Daily Revolt

November 03, 2007

Sunnis Demand Payment from U.S. for Fighting al Qaeda

Now we know how Bush got the Sunnis to stop killing Americans troops and join us in the fight against al Qaeda:
Sunni leaders from Iraq's Anbar province on Friday said they want billions of dollars as compensation for joining U.S. forces in the fight against al Qaeda militants.

[...]"Al Qaeda followed your army to Iraq after they attacked you here in the United States," Abureeshah said through an interpreter.

"The people of Anbar united with the American army and they started fighting al Qaeda together, and they have been successful," he said. "So we are asking now that we compensate this province for all of the destruction they have faced."

Bush wants that oil but he doesn't want to pay for it. The Sunnis see that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad is lining its pockets and want in on the action:
[...]Anbar Gov. Maamoon Sami Rasheed said the province also would like American corporate investments to help revive its flagging economy. He said he was especially interested in U.S. oil company money for petroleum and natural gas reserves in the province's southern Akaz region.

"It's just sitting there, waiting for someone to make use of it," he said.

I'm not sure that's what the President meant when he said the Iraqis are taking their country back:
"They're taking their country back," Bush said of Iraqis. "Slowly but surely the people of Iraq are reclaiming a normal society."

We need more time, Bush argues. We have less violence but that doesn't mean that the Iraqi people are any closer to rebuilding their country. Eventually things will get better, but we must still occupy your country for a few more years, Mr.Bush is telling the Iraqi people:
He argued then that continued American sacrifice would create the space Iraqi leaders need to make gains on tamping down the sectarian fighting that leaves Iraq persistently fractured.

On Friday, he argued for continued patience, because even though national leaders have made little more progress since, he said Iraq offers scattered signs of hope.

The White House does admit that their fantastic accomplishments could unravel:
Administration officials acknowledge it is hard to tell whether the progress represents a temporary aberration or the beginning of a sustainable trend. Bush's current plan for the U.S. presence in Iraq calls for troop levels to drop gradually to around 130,000 next summer, with 5,700 U.S. forces coming home by Christmas.

"Reconciliation at the national level hadn't been what we had hoped it had been by now," the president said.

"While the central government has passed a budget and it's reached out to its neighbors and have begun to share oil revenues with the provinces, the Iraqi parliament still lags in passing key legislation," he said. "Political factions are still failing to make necessary compromises. And that's disappointing and I, of course, made my disappointments clear to the Iraqi leadership."

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