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U.S. Must Leave Falluja, Iraq General Says
Reuters ^ | Thu, May 06, 2004 | Michael Georgy

Posted on 05/06/2004 6:36:01 AM PDT by Eurotwit

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - The Iraqi former general entrusted with pacifying volatile Falluja said on Thursday U.S. Marines must withdraw quickly from around the troubled town and go home so stability can be restored.

"I want the American soldier to return to his camp. What I want more is that he returns to the United States," General Muhammad Latif told Reuters in an interview.

"They should leave very quickly, very quickly or there will be problems. If they stay it will hurt the confidence and we have built confidence. They should leave so that there will be more calm."

Latif and a group of generals offered to tame Falluja with their Falluja Brigade after the town was subject to a month-long siege in which hundreds of Iraqis died as U.S. air strikes and guerrilla mortars rocked the town.

Life has been calm over the last few days, but Marines are still on the edge of the Golan area of Falluja, where the heaviest fighting took place, manning checkpoints with Iraqi security forces under Latif's command.

Major General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marines Division, said on Thursday after meeting Latif the Marines would maintain a presence around Falluja until certain security requirements were met.

"At some point, I am sure we will pull back if the foreign fighters are confirmed and turned over to us, the heavy weapons are turned over to the Iraqi army and then we get them. It is event driven," he said.

But Latif said there was no need for them to stay because Falluja was peaceful.

"I am confident they will leave in a few days," he said.

Wearing a European-style suit and tie, Latif has been meeting top Marine commanders to discuss ways of imposing security in Iraq (news - web sites)'s most rebellious city.

On Thursday, he appeared with four other Iraqi former generals, pointing out that one of them was a Shi'ite, a suggestion that his force in mostly Sunni Falluja would be mixed.

TORTURED UNDER SADDAM

Latif denied reports he had worked for Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s intelligence service.

"I never worked for the Mukhabarat at all. Saddam threw me in jail the first day he came to power for a period of seven years. I had two hands broken by Saddam. My arm and shoulder were broken due to torture under Saddam," he said.

"I was innocent except for the fact that I stood against a dictatorship. When I served in the special forces I had some information on Saddam, his brother and family. They hated me very much."

Saddam is gone but Iraq's problems are multiplying and Latif faces the daunting task of taming a combustible mix of tribes, Islamic militants, guerrillas, suspected foreign fighters and fierce anti-American sentiment on the streets of Falluja.

Latif dismissed the possibility that guerrillas lying low after the fighting could return with their rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assalt rifles.

"There are no insurgents. There are kind people," said Latif, who said he studied in Britain.

The Americans have said repeatedly that foreign fighters played a big role in the violence. But that's another subject Latif brushes aside.

"We have underground mujahideen. I believe 37 corpses are buried in the graveyard. I saw it with my own eyes," he said.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fallujah; fallujahiraq; iraq
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What?
1 posted on 05/06/2004 6:36:01 AM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Eurotwit
"If they stay it will hurt the confidence and we have built confidence"

CONFIDENCE? THEY HAVE CONFIDENCE? I'd hate to see what it would be like if they didn't have confidence! What a total mess.
2 posted on 05/06/2004 6:38:50 AM PDT by Ragirl (Vote in '04 ! Those who sit on their hands end up with poop on them.)
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To: Eurotwit
The Iraqi former general entrusted with pacifying volatile Falluja said on Thursday U.S. Marines must withdraw quickly from around the troubled town and go home so stability can be restored.

Translation ... you don't want to see what's fixing to happen

3 posted on 05/06/2004 6:39:22 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly. Teddy Roosevelt)
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To: Eurotwit
Maybe we need to get a Kurdish commander in there. After last month's Syrian massacre of Kurds, a Kurdish commander wouldn't deny the presence of Syrian fighters in Fallujah.
4 posted on 05/06/2004 6:39:22 AM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: Eurotwit
Don't believe everything you read.
5 posted on 05/06/2004 6:39:44 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Eurotwit
fox in the henhouse bump

Classic, strategic mistake. One for the history books - bump.

