New Type of Catastrophe Looms over America’s Iraq Deployments


I participated in a study group last night — and one of the scenarios discussed was the increasing probabability of a psychology-altering event having enormous impact on the vast majority of Americans.
One of the scenarios was the prospect of Iraqi police and troops in a gun conflict with U.S. soldiers in which many of the Americans died.
Read this on the death of an American in Iraq today by Iraqi police. Not quite the scenario discussed — but eerily tilting that direction.
More later.

— Steve Clemons


13 comments on “New Type of Catastrophe Looms over America’s Iraq Deployments

  1. wow power leveling says:

    you’re going to dish dirt on me you’ll need to be original. I have already written a book about my felonious past. I outed myself, so to speak so there is nothing revelatory about these so-called factoids. The book is called News Junkie. It was published last week.


  2. David Noziglia says:

    My reaction to the article was: “This is the worst piece of writing, which is saying something, I’ve seen in a long time.”
    The article seems to include comments about four or five separate incidents, with no clear idea of what happened in any of them. We don’t know who the Iraqis were, who the Americans were, who the British were, where anything was, or what the outcomes were.
    Yes, Steve, your scenario is frightening. It may, in fact almost certainly has, already happened. The real questions, in fact, are, what Iraqi army? What Iraqi police? As well, indeed, as What Americans and what British nationals? Military in mufti? Security contractors? Foreign Service officers sent out without protection, as I’ve read is expected?
    If the Americans killed are unarmed diplomats, instead of soldiers, will anyone in the U.S. care?
    What about if they are from the Company?
    Too many questions . . . . .


  3. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmmm “two Americans in civilian clothing” driving in a “US made four wheel drive vehicle”, it was stopped because of suspicions it had entered Iraq illegally, which suggests inappropriate or missing license plates or identifiers, the men inside were heavily armed, and immediately opened fire on customs police.
    Do I have it right?
    Who the fuck is kidding who with all this ‘Iraqi death squads in police uniforms bullshit.’ Yes. Let’s get a few things clear.
    There is no warehous of Iraqi police uniforms stolen by the insurgency. The men in police uniforms are in fact police, operating as off hours death squads.
    In the context of this particular incident, so goddammed what?
    The police aren’t operating in perpetual death squad mode. And they aren’t free lance murderers. Most of the time, they’re operating as they’re supposed to… as police. They’re not just randomly opening fire and kidnapping. Death squad shtick is not a grass roots thing, it comes from orders, from the chain of command, the operations are authorized by someone at some level… woe betide the free lance enthusiast.
    What this means is that you don’t automatically open fire on the cops. You keep a low profile, and you try and talk your way out of trouble
    So here’s the deal with these assholes. Whatever the hell they were, whatever the hell they were doing, they could not pass even minimal scrutiny.
    The minute any cop, any honest cop, took a second look at them, they were screwed. That’s the only circumstance that could have justified them opening fire on contact.
    So these guys were either mercs, or criminals, or they were US military/spooks, and they were up to no good.
    Given that the body and the survivor are now in allied military custody, that tells us that there’s special rules operating for these guys.
    It suggests as well that they weren’t free lance operators.
    I’ll note that military code says that non-uniformed combatants on a battlefield are liable to summary execution.
    So screw them. These guys got what they deserved, and life is too short to waste a tear on spooks getting busted for wet work.


  4. RichF says:

    A firefight between American & Iraqi troops?
    It’s only a matter of time.
    ‘Cept it’s been ongoing for a long time now.
    Same thing happened in Vietnam–the resistance captured American arms. And equipment. And supplies. And political capital.
    It’s not really a similar dynamic as took place in Vietnam. It’s precisely the same–word-for-word, event-by-event, lie-by-lie.
    Insurgent is just another word for resident/ citizen.


  5. Carroll says:

    Posted by Pissed Off American at November 17, 2006 03:54 PM
    Heheheheh…yes, that would work too.
    I wonder if Bremer has personal bodyguards now that he is on his own in the private sector?
    Seems I read an article describing his being spotted shopping somewhere and he was accompanied by bodyguards. If he does is he or the taxpayers paying for them and why does he have them?
    Seems to me he would make an excellent kidnapping target for anyone who wanted to get to the bottom of where all that money went. He doesn’t strick me as someone who would hold up well under waterboarding.


  6. Pissed Off American says:

    “Everyone should have been cleared out of Iraq except the military when Bremer left.”
    I disagree, the MILITARY should have been pulled out, and Bremer should have been left standing in the middle of a main Bagdad thoroughfare with a written will and a jar of vaseline.
    Why the will? Well, SOMEONE besides him should get a piece of the missing nine billion.


  7. Pissed Off American says:

    The Los Angeles Times just ran a four part series that sheds some eye-opening light on this topic. I suspect that the media allegations of “stolen police uniforms and vehicles” when describing the perpetraters of Iraqi crimes is just more horseshit designed to hide the truth from the American public about how we are training and arming the so called “insurgency”.
    It is amusing that Maliki’s government is calling for the arrest of a prominent Sunni cleric for “inciting violence”, yet Sadr enjoys no such accusations. The Sunni participants in this dog and pony show are on the verge of deserting Maliki’s Shiite sham of a government, and if the Sunnis walk out, all bets are off.
    What a fuckin’ mess.
    But hey, the new Sony Play Stations are here. Film at eleven.


  8. Carroll says:

    BTW…does anyone think a Beirut style barracks attack would make us pullout? I wouldn’t count on it because George is crazy you know. He might use it as an excuse to really level Iraq.
    And how would we know who really did it…? There are too many parties who have an interest in making us go or stay.


  9. Carroll says:

    Everyone should have been cleared out of Iraq except the military when Bremer left. Having the mercs, the Israelis screwing around with the Kurds, the independent business “scavengers”, the operators of the war profiteers, they should have been rounded up and kicked out. They contribute to the problem and are a danger to the military.
    All those people turned Iraq into some kind of wild wild west, no one knows who anyone really is or what side they are on or where they are going to pop up and create an incident and everyone has firepower. It’s a damn circus.
    The pentagon says they are out of ideas and the only thing to do is more troops…well I am not military but it seems to me it is a no brainer that first you get rid of all the wild cards running around and clear the ground. The fact that I am sure they know this is fundemental and haven’t done it is why I have always beleived the chaos in Iraq was deliberate. And now it has backfired on their agenda.


  10. Marky says:

    Aren’t the reports that deaths squads are often “dressed as” Iraqi police disingenuous?
    Is it not the case that the death squads and the Iraqi police are one and the same?


  11. notway says:

    No, from the looks of it, the Americans fired first. This is just another “psychology-altering event” for Iraqis, the kind they’ve had for 3+ years now.


  12. dalivision says:

    If this is what it takes to get us out, then why did we go in? Friends living abroad for a number of years have stated to me that most people like Americans and America but do not like Bush. When will he re-think that not talking to others will cause democracy to be implemented in the Middle East? We always talked to the Soviets throughout the cold war including during the Reagan administration.
    Will the Iraq Study Group convince Bush that he must change?


  13. susan says:

    As in a Beirut barracks attack-style incident? I agree that it’s only a matter of time. unfortunately that’s the only thing-not Baker, not the Democrats in Congress, not a grand bargain-that will get us out.
    think a Deus ex Machina. and then think of the blowback here. ugh.


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