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« The Coalition of the Billing | Main | Holland in Europa: Grote Broek - Klein Hartje 20.6.06 [NL] »
Tuesday
Jun202006

Iraq: An interesting error

Reuters, via CNN, wrote:

"06/19/06 08:26 PM, EDT
Australia will re-assign 460 troops protecting Japanese forces in southern Iraq to help the Iraqi military secure the country's border with Syria, Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said on Tuesday."
The article specifies, that this is to happen in the Iraqi province of al-Muthanna (see map). In 2004/2005, a Dutch military contingent was staioned there. It was relieved by "non-combatant" Japanese troops, who will leave soon, too. Under British supervision, Australian troops were protecting the Japanese from hostile Iraquis. These Australian troops are now moved from the Northern city of as-Samawa to the border.
But, WHICH border?
Al-Muthanna has no borders whatsoever with Syria!

Comes a correction, without explanation:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Posted: 0423 GMT
"CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia will re-assign 460 troops protecting Japanese forces in southern Iraq to help the Iraqi military secure the country's border with Saudi Arabia, Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said on Tuesday."
Why is this error interesting?

The American administration is maintaining, that help for Iraqi insurgents, jihadis, etc. is flowing in from Syria. If this is partially true, it is so only for a very tiny part. The Syrian regime has no friendly links at all with the Saddamist version of Baathism, nor with fundamentalist Sunni jihad. And vice-versa.
The administration has its own reasons for putting Syria in the category of rogue states, after it was an ally under Bush Sr. against Saddam Hussein and after it did some dirty torturing work for the CIA.
But everybody can see, that the infiltrants and weapon-smugglers for the Sunni guerrilla come mainly in from Saudi-Arabia and to a lesser extent, from Jordania. Help for the Shiite parties, clans and militias (such as Shiite al-Muthanna, Basra province, etc.) originates in Iran, with its long common border with Iraq.
Theoretically, Saudi-Arabia is an ally. Moving coalition troops to guard its border with Iraq, is an embarrassing move, full of risks at further deteriorating relations with this key oil provider.
Reuter's source was apparently thinking, that it might help, to make Syria the scapegoat once again, trusting, that nobody is interested in the details of Iraq's geography.

But, apparently, somebody was, between 19 and 20 June 2006.

A small example of omnipresent malicious spin.

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