Success in Iraq? Not for Iraqi Women
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Reporters and too many politicians continue claiming that happy days are here again in Iraq. Golly, that surge has been soooo successful - and things are going just swell. In fact, US soldiers have even been told to treat approaching Iraqi civilians as ... civilians!
"Effective immediately, assume all civilian vehicles are friendly," it read.
The order admonished soldiers throughout Iraq to yield to civilian drivers, allow vehicles to pass, and avoid firing their weapons as they escorted convoys of concrete barriers, generators, water and food to U.S. military outposts.
And talk is growing of not only withdrawing the "surge" troops in 2008, but perhaps more:
Gen. George Casey, the Army's chief of staff and the former senior commander in Iraq, has been particularly frank about the state of the Army.
"We're deploying at unsustainable rates," General Casey said three weeks ago during remarks to an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington. The Army agreed to a buildup of troops a year ago with the understanding that it was temporary, he said. "We can't sustain that. We have to come off of that, and we're working that very hard."
In the rush to distract voters from the real issues of the Iraq occupation, I suspect we will hear more tales of success and improvement in Iraq.
Yet for Iraqis, conditions continue to spiral down.