Mountain Sun

Mountain Sun

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Shell Game in Iraq

It appears that this is the season for presidential shell games, with the attack on Social Security, the sham Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, and the "removal of all combat troops from Iraq" all competing for the honor of being the most misleading scam on American citizens.  

Before the moment gets too far removed, I want to note the Iraq "no combat here" story in particular.  In the YouTube piece below, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies unmasks the shell game recently sold to the American public about our basing and status in Iraq (with great thanks to The Real News--please consider supporting them).  She points specifically to the new deployment of a combat unit, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, as directly contradicting widely-published claims that our combat troops are all coming home--a message conceived of and controlled by this administration for many months now. 

But even if 3rd Armored Brigade had not deployed, there is ample and equally-clear evidence elsewhere.  The 4th BCT of the 3rd Infantry Division, 4th BCT, 1st Cav and 116th Cav BCT all are either deploying to Iraq as part of "Operation New Dawn" or they are already there.  Each one is clearly a combat unit.  

As I noted in an earlier post on the Iraq shell game, it is remarkable that something so obvious and easily proven has been so, dishonestly...reported.  

But, the issue of combat troops aside, an even more glaring trick by Obama may well backfire on him.  He has branded this partial withdrawal of combat forces as a cessation of US combat in Iraq, and it has already become obvious that this claim is empty, too.  This is because Obama no longer controls (if he ever did) whether his troops engage in combat or not.  That control has gone over to a diverse and often competing or conflicting array of Sunni, Shia, and other forces whom we term "the insurrection:"

Assault on Iraqi military HQ kills 12; U.S. helps out
Suicide bombers struck a Baghdad military headquarters on Sunday and killed 12 people, two weeks after an attack on the same site pointed to the failure of Iraqi forces to plug even the most obvious holes in their security.
U.S. troops at the military compound to train Iraqi forces helped repel the attack, marking the first time American forces have been involved in an exchange of gunfire in Baghdad since the U.S. officially ended combat operations in Iraq less than a week ago.

There's a word for 'exchange of gunfire' between hostile forces in a war zone.  It's called "combat".

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