Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another Update

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.


Vinny said...

Seeing as how we are almost neighbors, I was wondering what newspaper it is that you are reading. I get the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, but neither one of them mentions the British or Iran.

The Wall Street Journal does note that the Pentagon is heartened by the fact that the Iraqi forces are taking the lead in the fighting and I quite agree that this is a good thing. However, at this point, I am not sure that I would describe it as more than a potential silver lining in the dark cloud of increased violence.

If the Iraqi government can quell the increase in violence on its own I would agree that it will show some real progress. I really do hope that they are able to do so and I am rooting for it. However, I think there have been too many premature claims of "corner turning" too be anything more than cautiously optimistic at this point.

Marshall Art said...

Cautious optimism is indeed prudent as one can never tell what can happen.

What I read was an AP report in the 2/37 issue of the Daily Herald. The part about the British handling the southern areas wasn't news to me. I was aware of it when they announced their drawdown several months ago. The Iran bit was a mere mention of the belief they are lending support. They didn't dwell on it.

To be frank, Iraqi government source admitted they were unaware of how well the Iraqi forces are doing, which I think shows cautious optimism on their part as well. But the article did mention that the British still there are poised to respond to requests for assistance, which has yet to come in regards to this outbreak of violence. One American office described the situation as cleaning up street criminals. But hey, people dying is people dying and al Maliki has given them the old tomato. Three days to lay down their weapons or else. We'll see what that means if they ignore him.

Considering what the history of the region has been, even when the time comes that Iraq doesn't need us, I fear they'll be playin' games with the scumbags for a while. But once they get to that point, it will have a positive impact in the region. I have to believe that people don't enjoy living like that. To see their own rise up to fight off the death merchants has to feel good to them and be encouraging.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "They are beginnng to take care business themselves!"

I am all for that.

Friendly reminder: Not everyone who opposes the war in Iraq is on the Left. Not everyone who opposes the war in Iraq opposes all wars all the time. Not everyone who opposes the war in Iraq opposes the war in Afghanistan.

Not sayin' you suggested any of that. Just thought it worth mentionin'. ... Just like I think it's short-sighted for the U.S. to think it's fightin' one Islamic "Them," politically, I think it's short sighted for Iraq war hawks to think all the Iraq doves are birds of a feather.

Marshall Art said...

Point taken.

Mark said...

I heard, on a local radio program's promotional announcement, a sound bite wherein one of the hosts reported every time some member of Congress announces the war is lost, or that we are losing, or suffering setbacks, the terrorists step up attacks. I don't know where he got that info, nor can I find it anywhere on the internet, but if that's true, it would suggest the enemy is being emboldened by the Liberal Leaders in the houses of Congress.

Marshall Art said...

Heck, CNN's all over the world. It shouldn't surprise anyone at this point in time that the scumbags are fairly savvy in terms of using the media for either info or for propaganda. There's no doubt in my mind, based on their own statements, that a Harry Reid speaking of the war being lost will incite them to stay the course in their murderous agenda.

Vinny said...

There's no doubt in my mind, based on their own statements, that a Harry Reid speaking of the war being lost will incite them to stay the course in their murderous agenda.

I don't recall them being deterred from their murderous agenda by George Bush's repeated assurances that we were winning the war. The various factions in Iraq have been pursuing their grudges against one another for hundreds of years. They figure they can wait us out regardless of our rhetoric.

Marshall Art said...

I can't argue that necessarily, Vinny. But at the same time, members of those same factions are working, slowly and erratically though it may be, toward finding some way to make it all work.

As for Bush's assurances, one has to separate referrences to the battle with AlQueda, moving along nicely, with the problems of the factional mess provoked and stoked by Mucky and the boys. But in either case, they are losing personnel in great numbers and I'd say it's likely the Sadr guys have a more finite amount of them and can't afford heavy losses. They've kinda backed away with the Brits and Yanks joining in. That means they are not as fanatical as is the AlQueda type groups. As the Iraqi people gain more ability to fight on their own, and they seem to be close if they attempted to control this squabble alone initially, Mucky will become less cocky rather than have his fat ass shot off.

Ron said...

There is also a story about how the iraqis refused to fight..deserted it..did you find that one? Many are, sort of, doing what they are doing for the money we are giving them. They will form natural alliances and settle it among the Iraqi people, as it should be, when we quit gaming the procedure.

Marshall Art said...


I had not heard before of any stories suggesting that we are paying the Iraqis to fight for themselves. I would appreciate a link to any source you may have for this. Such a tale suggests there are none who would wish to create a life without all the crap and would fight for that. I find this to be illogical and unlikely.