6 posted on 05/06/2004 6:39:58 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (As an overseas Yank, in all my years, I've NEVER seen such disdain toward Americans & the USA.)
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To: Eurotwit
Next!
7 posted on 05/06/2004 6:40:13 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Eurotwit
You are surprised that this is blowing up in our face? Read what Hayek (or perhaps Chalmers Johnson author of Blowback) has to say about the unintended consequences of government intervention and you will not longer be surprised.
8 posted on 05/06/2004 6:40:31 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Eurotwit
Methinks this general we are supposed to be trusting to maintain the peace in Falluja was a bad choice.

He could just be saying that to help preserve that sense of fierce Islamic pride that is all-important and to help al-Sadr's followers rally behind him. It's so important in that region to save face.

But I doubt he's anything but another thug who wants to make his own power grab.
9 posted on 05/06/2004 6:40:44 AM PDT by AQGeiger (Militant Islam is the gangrene among humankind.)
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To: Eurotwit
I say we split the difference, and leave that town a smoking hole in the ground. But we left right.
10 posted on 05/06/2004 6:42:12 AM PDT by TXBSAFH (KILL-9 needs no justification.)
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To: Eurotwit
More bullsh*t from Iraqis supposed to be helping us. A pox on them.
11 posted on 05/06/2004 6:44:55 AM PDT by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo Arabiam Esse Delendam -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit)
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To: Eurotwit
That didn't last long. What did we see in this guy in the first place?
12 posted on 05/06/2004 6:46:05 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (u)
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To: Eurotwit
I am not one little bit impressed, and do you know why?
I know what happened to Americans in Iraq, and I have seen pictures of MUTILATED bodies. amd bodies BURNED, and DRAGGRD through the streets. Just where was all of this Iraqi compassion and concern for humanity? Where was any deceny shown? NO ONE in Iraq takes responsibilty for anything at all. No American would ever sink so low as the Iragis. Some how, I wish that all they had done to the Americans were to lead them around and stack them in heaps.
At least the Iraqi prisoners have hope of going home, and they were not beheaded, burned, or dragged through the streets or hung up on bridges. So they need to go and tell this to someone else besides me.

Thes Iraqi jokers are even pretending to have some decency.
13 posted on 05/06/2004 6:47:04 AM PDT by tessalu
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To: AQGeiger
Methink that the 7th century bug eating Iraqis need to have whoever they want in place whenever...we are to hand things over on the 31st of May...gotta start somewhere...

As for pulling back...GREAT let's do it...let the bug eaters sort it out...why should we care what happens in Falluja in the next couple of weeks...it ISN'T gonna resolve itself before the 31st if we stay in there or not...let them have their wish...I'm sure we could use some of those troops in other areas anyhow...ubtil the crap hits the fan again in the first couple of days in June...

14 posted on 05/06/2004 6:47:08 AM PDT by antivenom ("Never argue with an idiot, he'll bring you down to his level - then beat you with experience.")
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To: Eurotwit
It sounds to me like this general sees the opportunity for a power grab.

I wouldn't trust him for a second.
15 posted on 05/06/2004 6:48:08 AM PDT by William Martel
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To: BunnySlippers
Well that's 2 Generals down,,,,,,,,,,,

Brilliant plan. Next.
16 posted on 05/06/2004 6:48:23 AM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: Eurotwit
There are no insurgents.

This parrot is not dead, it's pining for the fjords.

Isn't this the joker that the media claimed had been put in control of Falluja? And Bremer came out and debunked the claim?

17 posted on 05/06/2004 6:48:26 AM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Eurotwit
Sure, As soon as we go through and collect ALL the heavy weaponry in the city.
18 posted on 05/06/2004 6:49:54 AM PDT by OXENinFLA
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To: Eurotwit
"I had two hands broken by Saddam. My arm and shoulder were broken due to torture under Saddam,"

Ah, but were you forced to wear women's underwear?
19 posted on 05/06/2004 6:50:41 AM PDT by Bahbah
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To: DonaldDuke
This is General B. General A has already been relieved of duty and probably back in our prison (or working for us).
20 posted on 05/06/2004 6:51:18 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Eurotwit

General Muhammad Latif

21 posted on 05/06/2004 6:53:10 AM PDT by Sabertooth (Bush is to Illegals as Kerry is to terrorists... And so is Kerry.)
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To: Eurotwit
"There are no insurgents. There are kind people," said Latif, who said he studied in Britain.

