Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

While Crowing About Success In Baghdad Neighborhood, Geraldo Rivera Omits Mentioning That US Ally Is A Thug

Reported by Ellen - November 27, 2007 -

On tonight’s (11/27/07) Hannity & Colmes, Geraldo Rivera was jubilant about the success in Ameriyah, a once horribly-dangerous Baghdad neighborhood that, Rivera exclaimed, is now “safer, statistically, than some United States cities!” The secret to the success, according to Rivera, is that the US “forged a very unique partnership that may be a future blueprint for other Iraqi cities.” What the “we report, you decide” network neglected to mention is that the Iraqi partner uses the “methods of a mafia don.” With video. UPDATED 12/25/07

The Iraqi ally is a Sunni warlord now on the payroll of the US. As The Guardian reported in a recent article,

Abu Abed, a member of the insurgent Islamic Army, has recently become the commander of the US-sponsored "Ameriya Knights". He is one of the new breed of Sunni warlords who are being paid by the US to fight al-Qaida in Iraq. The Americans call their new allies Concerned Citizens.

It is a strategy that has worked well for the Americans, on paper at least. This week, the US military claimed it had forced the extremist group al-Qaida in Mesopotamia out of Baghdad altogether, and cut the number of murders in the city by 80%. Major General Joseph Fil, commander of US forces in Baghdad, said: "The Iraqi people have decided that they've had it up to here with violence."

Critics of the plan say they are simply creating powerful new strongmen who run their own prisons and armies, and who eventually will turn on each other.

A senior Sunni sheikh, whose tribe is joining the new alliance with the Americans against al-Qaida, told me in Beirut that it was a simple equation for him. "It's just a way to get arms, and to be a legalised security force to be able to stand against Shia militias and to prevent the Iraqi army and police from entering their areas," he said.

"The Americans lost hope with an Iraqi government that is both sectarian and dominated by militias, so they are paying for locals to fight al-Qaida. It will create a series of warlords.

"It's like someone who brought cats to fight rats, found himself with too many cats and brought dogs to fight the cats. Now they need elephants."

Don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted to know that at least some parts of Iraq are returning to a bit of normalcy. I’m willing to at least consider that guys like Abed may be a necessary evil. But I think FOX News owes it to its viewers to tell them what American blood and treasure is paying for over there.

Neither Sean Hannity nor Alan Colmes discussed Rivera's report.

UPDATE: Please note the thoughtful and credible comments of Lt. Col. Kuehl, featured in Rivera's report, rebutting the characterization of Abu Abed in the Guardian article. Col. Kuehl's comments were posted on 11/30/07 (but not seen by me until today) and deserve to be read and considered.