Clashes Force Closure of Baghdad District(emphasis added) Remember, this is Baghdad, which is supposedly a cosmopolitan city where these factions have over the years learned to live with each other.
By SAMEER N. YACOUB
Associated Press Writer
April 18, 2006, 9:20 AM EDT
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Sporadic clashes broke out Tuesday between gunmen and Iraqi security forces in a Sunni Arab district of northern Baghdad as soldiers sealed off streets and manned checkpoints a day after a major gunbattle there.
U.S. officials referred to the gunmen as insurgents. But some residents said they were simply neighborhood men who feared that the Iraqi troops were working with Shiite death squads who had come to kidnap and kill Sunnis.
Residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said gunmen went from house to house, urging families to provide male members to help them defend the neighborhood.
That illustrates the depth of the sectarian crisis facing Iraq and the deep suspicions with which many Sunni Arabs view the government's Shiite and Kurdish-dominated security forces.
Until we came in and started shooting up the place. Now imagine how this is playing out in the hinterlands. You know how city-folk in America are a lot more tolerant and a lot less overtly racist than the crackers and rednecks in the country here?
That's what's going on over there. It's the same damned dynamic, only it's reinforced by the bullying of external forces and factors. And as I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, it can't get better, only worse, the long we dither in this country.
You know, it's hard to believe but it was almost three years ago that the Jackass-In-Chief made his little staged entrance to the television cameras and declared "Mission Accomplished!"
What mission was that, Mr. Bush? Combat operations continue, BOTH countries are even more divided than when we invaded Iraq, oil is no longer flowing from the oil fields of Iraq, people are barely starting to get running water in the main cities and provinces, electricity is rationed, and it's going to be a long hot dry summer in Iraq.
Maybe the only mission that remains to be accomplished is for you to gracefully exit, stage right, and hand over the reins to someone who might actually have a clue about how to run a country. Or two. Or three.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky