah, having come from the Shi'ite south or the Kurdish north. In the past, government troops recruited from Fallujah or the surrounding region have refused to fight here. Many civilians have expressed outrage that the government has brought in peshmerga, the Kurdish militias widely mistrusted by Arab Iraqis, to attack Fallujah.

The newly trained Iraqi police, who have been repeatedly targeted by insurgents, seem even worse off. They crumbled in the face of days of insurgent attacks last week in Mosul. And in Fallujah, Newell, the First Infantry Division commander, said, "I think it'll be a long time before you see a police force."

"The fact that we have captured a major city is a positive sign, but how are the Iraqis going to do there?" said Army Colonel Paul Hughes, former political adviser to the US occupation. "They still need help. They have to ensure the gains that have been made remain. We are just buying breathing space so the Iraqi government can build its institutions."

http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/11/14/re...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I think we are about to crank up a Shiia-Sunni civil war.
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ANI411A.html

Which means al Sistani is a fool.

I wonder what the Kurds have been promised?
Maybe nothing, chaos suits their purposes.

We will have to see what the Iraqi people think of this.
I'm not sure the Shiia will follow al Sistani in this.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. the Kurds have pledged their support to Negroponte
so who knows?
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DemCam Donating Member (911 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Robbed...the link doesn't work...
Is there help? Would love to read this.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. here ya go
The Real Battle
Winning in Fallujah Is Just the Beginning

By Wesley K. Clark
Sunday, November 14, 2004; Page B01

Americans scouring news reports of the U.S.-led assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah can be forgiven if they are experiencing a degree of confusion and uncertainty.

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assures us that U.S. and Iraqi government forces have moved steadily through the insurgent stronghold and that the assault has been "very, very successful." Last night, even as troops fought to secure the final section of the Sunni city, senior Iraqi officials declared it "liberated." But it's hardly surprising that the measure of success in Fallujah is elusive: There's no uniformed enemy force, no headquarters, no central command complex for the troops to occupy and win. At the end, there will be no surrender.



After "winning": Tactical victory is one thing, strategic victory another. U.S. Marines regroup inside the Khulafah Rashid mosque in Fallujah after taking it Thursday. They left later after routed insurgents regrouped and fired on the mosque. (Luis Sinco -- Los Angeles Times Via AP)


Instead, the outcome of the battle must be judged by a less clear-cut standard: not by the seizure and occupation of ground, but by the impact it has on the political and diplomatic process in Iraq. Its chances for success in that area are highly uncertain. Will Fallujah, like the famous Vietnam village, be the place we destroyed in order to save it? Will the bulk of the insurgents simply scatter to other Iraqi cities? Will we win a tactical victory only to fail in our strategic goal of convincing Iraqis that we are making their country safe for democracy -- and specifically for the elections scheduled for the end of January?

more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47034-20...
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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Iran's Kurds discouraged by developments in Iraq
Iran's 6 million Kurds are avidly following events across the border in Iraq, hoping that the Kurds there will blaze a trail to greater freedoms that can be duplicated in Iran.

But lately, the Iranian Kurds are discouraged.

Their hope was that in Iraq, Kurds would build on the autonomy they had established for all practical purposes since 1991, when routine British and US flights over Iraq kept Saddam Hussein from ruling, and mistreating, the Kurdish region.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2004/11/...
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