Is This What Victory Looks Like?

AFP – Hundreds of Iraqis set alight U.S. and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah.

Shouting slogans in support of the “resistance,” the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases like, “Now we are free” and “Fallujah is the flame of the resistance.”

Surrounded by the Iraqi army, demonstrators carried posters bearing photos of apparent insurgents, faces covered and carrying weapons.

They also held up pictures of U.S. soldiers killed and military vehicles destroyed in the two major offensives against the city in 2004.

“We are proud to have driven the occupier out of Iraq, at the cost of enormous sacrifice,” said Khalid al-Alwa, the local leader of the Islamic Party, a Sunni Muslim grouping.

“Those who destroyed Iraq paid the price because the people here held them accountable.”

The demonstration, which was held in Al-Khadra Mohammediyah Square in the centre of Fallujah, was dubbed the first annual “festival to celebrate the role of the resistance.”

The United States is due to pull out the last of its troops from Iraq by the end of December, more than eight years after the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Fallujah, a city of about half a million people 60 kilometres west of Baghdad, was home to some of the earliest anti-U.S. protests in the aftermath of the March 2003 invasion.

At the time, Fallujah residents were content to throw only their shoes at US soldiers. But in March 2004, four American employees of the U.S. private security firm Blackwater, since renamed Xe, were brutally killed in the city.

That year, the U.S. military launched two massive offensives against Fallujah, signs of which are still visible today in collapsed buildings and bullet holes in walls.

The first offensive in April aimed to quell the burgeoning Sunni insurgency but was a failure — Fallujah became a fiefdom of Al-Qaeda and its allies, who essentially controlled the city.

In November, a second campaign was launched, just months before legislative elections in January 2005. Around 2,000 civilians and 140 Americans died, and the battle is considered one of the fiercest for the U.S. since the Vietnam war.

13 Comments

  1. Well, I cant say I’m not going to enjoy the sectarian bloodletting that will occur in Iraq after we leave.

    Looks like the whole region is gearing up for a proxy war between the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood who will soon have the sovereign resources to match the Ayatollahs in Qom.

    The front line will be somewhere between Fallujah and Baghdad.

    …… which is good. Both sides will employ methods we could never get away with.

    Sadr will be finishing his Ayatollah studies soon, Sistani will die of old age or misfortune. The Sunnis will cut Hezbollah’s supply lines through Syria.

    We need to arm both sides with short range artillery nukes and set back and watch the fireworks.

  2. i like your thinking.
    however, considering the ragheads are so fucking stupid, if they did use them, they’d only kill six or seven people, tops. i say we nuke them ourselves. do the most damage. hell, the joos will get blamed for it anyway.
    the damn thing i don’t like about this is the kurds are going to get fucked.
    again.
    it’s going to be armenia all over again in northern iraq.

  3. These ragheads talking shit after we’ve already left must have been the same ones that snuck out of town disguised as women right before we took Fallujah. ;-)

  4. the diplomatic mission left behind had better have some damn good, get outta town quick routes.
    they are the ones in my T&P.

  5. Its nothing some bombs and bullets wont solve

    Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq threatened on Wednesday to abandon an American-backed power sharing government created a year ago, throwing the country’s fragile democracy into further turmoil just days after the departure of American troops.

    In a nearly 90-minute news conference aired on tape-delay on state television, Mr. Maliki defied his rivals and pushed back on all fronts in Iraq’s burgeoning political crisis, threatening to release investigatory files that he claimed show his opponents have been involved in terrorism.

    He told Kurdish leaders that there would be “problems” if they do not turn over Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who fled to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in recent days to escape an arrest warrant on charges he ran a death squad responsible for assassinations and bombings.

    The Iraqi leader, a Shiite, also issued a warning to his rivals from Iraqiya, the largely Sunni bloc of lawmakers that includes Mr. Hashemi: if it does not end its boycott of Parliament and the Council of Ministers, he would move to form a majority government that would, in essence, exclude them from power.

    If Iraqiya’s ministers do not show up at future sessions, he said, “we will appoint replacements.”

    The news conference was the first time the nation had heard directly from its prime minister since the controversy erupted several days ago.

