AT THE TURNING POINT

Iraq: Commanders’ Reports to the Pentagon say the War is Lost

By Thomas Pany

[This article published in the German-English cyber journal Telepolis, 6/7/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,  http://www.telepolis.de/r4/artikel/22/22837/1.html.]


May 2006 was the cruelest month in “Waste Land Iraq”: 1400 corpses were brought into the massive Baghdad mortuary. According to a BBC Report, the Iraqi health ministry has counted 6,000 corpses for 2006. (1)

The “Horror Picture Show” in Iraq continues daily – the kidnapping of 50 persons at a bus station in the capitol city on Monday, the discovery (2) of nine mutilated bodies on a major expressway in Hadid yesterday and eight bodies found in fruit crates on Saturday. This was the conclusion of the American Iraq commentator Juan Cole. (3) Only a small part of the daily violence in Iraq is see, he adds.

To the government-embedded camp, history professor Vole is regarded as an unmitigated “pessimist” who interprets reality in Iraq according to his own political preconceptions. From the beginning, Cole was a determined critic of the Iraq war and the Middle East policy of the current administration. However the wind seems to be shifting. For some time, pessimistic assessments have come from circles that spread optimism in the past: the commanders of the US army.

For a long time, staff generals like General; Batiste, (4) criticized the Iraq strategy of Defense secretary Rumsfeld. These generals were heard internationally. Now “military commanders in the field” raise the greatest doubt about the success of the mission in Iraq. (5) In private reports to the pentagon, they admit the war is lost and the American military cannot contain the growing violence in the country.

Details of these reports are unavailable according to the news site “Capitol Hill Blue” (6) since General chief-of-staff Peter Pace threatens immediate sanctions if anything is heard from military circles about the “increasingly pessimistic progress reports.”

In the incident in Haditha [cf. The Murderous Liberator (7)] described against and again as the “tip of an iceberg,” the American troops have reached their physical and mental limits according to sources from Capitol Hill Blue. Many reports and witnesses confirm the picture of overstrained units. The “Kilo Company,” that marine decried for the murder of innocent civilians in Haditha with its alcohol- and drug problems and strange initiation games, may not be an exception.

“Accusations like these (Haditha) regardless whether they are supported by facts have an effect on the ability of US armed forces to continue its operations. These incidents reinforce the impression that the US cannot win the war,” said General Carter Ham (8), commander in northern Iraq.

[The numbers refer to footnotes in the German article in Telepolis.]