Saturday, April 29, 2006

If the very people we’re training in Iraq are also the ones trying to blow us up, why are we still there?

April isn’t even over yet, and already it’s become the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops -- more than double the 31 killed in March. Why, again, are they still there? Oh, right -- to train the Iraqi forces. Trouble is, as the WaPo headlines, in Iraqi Town, Trainees Are Also Suspects.
But in a town where the local population is hostile to the American presence in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have developed a deep distrust of their Iraqi counterparts following a slew of incidents that suggest the troops they are training are cooperating with their enemies.

The top local Iraqi army commander here was sent to Abu Ghraib prison in November, accused of tipping off insurgents about the routes taken by American convoys, said Lt. Col. Marc Hutson, commander of a Hawijah-based battalion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. The city's police chief was also fired and briefly arrested in January for refusing to go after armed groups.
So why are we still there? Apparently, to mark time while clueless politicians of both parties cast about for a way out of this quagmire without getting burned themselves. Will James Baker find a way to save face? It seems more likely that Russ Feingold will look more like a statesman with every passing day.

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