Monday, May 28, 2007

US Warns Iran - Stop Arming Militants

Don't laugh, not yet. According to the BBC, "The US has called on Iran to stop arming militants in Iraq." Don't those Iranians know that America and its stooge, Maliki, are already doing a fine job at arming the militants, especially the Shiite militias.

Today's New York Times reports on how members of the elite, 82nd Airborne, are coming to have a change of heart about the Iraq war:

"Staff Sgt. David Safstrom does not regret his previous tours in Iraq, not even a difficult second stint when two comrades were killed while trying to capture insurgents.

"But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.

“'I thought: ‘What are we doing here? Why are we still here?’ said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. 'We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.'

"His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company, renowned for its aggressiveness.

"With few reliable surveys of soldiers’ attitudes, it is impossible to simply extrapolate from the small number of soldiers in the company. But in interviews with more than a dozen soldiers in this 83-man unit over a one-week period, most said they were disillusioned by repeated deployments, by what they saw as the abysmal performance of Iraqi security forces and by a conflict that they considered a civil war, one they had no ability to stop.

"They had seen shadowy militia commanders installed as Iraqi Army officers, they said, had come under increasing attack from roadside bombs — planted within sight of Iraqi Army checkpoints — and had fought against Iraqi soldiers whom they thought were their allies.
"On April 29, a Delta Company patrol was responding to a tip at Al Sadr mosque, a short distance from its base. The soldiers saw men in the distance erecting barricades that they set ablaze, and the streets emptied out quickly. Then a militia, believed to be the Mahdi Army, began firing at them from rooftops and windows.

"Sgt. Kevin O’Flarity, a squad leader, jumped into his Humvee to join his fellow soldiers, racing through abandoned Iraqi Army and police checkpoints to the battle site.

"When the battle was over, Delta Company learned that among the enemy dead were at least two Iraqi Army soldiers that American forces had helped train and arm.

"Captain Rogers admits, 'The 29th was a watershed moment in a negative sense, because the Iraqi Army would not fight with us,' adding, 'Some actually picked up weapons and fought against us.'

"The battle changed the attitude among his soldiers toward the war, he said. 'Before that fight, there were a few true believers.' Captain Rogers said. 'After the 29th, I don’t think you’ll find a true believer in this unit. They’re paratroopers. There’s no question they’ll fulfill their mission. But they’re fighting now for pride in their unit, professionalism, loyalty to their fellow soldier and chain of command.'

"To Sergeant O’Flarity, the Iraqi security forces are militias beholden to local leaders, not the Iraqi government. 'Half of the Iraqi security forces are insurgents,' he said."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How the hell does a nation with endless millions of creative minds end up being blindly loyal to the grossly stupid?
Wait a minute, what the hell am I talking about; I live in Alberta!