Played Like a Pawn …

Although the Amerikan perception is that the Iraqis are duping them, the facts probably do not support such a conclusion. We would look for insurmountable cultural differences, Amerikan arrogance, unrealistic Amerikan expectations, and initial piss-poor Amerikan planning. But that doesn’t square with the Yank plan, does it? That plan would be the one that blames the Iraqis because they couldn’t handle standing up as the Yanks stood down. Yeh, right ….

U.S. and Iraqis Are Wrangling Over War Plans
By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: January 15, 2007

BAGHDAD, Jan. 14 — Just days after President Bush unveiled a new war plan calling for more than 20,000 additional American troops in Iraq, the heart of the effort — a major push to secure the capital — faces some of its fiercest resistance from the very people it depends on for success: Iraqi government officials.

American military officials have spent days huddled in meetings with Iraqi officers in a race to turn blueprints drawn up in Washington into a plan that will work on the ground in Baghdad. With the first American and Iraqi units dedicated to the plan due to be in place within weeks, time is short for setting details of what American officers view as the decisive battle of the war.

But the signs so far have unnerved some Americans working on the plan, who have described a web of problems — ranging from a contested chain of command to how to protect American troops deployed in some of Baghdad’s most dangerous districts — that some fear could hobble the effort before it begins.

First among the American concerns is a Shiite-led government that has been so dogmatic in its attitude that the Americans worry that they will be frustrated in their aim of cracking down equally on Shiite and Sunni extremists, a strategy President Bush has declared central to the plan.

“We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem,” said an American military official in Baghdad involved in talks over the plan. “We are being played like a pawn.”

Read all of it here.

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