May 12, 2008

Corners Turned

Moqtada al-Sadr, the figurehead leader of the Mahdi Army that fled to Tehran long ago, has lost Basra. It must have been heartbreaking for the New York Times to make the admission that the Iraqi Army and Police had pounded Iranian-back Shia militias and criminal gangs into submission, but give them credit; they did report it.

Iraqi and American forces continue to pound gangs and Iranian-trained and equipped "Special Groups" in the massive Baghdad slum called Sadr City. Fighting continues despite al-Sadr's impotent call for a truce, and an "anaconda strategy" of squeezing out combatants while choking off of their resupply lines continued, as a wall slicing off the southern end of the slum reached 80% completion.

In Mosul, an Iraqi-led, American-backed assault on Mosul, al Qaeda's last urban stronghold in Iraq, has begun, targeting the last significant bastions of al Qaeda and aligned insurgents in Iraq after the success of the "surge" in the Baghdad region and the Sunni civilian uprising against al Qaeda in Al Anbar over the past year.

The war in Iraq is not over, but no serious person can argue that Iraqi government forces and the coalition military forces backing them are not now dictating the terms and tempo of the conflict in Iraq. They and are imposing their will with considerable success upon areas deemed as unapproachable and lost as recently as weeks and months ago, and have won the support of the overwhelming majority of an Iraqi people tired of war and extremist ideologies.

And yet...

We still have an entire political party predicating their future success on a U.S. and Iraqi government defeat in Iraq. They abhor American soldiers with a spittle-flecked passion, find them to be thugs and criminals of the highest order, and deep down in their heart of hearts, think that American solders would torture innocent civilians and kill merely for sport, if only the watchful eyes of the media were no there to keep them in check.

They view a certain rising American politician as their only salvation in a regional conflict that vexes their very souls. They see his promises of "hope" and "change" and unconditional dialog with Nasrallah or Ahmadinejad and other regional leaders as a gateway to the kind of world they want to live in. They fear John McCain will prove to be a second George Bush.

But enough about the Iranian mullacracy.

I'm just glad we don't have Americans that act this way.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2008 10:37 AM

This is obviously another victory for Sadr who has lulled the Iraqi government and American occupiers into a false sense of complacency and has his 60,000 member highly trained militia ready to spring into action on a moment's notice. It is a quagmire in Iraq and we cannot leave soon enough.

How am I doing? I was practicing for a job interview with the MSM. Do I need to punch it up a little more?

Posted by: daleyrocks at May 12, 2008 10:52 AM

Ah, so the NY Times is right when they report now, but they were wrong to report seven weeks ago that the Iraqi army was losing.

The more obvious conclusion is that both reports are accurate: The Iraqi "army" failed, so the U.S. Army bailed them out and did their work for them.

This isn't surprising; the U.S. wins every battle it fights in Iraq, militarily. The point, however, is that since the civil war in Iraq cannot be "won" militarily, the only way to ensure an actual government in Iraq (as opposed to the Iranian-backed thugocracy conservatives support in Iraq) is for the U.S. to leave. Conservatives are naturally against this, since they approve of continuing the Iraqi civil war and helping one Iranian-backed thug militia kill another.

Posted by: T.B. at May 12, 2008 11:13 AM
The more obvious conclusion is that both reports are accurate: The Iraqi "army" failed, so the U.S. Army bailed them out and did their work for them.

Uh, no.

A green Iraqi unit was sent in first, failed and then more experienced Iraqi units have done the bulk of the work. Other than stabilizing the line after the first units faltered inteh first couple of days, American forces have done little in Basra or Najaf in thw more than a month since, other than logistical support.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2008 11:18 AM

There is mention in the NYT that "forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki" had subdued Basra and they even managed to ignore the "forces loyal to President George W. Bush" for the most part, but what happened to the Iraqi Army ?

Posted by: Neo at May 12, 2008 11:18 AM
The more obvious conclusion is that both reports are accurate: The Iraqi "army" failed, so the U.S. Army bailed them out and did their work for them.

T. B.,

Uh, so, using your logic, the Union Army, which was regularly shellacked by the Confederates, continually plagued by a much higher desertion rate, and suffered recurring logistical deficiencies, actually lost the Civil War.

Funny thing, I had always thought the North won the war despite the above problems. Good thing you set us all straight.

Posted by: MarkJ at May 12, 2008 11:29 AM

If you are implying some criticism of Barry's advanced strategy of Pre-emptive Chattery, be advised: the Obamoids are no longer backing a policy of chatting any and all comers. Looks like the blowback from attempts to join with Hamas units already in combat has hampered efforts and forced a tactical withdrawal. Barry will meet Amadhinejhad but NOT known Hamas and Hezbollah officers. During these meetings, no kisses will be exchanged. This is a marked improvement, of course, over the recent Carter Initiative so, ya know, we should be happy about that.

Posted by: megapotamus at May 12, 2008 12:02 PM

I will know the war in Iraq is fully over when --- the people running for the Dem nomination, and the press, drop all reference to Iraq as a whole --- in favor of non-stop, hostile coverage of Guantanamo Bay...

Posted by: usinkorea at May 12, 2008 07:18 PM

Don't look now, but Sadr has also surrendered Sadr City. Imagine Washington ceding Washington.

If my math is right, this leaves the Mahdi Army in control of absolutely nothing.

We'd better get out of the before the situation deteriorates any further. /snark

Posted by: Pablo at May 13, 2008 07:54 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/13/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by: David M at May 13, 2008 12:11 PM