A month ago the Obama administration was suggesting Iran was behind an increase in attacks against U.S. troops. Giving very little evidence other than the assurance that Iran was backing militiamen in Iraq, U.S. officials seemed otherwise unable to explain why Iraq was suddenly becoming unstable again. A sudden upswing of U.S. fatalities did seem to point to something. Or did it?
Only a month later U.S. officials have now declared a dizzyingly quick success in a campaign to bring those figures back down. While an increase of 750 percent in one month seems like a lot — it comes out to 13 more deaths than May — several of the June attacks involved multiple deaths. Early in the month, five soldiers were killed in a single mortar attack. Was this better weaponry coupled with more attacks, or just plain luck on the part of insurgents? May had only two fatalities for the whole month, but April had clocked in at 11 deaths, while March registered only two. So was June even a significant statistical anomaly, let alone the result of intensified Iranian meddling?
It’s hard to know for sure — the "evidence" of Tehran’s involvement was pretty flimsy to begin with, but just as quickly as the perennial Iranian problem resurfaced, it was mysteriously re-corked. Admiral Mike Mullen, while on an unannounced visit to Iraq today, declared that the United States had beaten this mini-surge in violence through diplomacy with Iran and military operations in Iraq. Unfortunately, all the new declarations were as vague as ever, so it is unclear why exactly the casualty figures fell. It is true, though, that U.S. casualties dropped to only five deaths. Still, three months in 2011 saw even smaller numbers. And Iraqi casualties in July remained high even as the American toll fell dramatically.
More troubling than the usual fuzzy accusations is the fact that the United States is still participating in military operations in Iraq despite the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops almost a year ago. Over the weekend, one such operation went awry in Rufayat, a small town near Balad.
The American public has grown all too accustomed to collateral damage in Iraq, but one detail of this failed raid is particularly chilling. A son of a Sunni tribal elder Sheikh Hameed Hassan reported seeing his father handcuffed and led away from the house only to be found dead later, still handcuffed.
It is unclear whether American or Iraqi troops took the sexagenarian sheikh, but the raid echoed a controversial incident in Jubail last September, just as Operation New Dawn — the "advise and assist" operation — was in its infancy. There, U.S. troops arrived in helicopters to assist Iraqi soldiers. A suspect was sought, but civilians were killed and handcuffed at the whim of Iraqi forces — and quickly forgotten.
Separately today, another U.S.-involved raid drew the ire of one legislator who called on Iraq’s government to end operations and detentions involving U.S. troops. While the claim of beaten women and stolen money in Nukheilat seems on its face a bit exaggerated, it might not be. Last week, U.S. troops conducted raids in another southern town. Could events such as these be the true seed of anti-American attacks and not Iran?
Meanwhile, the question of whether U.S. troops will stay in Iraq remains unanswered. Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promises that lawmakers will make that decision soon, but he has also hinted previously that U.S. military "trainers" can stick around without parliamentary approval. The U.S. State Department will also have its own contractor army, so more American deaths and botched raids are likely in the future, regardless of who is nominally running the show.
9 thoughts on “Mullen Twists Iraq Stats to Implicate Iran”
It would not be surprising to see Mullen go dancing off with Ginger Riogers in a remake of "Follow the Fleet."
Perhaps renamed "Remember the Maine." – but we all love to see those old movies once again
Whether or not the American troops were directly involved in the raid on the tribal sheikh or not their presence and tacit approval (by not stopping it) are despicable. These raids seem to have an ethnic intent to them as there have been no reports of "rounding up insurgents" or "breaking up a ring of corrupt government officials" – things like that. No. We just don't hear anything from the US media. Are the media still there? Doesn't sound like it. I bet there are more media covering the Somalia/Kenya famine than are in Iraq – and maybe even Afghanistan. Makes participating in a little ethnic cleansing a whole lot easier, eh?
Trainers or not, it's time Obama and Mullen (not sure who's in charge anymore) shut this thing down. Bring the "trainers" home and reduce the size of the Embassy staff to a level more in line with other embassies we have around the world – say our embassy in….Rekyavik.
If Haliburton and Schlumberger need protection, let them pay for and provide their own mercenary forces. Of course, the State Dept will no longer provide diplomatic cover for them but hey…business is a bitch. If the oil services companies want to play in a sandbox in an unstable area of the world then they should pay for it themselves. The taxpayers are tapped out.
BTW, just read another article where Mullen is demanding that any US troops that stay in Iraq past the deadline to leave MUST have immunity from prosecution guaranteed by the parliament. Now why would "trainers" need a guarantee against prosecution? For paddling a recalcitrant student? Gimme a break.
Mullem ,just another political appointee. have to keep the mideast wheels turning Let's go after Iran now With Israels blessing
What are his f*ckin' kids doin' walking around Iraq with machine guns for anyway? They got no right. Tell McMullen to get his F*cking Kids OUT of Iraq. And fast!
The pentagon is telling the public that they are defending USA for 500 billions a year, weather you like it or not the over 500 b will be paid for fact or fiction.
Once the public feels the bites of higher taxes, unemployment, riots and unrest becomes more common then you realise that the war games are too expensive to play
Yeah, so what's new about that? Isn't that what the US and Israel do time and again, twist stuff around to implicate Iran in order to justify their ill-fated plans of invasion and occupation?
Wow an American blaming someone else for his shortcomings / failures?
Never heard of that before. Better call up Guinness World Records – the Ad-meeril got smaller junk than previously thought.
I hope Obama-ha and his Israeli inspired Bomb Iran crowd also get honorable mention for Most Overzealous Over-Compensation for Lacking Substantial Manhood prize
You might find this worth passing around:
"…the question of whether U.S. troops will stay in Iraq remains unanswered."
Actually, I think we all know the answer to this question.
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