It's Called Shooting Yourself in the Foot

by James Glaser
February 6, 2007

Many of the American troops stationed in Iraq are fighting for their lives in Baghdad. The fighting there has become so bad that President Bush has decided to send an additional 17,000 plus combat troops to help secure the city. Bush is sending another 4,000 troops to help secure Fallujah, a city to the west of Baghdad.

Much of the talk leading up to this new "surge" in troop strength is about how these new troops will help train the Iraqi police and army. George Bush still stands by his line, "When the Iraqis stand up, American troops can stand down.

There is one major flaw to this whole plan, and that is that the Iraqis we are training during the day, are the Iraqis we are fighting at night.

    By Tom Lasseter
    McClatchy Newspape

    BAGHDAD, Iraq — The U.S. military drive to train and equip Iraq's security forces has unwittingly strengthened anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, which has been battling to take over much of the capital city as American forces are trying to secure it.

    U.S. Army commanders and enlisted men who are patrolling east Baghdad, which is home to more than half the city's population and the front line of al-Sadr's campaign to drive rival Sunni Muslims from their homes and neighborhoods, said al-Sadr's militias had heavily infiltrated the Iraqi police and army units that they've trained and armed.

    "Half of them are JAM. They'll wave at us during the day and shoot at us during the night," said 1st Lt. Dan Quinn, a platoon leader in the Army's 1st Infantry Division, using the initials of the militia's Arabic name, Jaish al Mahdi. "People (in America) think it's bad, but that we control the city. That's not the way it is. They control it, and they let us drive around. It's hostile territory."

Often American Soldiers and Marines complain that they don't know who the enemy is. Those who fire on them will drift into the civilian population to hide. When we train an Iraqi unit, they quickly learn what our response will be when they attack us later on.

Sad to say, when George Bush's new troops arrive in Iraq, they will accelerate the training of those who are supposed to replace our troops, and at the same time accelerate the training of the enemy we are fighting.

For some reason, it seems almost fitting that with George Bush as Commander-in-Chief, we find ourselves training the very people we are fighting. From the very beginning of Bush's war in Iraq, there has been mistake after mistake. I would say, screw up after screw up, and this training our enemy how to fight us fits right in with the pattern.

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