Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gathering Storm 2008


February - March 2008, Basra, Iraq - news headlines that didn't get much coverage until after the fact.

- Growing violence in Basra, security situation in question.

- Criminal gangs taking control of commerce in port city.

- British forces deny increase in violence.

- Iraqi police in Basra rumored to be told to "stay in barracks" by militia.

- Women in Basra beheaded for "immodesty" for not wearing hijab.

- Children playing soccer executed for "playing games of the infidel."

- Street markets empty, people fearful of going out.

While pressure built on Prime Minister al-Maliki to act to contain the violence, the British operation in Iraq since PM Blair left office amounted to little but a PR operation to hide the fact that they had failed the people of Basra. Moving the British draw-down forward was a critical political consideration in London, and so Coalition forces tried hard to avoid having to act.

The factions took over entire units of the police force, and maneuvered their members into key positions in the government and state-run Southern Oil Co. Some also beat and killed unveiled women in a city once regarded as a liberal, intellectual center. And all are implicated in smuggling millions of dollars' worth of oil, while the city is bereft of basic services such as electricity and clean water.

The vicious rivalry has resulted in periodic gunfights. But British officials say 90% of the violence is directed against them.

That, they argue, is the key difference between Basra and Baghdad. If British troops were taken out, what would be left is a mafia-style conflict for economic and political leverage, rather than the sectarian killing that is tearing Baghdad and other areas.

"This is Palermo, not Beirut," said one senior British officer, who asked not to be identified.
The clouds had gathered and were heavy with vengeance and anger. The storm was about to break and rain down hell on the city of Basra, as it's people huddle in their homes and begged for someone to help them......

9 comments:

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

Grumpy, remember these words:

Iraq- 1400 AD with cell phones

How can we win the hearts and minds of the heartless and mindless?

These "insurgents" and all their friends are just a bunch of backwards assholes. They really don't care about any God, they just use that Jihad crap to gain control and power.

But, the problem really is, the last president and his fellow morons didn't have any idea what these backwards asswipes were like. If they had known anything of the culture and the radicals, they should have planned better.
if we had rolled in with 500,000 troops, sealed the borders, allowed the military and police to remain in place if they swore an oath to the new govt...we would be leaving by now.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Hey Grumpy, get off your ass and write some more. What'd you go on vaction again?

Hope said...

Yes. Grump. Where are you guy? I ha e stuff to tell ya?

~J said...

Come back you grumpy soldier, you!

You are missed here by your lurkers and ol' mil supporters and buddies and just folks that like to hear the stories you have to tell.

...and anyway, I thought you and Roller Dude were gonna write something. How long will you make us wait? Not Army long, I hope...

CI-Roller Dude said...

Maybe grumpy got hit by a car or something. I was hoping we could tell the story about how we all got arrested on Bosnia one time.

Wrexie said...

Gruuuumpyyyyyy...come back. Did you fall in a hole? I heard an echo when I said that...

I wanna hear t h a t story from you and Roller Dude. Hurry.
Yeah, I s'pose you're busy...but you CAN'T be too busy for a story like that good, now can you?

Roller Dude, do you think Grumpy reads his blog? I'm wondering....
I think this calls for a Secret Squirrel visit or something.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Grumpy, we're going to send some retards from SFOR XXIV over to annoy you for not writing.

Sergeant Grumpy said...

Yeah, so I do total suck. In my defense, I've been working to 2-3 in the morning AND have had to spend time in a developing country in Asia.

But I have been thinking about posting. Does that count for anything?

SFOR - the best part about that deployment was the beer, sneaking over the border to Croatia and .... oh wait, none of that ever happened, never mind.

Wrexie said...

Hi Grump...
I read this tonight and thought of you...hope you never delete...

It's from The Sandbox.

http://gocomics.typepad.com/the_sandbox/2009/06/an-open-plea-to-milbloggers-old-blue.html