This morning's paper reports an outbreak of fighting in Iraq. There's shelling of the Green Zone in Baghdad and in Basra, elements of the Mahdi army are engaged with government troops for control of the area they once held. They are giving the government troops trouble and their ability to cope is a concern.
Now here's the point(s): To some, this is evidence that the whole thing is a lost cause. To others, it is a mere manifestation of the ebb and flow of war, a sign the enemy isn't ready to cash it in. This is like the Japanese toward the end of WWII when they fought on when victory for them no longer existed. It's easy for some to see defeat since they can't stand the thought of a Bush victory, which is the only way they look at the whole war on terror. Yet, the immediate victory they think is the only acceptable victory would bolster their opinion of America, or Bush, or both, as international bullies.
But I digress. The real notable piece of info in this report is the fact that the British were in charge of the south where Basra is located and have recently drawn down troops, with those remaining held in reserve ready to join the fight upon request of the Iraqi military leaders. But the article notes that the British are bystanders in this, that despite the struggle of the Iraqi forces against these upstarts believed to be supported by Iran, they have yet to request assistance! Are you getting that? The left insists that there is no definition of victory given by the administration, but in fact, we're seeing here the beginnings of the definition they refuse to hear manifesting itself for all to see. They are beginnng to take care business themselves! Yes, another sign of progress since the start of the war 5 years ago.
So c'mon! Here's another piece of good news just waiting to be downplayed.
I felt I would be remiss if I didn't mention that as of this morning's Daily Herald, according to an AP report, "Anti-American Shiite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers to defy government orders to surrender their weapons, as U.S. jets struck Shiite extremists near Basra to bolster a faltering Iraqi offensive against gunmen in the city."
Security is being tightened all over in the face of this outbreak, including U.S. embassy, and the British in Basra have joined the fight in support of the Iraqi army. PM Nouri al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, is standing firm while allowing that he miscalculated the backlash from his offensive against militias. All this of course is bad news following the piece I offered earlier, but again, it would be silly to believe that the baddies would just roll over, and to expect immediate anything regarding this or any war is foolishness.
Apparently, al-Sadr, "Mucky", who gave the order through a subordinate, so I don't know if he's back in the country, feels he can protect the country if the Iraqi governement would kick out the occupiers, meaning us. I guess he backs the government on his terms only. He should get with the program. He's a thug. A fat, cowardly thug.