    The crisis was triggered when the Shiite-dominated government issued its arrest warrant for Mr. Hashemi, the top Sunni politician, on terrorism charges. Mr. Maliki did offer a small attempt to defuse tensions by calling for a conference of Iraq’s political elite to discuss the matter. If the issue cannot be resolved, he said he would “move toward forming a majority government.”

    But his efforts at conciliation seemed to end there.

    Public life in Iraq is one of perpetual crisis, but some analysts say this is the worst political instability here in years. It is certainly the gravest predicament for the country’s young democracy in the period since it took nearly eight months to form a government after last year’s parliamentary elections.

    In calling for the Kurds to turn over Mr. Hashemi, Mr. Maliki risked alienating a powerful minority that operates in its own semi-autonomous region and whose support he would need to form a new government without the support of the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya. While in the north, Mr. Hashemi is largely out of reach of Mr. Maliki’s security forces, and from there could easily flee the country.

    “We demand the Kurdistan region hand him over, and to bear the responsibility and do their duty,” Mr. Maliki said. “If he escapes this will create problems.”

    Iraq now faces myriad political problems that in sum could derail the national unity government, which American diplomats helped craft last year and which is supposed to include meaningful roles for Iraq’s three major factions — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. This, in turn, raises fears of a return to rampant sectarian and factional violence — although so far it appears that the infighting has remained confined to the arena of politics.

    There has been no recent spike in attacks. But the latest problems have laid bare the sectarian fissures still pervasive in society despite ongoing reconciliation efforts, encouraged by American diplomats, in the years since a sectarian civil war nearly tore apart the country.

    The government’s actions against Mr. Hashemi — regardless of the veracity of the allegations — are seen by many Sunnis through a sectarian lens.

    The minority Sunni community, which had dominated Iraq’s affairs under Saddam Hussein, feels increasingly marginalized.

    Mr. Maliki has also recently sought a vote of no-confidence from Parliament against another Sunni leader, the Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, for calling Mr. Maliki a “dictator” in a television interview.

    “Although Maliki is going after political rivals, his impulsive actions have the same consequences to Iraq’s stability as if he were targeting the Sunni community as a whole,” said Ramzy Mardini, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. “The Iraqiya bloc is simultaneously Maliki’s main political rival and represents the Sunni community.”

    All of this comes just after the final withdrawal of American troops at the weekend, after nearly nine years of war that began with the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated government. The departure of the Americans left behind a country that President Obama described as “stable and self-reliant.”

    As the last American military convoy departed on Sunday morning, the crisis was already brewing. Iraqiya began a boycott of Parliament on Saturday, as rumors swirled in Baghdad that a tank had been placed outside Mr. Hashemi’s compound in the Green Zone, the fortified power center in the capital, and that some of Mr. Hashemi’s guards had been arrested.

    By Sunday evening Mr. Hashemi was briefly barred from boarding a flight to the Kurdish north. On Monday night state television was playing taped confessions by Mr. Hashemi’s guards, who said they had carried out killings and bombings on the vice president’s orders. Mr. Hashemi, in a news conference Tuesday, angrily denied the charges and said they were fabricated.

    Many Iraqis feared the consequences of a power vacuum left in the wake of the departing American troops, but most did not anticipate the country’s precarious politics to disintegrate so quickly.

    “I was expecting this to happen, but not so soon,” said Saif Abdul Salaam, a barber in Adhamiya, a largely Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. “The Sunnis are angry, but they can’t do anything because they don’t control anything.”

  6. most did not anticipate the country’s precarious politics to disintegrate so quickly.

    then most are dumm masses.
    imo, this is being funded by the saudis.
    i’m hoping this turns on them.

  7. 23baghdad-image3-articleLarge-v2.jpg

    There ya go ….. thats what I’m talkin’ bout.

    Now you need to go house to house and start separating some Shiite heads from their goat stinkin’ torsos.

    Show them by god, they cant accuse your elected pro-sunni death squad runners of running pro-sunni death squads and get away with it.

    …… where are those Madhi army bitches hiding anyway? Its time to throw down without western ROEs.

  8. watch this sanctimonious prick squirm.
    it’s almost as though he’s getting some post hypnotic transfer of some sort.

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