Khalilzad Cable: Militias and "Neighborhood Governments" Run Baghdad

The “Humor Writing Workshops” one on this thread is getting pretty irritating.

Ugh. I apologize to you, Der Trihs. I thought this thread was in the Pit. My remark clearly was inappropriate for GD. As would be any response I might be inclined to provide to your question. Sorry 'bout that.

Yeah, John, but aren’t you kind of ignoring the serious ground-floor reporting of the people who are there in Iraq? Or do you consider the source just a bunch of partisans?

It’s become all too clear that facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda.

  • Rob Corddry

Damn that liberal reality bias!


“I’m not over there!”

</NotJohnMace> :wink:

So has anybody confirmed that this document is authentic? The leftist blogs are all over it but nobody (that I could find) seems to have thought of asking the State Department to confirm the authenticity of the document. A really glaring omission in the original WaPo article, too - shouldn’t this be the first thing a reporter would think of?

Give it time – the story just broke. We’ll learn soon enough what the State Department has to say about it.

It’s hard to imagine what the motive would be for a forgery. More to the point, madmonk, who’s on the ground there in Baghdad, is confirming that truth of much of what’s in the cable.

As is NPR:

I read the entire document and while I of course can’t comment on its authenticity, there is nothing in it that is out of line with my experiences here.

A couple of poins are Green Zone or Embassy specific, but it is all in line with what I have seen. My staff report ethnic tensions, even in families; there is about 1 hour per six hours a day of electricity, if people can afford it, they pay to hook up to a generator; the Iraqi police and military are largely compromised by militias who are pursuing their own agendas; neighborhoods band together to provide their own security and keep Iraqi police out.

If any of our staff were to be known to working on foreign aid projects, it would be a death sentence. In the past few days, staff have been coming in and asking that they not have to go out to the project sites, it is too dangerous, resignations are up. Sadly we have had staff tortured then murdered, you have to assume they told everything they knew about our work before they died.

As for reporting the good stories, there are of course, successes here, but if they were to be reported, they would be the targeted by insurgents. If for example, someone did a story about a school we rebuilt, it would be blown up the next day. Under those circumstances, how “good” of a story can it really be considered to be?

Sorry for the double post, but I was just reading the Washington Post online and they have an exchange between White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and Wolf Blitzer here (registration required). In the exchange Snow seems to have read the cable and seems to confirm its authenticity.

I was wondering how long it would take before my name cropped up.

Iraqi forces to be handed Muthanna province

The situation in Baghdad is bad, yes, I accept that, but Baghdad is a propaganda target for insurgents who want to shake the viability of the government, look around the country, and you see that in terms of terrorism, Baghdad is the extraordinary recipient of it.

The Iraqi government is effective in that it has the one up against the people fighting it, that it’s been legitimately elected, and is (rather clumsily) representing all the people of Iraq rather than specific groups. Just take a look at that report, it tells of an area controlled by the Ministry of Defence that they’re moderate and don’t care about specific religious codes. The Ministry of defence is headed by a Sunni. Hence my optimism. Plus the OP just reiterates my support for continued support for the Iraqi government and for the MNF to stay there for as long as it takes until that said government can take the helm.

What it is in the OP, and what it becomes, are of course two different things.

My OP was basically to present the seeming fact that this is how the U.S. Embassy in Iraq views how things are going in Baghdad. If that, in and of itself, is a Pitting, then is any presentation of significant new data about Iraq inherently a Pitting, unless the facts are for once kind to the Bush Administration?

Which was in GD, and nobody suggested it should have been in the Pit.

But there’s a big difference between that thread and this. That thread was essentially a calling of bullshit on a disingenious effort to win the PR battle at home, whatever might be happening abroad. This is the presenting of a previously unavailable and quite significant summary, by our own Embassy, of the facts on the ground.

And thanks, madmonk, for confirming that the cable is an accurate reflection of those facts.

Besides being the capital of Iraq, roughly 1/4 of the population of Iraq lives in Baghdad. When Baghdad is fucked, it’s not just some trivial propaganda victory for the bad guys; one-fourth of Iraq is fucked.

Not to mention, Baghdad is just the start. Let’s not forget the Sunni Triangle (north and west of Baghdad), the Triangle of Death (south of Baghdad), the fighting amongst Shiite factions for control of Basra (Iraq’s second largest city) and the efforts by the Kurds to ethnically cleanse Kirkuk (Iraq’s third largest city).

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?

Could you rephrase that so it says something meaningful?

As I keep coming back to, the point is that it doesn’t matter what the form of government is, when it doesn’t actually govern stuff.

No offense, but (a) you’re talking about a future event, something that hasn’t happened yet, so we don’t know how it’s working out, and (b) I don’t see a thing in your cite about those governing Muthanna being moderate and not caring of religious codes.

The OP what!?!

Don’t bogart that joint, my friend. :rolleyes:

President’s press secretary accepts legitimacy of Khalilzad cable:

Interview With Tony Snow; Interview With Hoshyar Zebari
Aired June 18, 2006 - 11:00 ET

I didn’t say it was a ‘trivial propaganda’ victory, I was stating how the insurgents have focused their attention onto the Capital extraordinarily since they’ve been pushed out of the Anbar province since the US established bases along the Syrian border and launched massive offensives which pretty much destablised the insurgent ‘ratlines’ running through the Euphrates river from the west of Iraq.

This will be heartless of me to say, but sectarian violence is irrelevant to the greater scheme of things, if it can be limited and controlled, which the Iraqi government is trying to do. This in turn will help Iraq either incorporate the various factions into government, or defeat them militarily. Nigeria as a crude example has it’s problems of sectarianism, but still has a state structure with the ability to contain them.

If the Iraqi government was unpopular, or not at least able to convince the population of the country to help join them, there wouldn’t be very long queues of people wanting to join the security forces, especially being bombed for doing just that, and yes, some of the security forces have militia members in them, however I wouldn’t disregard the entire Iraqi army and police force on that assessment alone. I should remind you that the majority of the Iraqi population doesn’t condone attacks on Iraqi forces, and many have a good regard for the Army. That in itself should be counted as something as positive, if considering they approve of attacks on MNF forces isn’t.

Kurdish people have the right of Kirkuk since they were forceable kicked out by Saddam in the 80’s, so he would be able to ensure an Oil supply which wasn’t hampered by sessionist Kurds. Only fair that Kurdistan have an historically Kurdish city which was in their hands only 10-20 years ago to be theirs again.

So you’re telling me that the Iraqi state as it is now, the Iraqi government which has been elected doesn’t govern at least 20% of the territory that it’s supposed to represent?

That area is controlled by a Government ministry, and the nature of their rule at least sets an example of what would happen if the rest of the area is under their control. And I see it as positive.

Wasn’t talking about Muthanna, I was talking about an Area within Baghdad controlled by the Ministry of Defence, it’s in the OP link as a matter of fact.

Ever heard of Ireland?

Don’t expect things to go that smoothly.

I don’t, but I also don’t expect the Iraqi Government to immediately fold due to sectarian violence.

Cite that the insurgents have been “pushed out of the Anbar province,” please.

And if it can’t, then of course it will be of paramount relevance. Hell, even if it can, it depends on what ‘limits’ it’s under. If sectarian violence is limited to the cities, for instance…you get the idea.

Or it might be that when jobs and money are scarce, man are willing to risk getting blown up in order to provide for their families.

I would remind you that none of this contradicts the cable. The government doesn’t control Baghdad.

People differ with respect to what’s fair. But is it ethnic violence, out of control of the government? Yes. That’s my point, and even if it’s happening for reasons that you happen to like, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.