A Regretful Look Behind, A Glimpse Of Tribulations Ahead
What is in store for America and Iraq after another year of failure?
2006. At the beginning of this fateful year in history there was optimism that the elections in Iraq would help restrain the violence being witnessed in the war torn country.
I remained pessimistic, Iraq's problems were not going to be solved by any election, but Americans had their dreams of an easy democracy in this land of chaos, so I waited for the truth to be shown or thrown at them.
In January 2006 it was announced by the Iraqi Interior Ministry that more than 7,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians, were killed by violence in the previous year.
Also in January Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace stated that the progress in Iraq was "a very steady ramp of progress." Pace also claimed in January that in 2006 we would witness an increase in in competence of Iraqi security forces, and with that more US troops would be able to come home.
(Nearly a year later we are hearing the same stale statements from the same stale people, and now it looks not like troops will be coming home, but that more will be staying and more will be sent.)
The February 22 bombing of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, which was over 1,000 years old further escalated the violence between Shia and Sunni Iraqi's to new levels that were previously unseen.
Violence surges after the bombing, over one hundred people are shot and killed in the immediate furor.
In March, a 14 year old Iraqi girl named Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi was raped and murdered by US troops, she was set on fire in an apparent cover-up attempt. Her father, mother and five year old sister were not spared death.
In April it is announced that Iraqi police, soldiers and civilians were killed and wounded at a rate of about 75 per day, a rate three times as higher than at the beginning of 2004.
In May and June it is reported that upwards of 100 Iraqis were killed per day in sectarian violence.
The acts of violence have increasingly become more unspeakable and more complex and more difficult to understand. Whole families are executed, sometimes in broad daylight. Bodies routinely wash up on the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates, some are decapitated, some have been tortured. It is also known some Iraqi Security Forces are operating as sectarian death squads.
In May Nouri al-Maliki took office as Prime Minister of Iraq. Maliki vowed to take out "organized armed groups who are acting outside the state and outside the law."
But Maliki is clearly quite dependent on the support of Muqtada al-Sadr who commands the Mahdi Army in Sadr City Baghdad and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim who leads the Badr Brigade, which includes Iraqi exiles who fought alongside Iran against Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War.
In June the killing of the mythical overlord Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did little to change the landscape in Iraq. Violence only surged in Iraq after the theatrical last appearance of Zarqawi and his sudden dance with death.
It seemed in 2006 with each step taken forward two steps were taken back. Little progress, if any, has been made in Iraq. The country is being run by men who have allegiance to sectarian militias and foreign interest, unfortunately some of these men's interest seem to be anti-Iraqi.
In September spy agencies say that Iraq War worsens terrorism threat.
October becomes the fourth deadliest month for US troops since the war began in 2003 and the deadliest of 2006.
In November the Iraqi High Tribunal sentenced Saddam Hussein to death by hanging and the United Nations officials report 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October 2006, the highest toll for civilian casualties since the Iraq War began in 2003.
Later in the same month over 200 people are killed when five car bombs and two mortars detonate in Sadr City, a Shia stronghold, becoming the deadliest attack since the Iraq War began. Shia then retaliate for the bombings and set fire to a Sunni mosque and attacking it's worshipers.
Also in November NBC decides to start calling the Iraq War a Civil War.
In December the bipartisan panel The Iraq Study Group releases their recommendations for the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Among the recommendations are talks with Iran and Syria, training more Iraqi forces and an eventual drawback of US troops.
President Bush states he will consider all the options presented by the Iraq Study Group. Soon thereafter rumors begin circulating that additional troops will be sent to Iraq.
Now here we are rounding the corner, preparing for 2007. What will the future bring us? The track record indicates we are heading for an increase in violence and tensions.
The President is preparing for his next move on the chessboard. He is currently meeting with his "top advisers" in Crawford, Texas. I imagine new slogans are being created as we speak...
The meeting is most likely aimed at creating a so-called "surge" in Iraq, which is most likely aimed in an another botched redemption attempt by the Bush Administration. The "surge" in US troops will most likely result in a competing "surge" in the inSURGency.
So as we enter 2007 keep in mind the Bush Administration is not going to allow failure to happen on their watch, it will be the responsibility of the next President to clean up this debacle.
History will not vindicate the mistakes, lies and alibi's of our current leaders. Their lack of foresight and planning and abundance of ego has only fueled the insurgency in Iraq, weakened the moderates, damaged the so called War on Terror and made the United States and the world a more dangerous place to live in.
2007 shall be another year of tremendous change, keeping in mind that change is not always good we should remember that the Bush Administration will not back away from it's crusade, and nor will the terrorist back down from their jihad and nor will the factions in Iraq suddenly stop fighting.
As long as non secular warmongers with a lack of vision are running Washington and Baghdad expect little improvement, protest their tyranny and do not allow yourself to be bought with their cheap and empty rhetoric and slogans.
Good luck in the new year, your going to need it. (me too)