Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Siege of al-Amara

Troops, equipment and stores are massed on the road to al-Amara in Southern Iraq. It is the latest target in Nouri al-Maliki's campaign to gain control of the major cities and economic centers of the country he claims to rule. He's currently blocking off access in and out of the city. In a day or two the siege will begin. No civilians will get in or out. Utilities and water will be disconnected. The stores and bazaars will be shut down. People will be restricted to their homes. Iraqi troops will begin to move on the streets in the periphery of the city. The Iraqis will be advised by American special forces. They will be augmented by American snipers, Stryker armored cavalry units and Predator drones. Anyone moving on the streets or in opposition to the government forces will met with deadly accurate sniper fire, artillery rounds or cluster munitions from hellfire missiles. Within a week or ten days,perhaps athousand civilian non combatants will lie dead. The local militias will be beaten down. They will grudgingly allow an armed government presence. The government will then control the population for as long as they are under the guns of the military. In the cities they have thus far liberated, the government has yet to institute a functional civil service presence. They have not reopened public schools or hospitals. They have not restored utilities. The sewage still runs down the streets and alleys. The people are grateful they can venture out and buy food.

Is this a suitable occupation for American troops? Gee, I don't know. I live in one of America's great metropolis'. There is a section of the city, South of the great concrete gash they call the river and East of the city center. It is every bit as uncontrolled by civil authority as al-Amara and just as close to the center of power as Sadr City is to the Green Zone. The police never cruise the Avenues that run North into the foothills. The only law is that of the local militias. Gun battles on the street in broad daylight are common place and arrests by the authorities are rare. The area is a storage and transport terminus for the illicit drug trade. Women are openly enslaved and trafficked. The old and young are employed in sweat shops. The young and strong are indentured to labor contractors. Businesses pay protection. The local gangs are more effective at collecting revenue here than the County Tax Assessor. I'm an old man. There hasn't been any civil control of this area since I was a child.

If the American Army is going to combat insurgent militias, let them do it on the Avenues of East LA. Unless Nouri al- Maliki wants to come here and help us, let him fight his own battles. Let those fuck faced assholes, Michael Yon and Bill Roggio embed themselves down on the Arrow Highway and report on some real Homeland Security progress as it's made. The Third Army has work to do on the streets of LA, before that broke dick Chimpy Guy can declare mission accomplished.

1 comment:

beebs said...

One of the problems with siege warfare is that it is against the 4th Geneva Conventions for PROTECTION of civilian persons.


Food, water, and medical supplies cannot be shut off. And the US is complicit in these illegal actions.