Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"Out of the Cities"...NOT
You are being lied to.
Although overshadowed in the news by jet crashes, student shootings, and Michael Jackson, today was a big day for Iraq.
A new National Holiday in fact, a three-day feast titled "Sovereignty Day".
Sovereignty Day is a result of the June 30th deadline being met for American Combat Troops to be pulled "out of the cities" of Iraq and back onto bases in the countryside.
The poor Iraqis had parades, fireworks, and vacation time to celebrate this important milestone, not realizing that their levity is based on near-complete deception.
The Iraqis think that their own police & soldiers are in charge now, that the occupation is finally winding down.
I am not making this up - I am simply not that creative nor am I a good liar.
What happened is this: the Iraqi people were told "The Americans are leaving the cities by June 30th!" and so, they think that after June 30th, they won't see convoys of huge American MRAPs anymore, they won't see Americans patrolling the streets with rifles and body armor, they won't hear helicopters buzzing overhead at 3am in support of a nighttime raid in their neighborhood.
All reasonable assumptions to make.
What the US Army really means by "Out of the Cities", is classic semantic legerdemain, not to mention bald-faced doublespeak: the US Army means that all 130,000 American troops currently occupying the country will magically transmogrify overnight from "Combat Troops" in title to "Advise & Support" troops...and that's it! We have closed most of the small patrol bases in the urban areas that we opened during the surge of 2006/2007, and we now submit a patrol schedule to the Iraqis a week in advance...and that's it! We will still do patrols in the cities, we will still be conducting raids, harassing the local police into actually doing their jobs, and getting ourselves blown up by IED's & RKG's (roadside bombs & armor-piercing grenades, the insurgent weapons-of-choice right now).
I can imagine this whole thing blowing up in our face, quite literally. No joke - the Iraqis expect us soldiers not to be showing our faces in town anymore. Oops! Sorry, Haji. We're still here, every single day. Talk about fodder for enemy propaganda. I have 6 missions coming up in the next few weeks that will require me to be in the city of Kirkuk, out talking to people, surrounded by other armed Americans in our behemoth armored trucks, just like pre-June 30th. I'm not sure how the locals are going to take it.
I'm loading more magazines just in case...