The Washington Post has three excellent reports that refute the rosy depiction of Iraq by so many politicians and pundits these days. After such a lousy prewar performance for the media in general, it’s nice to see one of the most mainstream of outlets dig in and investigate what’s really going on while the administration tries to pass off hype as genuine progress.
Weighing the ‘Surge’
Nearly every week, American generals and politicians visit Combat Outpost Gator, nestled behind a towering blast wall in the Dora market. They arrive in convoys of armored Humvees, sometimes accompanied by helicopter gunships, to see what U.S. commanders display as proof of the effectiveness of a seven-month-long security offensive, fueled by 30,000 U.S. reinforcements. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. military leader in Iraq, frequently cites the market as a sign of progress.
Many Trainees Are Complicit With ‘Enemy Targets’
Less than a mile away, a powerful Shiite parliament member stood inside an American military base, in the office of the Iraqi army brigade commander responsible for Kadhimiyah. The Americans had called for Iraqi army backup, but according to the brigade commander and American officers, the lawmaker would help ensure that no assistance arrived from the Iraqis that crucial day.
Signing Up Sunnis With ‘Insurgent’ on Their Résumés
Naiem al-Qaisi was imprisoned for four months, beaten, shocked with electric probes and, he said, forced to witness fellow Sunni male prisoners being raped by Shiite soldiers of the Iraqi army.
Now he wants to be a policeman. The American military recruited Qaisi and thousands like him to fight the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, but Qaisi’s most feared enemies are soldiers in the Iraqi army’s Muthanna Brigade, and his allegiance does not lie with the government he is now being trained to serve.