In One Of His Last Interviews Before His Death Iraqi Tribal Leader Abu Risha Details Relationship With U.S. Military

AMY GOODMAN: You know, it’s interesting. Just looking at, a piece by Spencer Ackerman, “Petraeus’ Subordinate: Yes, We Are Arming Sunnis.” And it says, “On at least three occasions that I counted during the Petraeus/Crocker hearings, Gen. Petraeus flatly stated that the US is not providing weapons to the Sunni tribal fighters who, over the past year, have turned against al-Qaeda [in Iraq]. On Monday I noted,” he says, “how he the US was giving the tribes money that they used to buy weapons, making Petraeus’ assurance precious and legalistic.

“But it turns out that earlier this year, US commanders weren’t so defensive about the terms of their deal with the tribes. Here’s Major General Benjamin Mixon, commander of U.S. troops in northern Iraq, on those terms [in June]:”

He’s asked a question: “Will the assistance or the coordination with these former insurgent groups extend to arming [them] or helping them out in logistics in any sense?”

And General Benjamin Mixon says, “It certainly will. We have seen this in counterinsurgency operations before, using local nationals, if you will, arming them, forming them into scouts, if you will. And that’s the primary role that we want to use them in. They know the territory, they know the enemy.”

RICK ROWLEY: Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, the Petraeus report is full of deliberate distortions of cherry-picked statistics and statistics that disagree with the Iraqi government and with independent journalist reports and with downright lies. read article


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