Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"US soldiers and diplomats have waded deeply into Iraqi politics"

The SF Chronicle talked to the son of one of the Americans killed in the Sadr City blast yesterday (originally this is from the WaPo), and that story goes like this:

Steven Farley, a State Department official working to build up the local government in the Baghdad enclave of Sadr City, knew he and his colleagues had taken a bold step, his son Brett recalled Tuesday.

Farley and other U.S. officials had learned that the Sadr City District Council's acting chairman was loyal to the anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and had urged other members of the local advisory group to force the man to resign.

That was last week. On Tuesday, Farley, 57, and three other Americans were killed after a bomb exploded in the District Council building, just minutes before the selection of a new chairman was to begin.

Capitalizing on recent security gains in Iraq, U.S. soldiers and diplomats have waded deeply into Iraqi politics in an effort to build moderate and responsive government bodies that they hope will erode the appeal of extremists.

This is of course politically incorrect, because the Americans are supposed to be merely supporting the Iraqi government in law-enforcement and reconstruction, not shaping the politics of local councils.


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