Friday, February 02, 2007

Want to Know What Is Really Going on in Iraq?

Read the transcript of the Report from CNN’s Baghdad Correspondent Michael Ware. Anderson Cooper’s interview with Michael Ware, “The Hidden Wars”, was first broadcast on Cooper’s “360 Degrees” news show on January 31 at 11:00 PM. It was rebroadcast on “360 Degrees” on February 1st. If we are lucky it will be broadcast again. In any case, you can read the transcript on the CNN Transcript site. Ware has been in the thick of the war in Iraq since it started. Unlike hairy John Burns who was so-called embedded with the troops and seems to report from the safety of the Green Zone, Ware ‘s reports are from the troops’ vantage point. Ware says there are hidden wars in Iraq. There are actually four wars going on: 1) the Sunni war, 2) the rise of Al-Qaeda, 3) the civil war, and 4) the proxy war with Iran. Ware was captured at one point by the Al-Qaeda. It was only because it was in Al-Qaeda’s best interest at the time not to start a mini-war with the mid-ranking Iraqi insurgent in the vehicle with Ware, that “through gritted teeth” the Al-Qaeda let Ware go. “COOPER: So when did this first war, these Sunni insurgents start to become more radicalized? WARE: As we saw strains put on the insurgents' flow of finances and funding, we saw a growth in the power and influence of al Qaeda and other Islamists. And also, don't forget, what we now see as a civil war has pushed people on both sides to the extremes. So we're now seeing nationalists being herded towards al Qaeda. More and more we started seeing foreign fighters appearing in Haifa Street, to the point where by the end, Zarqawi's organization, which later became officially al Qaeda, was able to display its banners along the length of Haifa Street, to take ownership of it over the Iraqi nationalists. (CROSSTALK) COOPER: Al Qaeda and Iraq could actually put its banners on a street in Baghdad, in central Baghdad? WARE: Yes, they did. And this was a symbolic passing of power here in the center of the capital. Now, I personally experienced this. Just days after a blazing battle with U.S. forces that left a Bradley armored fighting vehicle in flames, Zarqawi supporters were on top of it waving his flags. What happened is al Qaeda said, well, we now own this. So I went in there to document this, to see if it was true and to try and show this. COOPER: Are you nuts? WARE: Well... COOPER: Do you ever ask yourself that? WARE: Yes, often, actually. But this is -- this is... COOPER: I mean, that's a dangerous thing to do. WARE: It is an extremely difficult thing to do. But, I mean, this is a part of the nature of this, like every war. The fog of war. What's true and what's not. There's so much that we're told by all sides. I mean, this is one of the universal features of this war as in all others, is that everybody lies. But I went in there and sure enough, I found the banners. Sure enough, lining the streets were Zarqawi's fighters, these men who soon became fully fledged al Qaeda. Now, what happened is that in the end, these men intercepted my vehicle and with grenades, with the pins pulled so that they were live, hauled me from the car, and with my own video camera, they were preparing to film my execution. So as far as we're aware, after that day on Haifa Street, I'm the only Westerner that we know of who's been in the control of Zarqawi's organization, al Qaeda, and to have lived to tell the tale.” As Ware says, what is true in this war, is true in all wars: EVERYONE LIES. But the thing I cannot figure out, is this: Does the Bush administration not know what is really going on in Iraq? Or does the Bush administration not care what is going on in Iraq? Michael Ware has no solution to offer to this terrible thing that has been brought down on Iraq. What he does say is that when the US attacked Iraq, we played into the hands of the Zarqawi faction. We gave the Iraqis an enemy to hate. And right now, we are playing into the hands of Iran. Ware doesn’t see any good strategy. He says, “It just doesn't seem that there's any road forward that does not involve the spilling of so much innocent blood or the abandonment of so many of the principles that we of the West hold dear.” But our pulling out, Ware says, is not going to accomplish anything good. Read the transcript. It’s the only way any of us poor mokes (and maybe even the entire government) will find out what is actually going on in Iraq.


Cyn said...

Joy, if anyone wants to see the clips, I have them on my site in QT format:

Michael has been doing amazing work from Iraq, and that hour-long special was absolutely brilliant.

Starrider said...

I also have the clips from that brilliant and sobering report on
My Blog

The very next day you could hear the Feds mirroring what Ware had said in the latest National Intelligence Estimate. That kind of damages that theory about the media mis-representing the truth and undermining the war, eh?