Friday, February 02, 2007

That's not the way it is.

Paul Kiel at the TPMmuckraker shares this bit head-shaking intel.
With the administration trying to whip up hysteria about Iran's alleged training of attackers, Tom Lasseter of McClatchy details Muqtada al-Sadr's success in getting the U.S. to train his own men:
After U.S. units pounded al-Sadr's men in August 2004, the cleric apparently decided that instead of facing American tanks, he'd use the Americans' plans to build Iraqi security forces to rebuild his own militia.

So while Iraq's other main Shiite militia, the Badr Brigade, concentrated in 2005 on packing Iraqi intelligence bureaus with high-level officers who could coordinate sectarian assassinations, al-Sadr went after the rank and file.

His recruits began flooding into the Iraqi army and police, receiving training, uniforms and equipment either directly from the U.S. military or from the American-backed Iraqi Defense Ministry.

The result:

"Half of them are [Mahdi army]. 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.... "People (in America) think it's bad, but that we control the city [Baghdad]. That's not the way it is. They control it, and they let us drive around. It's hostile territory."

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