Sounds more like he studied at the Baghdad Bob School of Meaningless Platitudes.
22 posted on 05/06/2004 6:56:25 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: tessalu
99.999% of the world has double standards when it comes to the United States and Iraq (the 0.001% being us Freepers)

This will never change no matter how logical it is, no matter how loudly we point it out, etc
23 posted on 05/06/2004 7:00:38 AM PDT by Nataku X (Kerry's Entire Campaign: Bush bad. Medals good. Bush bad.)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Eurotwit
No, we wouldn't want to upset the terrorists, so we must leave.
25 posted on 05/06/2004 7:01:02 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: sartorius
"We?" "We" appointed this guy.
26 posted on 05/06/2004 7:01:40 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: Eurotwit
Well, I guess we better go then. Ah well.
28 posted on 05/06/2004 7:04:23 AM PDT by new cruelty
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To: sartorius
Social planners have been saying the same thing for decades. Heck, there are many liberals who believe that the Great Society would have succeeded had we appointed the "right people" to run it.
29 posted on 05/06/2004 7:05:08 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: tessalu
i just want to note that you are basing your opinion of all iraqis the actions of some iraqis so does video showing some americans represent all americans, too?

of course not. overgenaralising about situations and motives is what you when the situation is too hard.
30 posted on 05/06/2004 7:09:39 AM PDT by sweneop
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To: William Martel
I was thinking the same thing. "Go back home and let me worry about how to run the town...the district...the goddamn country". Hey, at least the guy shows ambition !
31 posted on 05/06/2004 7:09:55 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
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To: Eurotwit
"But Latif said there was no need for them to stay because Falluja was peaceful. "I am confident they will leave in a few days," he said "

So am I.

Brahimi, the Governing Council and Bremer don’t want more bloodshed. It would be much more difficult to justify restarting an offensive on a quiet city than finish the last one.

I’m confident that 1st Mar. Div. General Mattis will once again have to eat his words, mismanaged by an administration will a pattern of compromising.

32 posted on 05/06/2004 7:13:51 AM PDT by elfman2
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To: Eurotwit
"I want the American soldier to return to his camp.

Yeah, we'll do that and get about 50 miles away.

What I want more is that he returns to the United States," General Muhammad Latif told Reuters in an interview.

We'll do that right after we have turned the entire city into a glass parking lot with a few nukes.

33 posted on 05/06/2004 7:19:45 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (John F'ing Kerry, dumbocRATs and the media support terrorists.)
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To: Bahbah
"I had two hands broken by Saddam. My arm and shoulder were broken due to torture under Saddam,"

X-rays?
34 posted on 05/06/2004 7:32:54 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - Rumble thee forth...)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
"X-rays?"

Good idea.
35 posted on 05/06/2004 7:36:17 AM PDT by Bahbah
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To: Eurotwit
Maybe this is just a feint. While most of the attention was on Fallujah, the Marines have very quietly taken back the center of Najif. It looks like any Iraqi who's put in a "position of authority" in Fallujah is a card-carrying clown.

Okay, when the time comes, the Marines will kick ass and take names. Generals, not politicians, ought to decide when the time has come.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Honesty Problems with Kerry and Gorelick: Pin the Truth on the Democrat."

36 posted on 05/06/2004 7:37:55 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Arrowhead1952
When **Americans** can walk the streets without being molested, then we know our enemies are dead and we will leave. BUT NOT BEFORE!!! He must clear a path for American advance, not provide a fig leaf for retreat.
37 posted on 05/06/2004 7:38:04 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - Rumble thee forth...)
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To: Eurotwit
"There are no insurgents. There are kind people," said Latif,

yeah. This guy's right on top of things. The insurrgents/terrorists/baathists are dematerialized.

