Good News From Iraq Is Just Hope and Hooey

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Yesterday, and again today, Bush says there is a lot of good news from Iraq that doesn’t get reported.

He cites, as his Exhibit A, the success story of city of Tall Afar.

The problem is, it’s B.S.:

A Washington Post employee interviewing residents of Tall Afar found continuing anxiety in the streets. "Al-Qaeda has started to come back again," said Jaafar al-Khawat, 33, a tailor. "They have started to kill Shiites and Sunnis who cooperate with the Americans. Last Wednesday, they killed a truck driver because he worked with the Americans."

Yasir al-Efri, 23, a law student at Mosul University, said al-Qaeda pamphlets began appearing on the biggest mosque in Tall Afar in the past two months claiming credit for attacks. "The Tall Afar mission failed," he said. "The city will turn back to how it was before the battle within two months. The Americans are busy putting cement barriers and barbed wire around their bases and no one is taking care of the infrastructure."

Sebti, the mechanic, was more fearful of sectarian conflict. "People now are afraid to send their kids to school," he said. "I have to take my son to and from the school every day. There are two gangs in Tall Afar now that specialize in kidnapping children. Police can do nothing against that."

Steve Soto says it nicely:

This is Bush’s idea of a success story: claim credit for some short-lived security, abandon reconstruction efforts, and pull your forces back to your safe permanent bases while Al Qaeda returns to haunt the towns, an Al Qaeda that wasn’t there until Bush and Rummy let them into Iraq.