Now that we're arming the Sunnis too, does that mean Iraq is in a civil war?
McClatchy checks in with some people who are not insane:
At least six officers who served in Iraq shook their heads when asked about [a U.S. program to combat al-Qaida in Iraq by arming Sunni Muslims]. They said they had little faith in a Sunni community that was aggressively killing their comrades just months ago.
"Why did we spend all that capital [er, and lives?] disarming them last year?" asked one military officer who served in Iraq last year under former Iraq commander Gen. George Casey. "As a military man, I cannot fathom the logic of putting more weapons out there."
"It is the U.S. basically acknowledging that Iraq is in a civil war," said Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiism at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan foreign policy organization. "And that the (Iraqi) government is irrelevant."
The program, which Bush administration officials have hailed as a sign of progress in Iraq, has sparked heated debate among military and foreign policy analysts. It is opposed by the Iraqi government [sic] of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
But the Bush administration hails everything as a sign of progress. But at least we can say the words "civil war" now. Good to know.
And I'm sure there's absolutely no possibility of blowback:
By giving weapons and training to Sunnis in Anbar and Baghdad who've been previously associated with Sunni insurgent groups, the program endorses unofficial armed groups over official Iraqi forces as guarantors of Iraqi security, military officers who oppose the program say.
So what's wrong with that? We've got mercenaries, they've got militias. Heck, down on the Messcan border, we've got militias! Really, what is the big deal, here?
Those officers also say it abandons the long-stated U.S. goal of disarming militias and reinforces the idea that U.S.-trained Iraqi forces cannot control their country.
Well, that's only because we haven't given the
spooge surge enough Friedman Units to work out. I'm sure everything's going to work out for the best.
And don't worry. The generals have everything absolutely under control:
But Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, acknowledged that the government was worried about the new plan.
"Sure they are concerned," he said. "They want to make sure that we are not forming a Sunni militia that will fight the government."
Odierno said that the Sunnis working with U.S. forces are checked closely and are asked to sign a statement that they will not fight U.S. forces or the government.
Right, "sign a statement."
Oh. My. Fucking. God.