38 posted on 05/06/2004 7:51:53 AM PDT by Pietro
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To: Eurotwit
Told you so. We're screwed.
39 posted on 05/06/2004 7:55:08 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: jpsb
I don't believe it, but it will certainly be a rougher ride than some people (including me) envisioned.

Compare this to the positive step taken by the Shia cleric councils regarding Sadr.
40 posted on 05/06/2004 8:03:34 AM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Monumental failure, worst failure of America diplomacy I have ever seen. The entire war effort is crumbling. Wish we had a leader that knew what he was doing. None in sight so things will get worse before they get better.

We are screwed in Iraq.

41 posted on 05/06/2004 8:08:40 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: Eurotwit
Fallujah is picking up where it left off. Funny how we send Marines into Fallujah to die going after the bad guys who inhabit the city yet then the politicians/Generals tell them to cease firing because we are negotiating with the terrorists! But the terrorists don't follow the 'agreement' and are still firing and attempting to kill our troops. They are supposed to hand over the weapons and do give us rusty, useless weapons and the General says how this isn't amusing and they've got DAYS not WEEKS, yet he not only gives them weeks, but they don't have to give up a thing and we draw back when we had the thugs cornered and install a Baathist General to control things-the same reliable man whom made these statements!! Appalling. Despicable.
42 posted on 05/06/2004 8:27:23 AM PDT by bushfamfan
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To: Eurotwit
We went about the fighting in Falluja in the wrong way with the wrong forces. What we could have done was just tell RIAA that intel sources had determined that Falluja was the center of massive music downloading and DVD copying.

RIAA is ruthless and relentless.
43 posted on 05/06/2004 8:28:13 AM PDT by JSteff
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
I had two hands broken by Saddam. My arm and shoulder were broken due to torture under Saddam..........

Give him an f'n purple heart.
44 posted on 05/06/2004 8:44:21 AM PDT by Dog Anchor
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To: AQGeiger
Don't take this as a flame, but can people on these threads please get it straight:

Al-Sadr has little or nothing to do with Fallujah. He is a Shi'ite and the Fallujahns are Sunni.
45 posted on 05/06/2004 8:50:21 AM PDT by Skywalk
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To: Sacajaweau
This is General B.

Ah, Never mind, I found him:


"There are no insurgents. There are nice people."

46 posted on 05/06/2004 9:08:23 AM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Eurotwit
He is right about the jihadis. They prolly left for Baghdad during one of the ceasefires.

Falluja is now liberated sovereign Iraki territory where they fly the old Iraki flag.

It's calm, stable and according to Gen Latif, safer than Baghdad, especially for women and children. No crime, no terror.

That's what we want. So, I don't know what we have to whine about.

We stated attacking Falluja. And then we stopped to let Irakis do it.

And this General has. Give him a cigar.

47 posted on 05/06/2004 1:43:19 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Eurotwit
For a man who has just been given a Command and been freed from the rule of Saddam, he sure is an ungrateful schmuck. In less than a week after assuming the Brigade he is already giving orders to US telling the MARINES to leave and for the US to get out of his country. Either most Iraqis don't deserve the freedom we have given them or there is NO WAY our CULTURES can ever mix because we see things totally different.

Check that..........TWO different cultures reside in that same environment here. Conservatives (The THINKERS) and Leftists (The FEELERS)

48 posted on 05/06/2004 1:50:53 PM PDT by PISANO (Our troops...... will NOT tire...will NOT falter.....and WILL NOT FAIL!!!)
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To: swarthyguy
Did you seen the piece by sir Jeremy Greenstock from the Economist? I think it is important for a bird-eye-view at the overall strategy, and why the CPA has acted the way it has.

I'll post it, if it hasn't been posted yet.
49 posted on 05/06/2004 1:53:06 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: PISANO
.
50 posted on 05/06/2004 1:53:58 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Ted Rall is a waste of perfectly good oxygen.)
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