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March 29, 2008

Iraq Civil War – #2 (Day 3): Two Georges Up In Flames


Finally, a news photo that illuminates the politics of the current Iraqi firestorm rather than the wrenching, but mostly non-explanatory wailing and corpse images.

As opposed to the propaganda coming out of Washington that "the Iraqi government" is cracking down on "criminals" (feel free to substitute the name "Moqtada al-Sadr" right there), the picture tells another story.  What we see are demonstrators in Sadr City burning a photo of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim chumming it up with Junior in the White House.

In this case, because al-Sadr boycotted the last round of elections and Maliki and al-Hakim stand to lose ground in the October vote, it appears Maliki, using government police and military, teamed with al-Hakim's Badr Brigade, are trying to wipe out the Mahdi in Basra while it has the chance.  In an act of exploitation that John McCain probably couldn't figure out in 100 years, Maliki has actually lured the U.S. into launching air strikes on behalf of his psuedo-governmental faction.

As regards the picture-in-the-picture, here's the original image of GDub (while thick in his George Washington phase) meeting al-Hakim in the Oval Office — a meeting which took place a month before the U.S. military embarrassed itself by trying to bust al-Hakim's son for visiting Iran.  (And then, who aren't we backing that isn't tied up with Iran?)

The tragedy of this shot is not that Bush is going to burn for getting played in a deadly factional game he doesn't understand.  It's that, in wearing George Washington like a halo, the symbol core of our democracy is going to burn with him.

Teetering (TPM)

And then, George Washington at Bush's back seems to resonate strongly with the recent:
Before I Could Explain (BAGnewsNotes)

(image: Kareem Raheem/Reuters. March 27, 2008.  Sadr City.  via YahooNews)

  • Rafael

    Thanks for this picture, nailed it right on the head.

  • jtfromBC

    Operation Sawlat al-Fursan (Charge of the Knights) – Maliki
    “a defining moment in the history of Iraq” – GWB
    “We are going through a battle of existence. We will fight to the end; we either survive this or we are finished.
    “We have captured lots of their vehicles, machine guns and mortars. We have new rocket-propelled grenades we got from their supply trucks. Our fighters know how to use the side streets as their battle space.” – Sheikh Ali al-Sauidi, a senior commander, Mahdi army.
    Basra Battle Map,,2269164,00.html

  • MonsieurGonzo

    ref : “Maliki has actually lured the U.S. into launching air strikes…
    IMHO: “Actually, the U.S. has encouraged Mr. Maliki into launching ground assaults” with the support of American air power, both having been lured into combat-level confrontation by Mr. Sadr, et al streetgangs’ local / regional challenge apparent to national / centralized Federal Authority, itself non-existant outside the defensive blast walls of the Green Zone.
    in retrospect, we can now see the military folly of General Petraeus, (and the political fantasy of BushCo), as American Occupation Forces hunkered down in seeming suspended animation in Baghdad for months, waiting for (Godot? :) something political to happen, Over There or Over Here ~ that will change military reality. . .
    . . .when it was the General, himself who should have been doing something: in my humble opinion, re-deploying his forces from Baghdad to Basra; not only improving his logistical position, but also positioning himself against having No Exit by southern-route land lines or sea lanes.
    iow, IMHO if there was a ‘political purpose’ to TheSurge = waiting for something to happen; or, TheySurge = “going after al Sadr, et al” ~ it’s all blown to hell now, because ~ without Basra, we will have to fight our way out of IRAQ; meaning that now any withdrawal, if not by airlift transport, could for our troops be equal to or bloodier than our invasion.

  • lightkeeper

    I agree with Monsieur. I’m not so sure that Bush ‘was lured into’ commanding air strikes on perhaps the most important region in Iraq in terms of oil.
    To say that is to suggest that the Iraqi government is not under military occupation, was not installed by the occupiers, and is operating of its own volition.
    Interestingly, the NYT’s blaring headline yesterday was: “Shiite Militias Cling to Swaths of Basra and Stage Raids.” The subtext being: How dare they defy the government we installed!!

  • michael jones

    I was searching for some information about the Halo 3 skulls but after i read your post the word halo has a new meaning to me… Thank you for the article!

  • jtfromBC

    ‘Whether you’re Sunni/Shia/Kurd/Chaldean/Assyrian/Turkoman/Christian/Jew/Muslim no matter what your faith, freedom is God’s gift to every person in every nation. As freedom takes hold in Iraq, the Iraqi people will choose their own leaders and their own government’ – April 28 2003
    They just don’t seem to be gettin it, George !

  • Joe the Dog Lover

    It is completely rediculous.

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