our surge can beat up your surge
March 25, 2008 1 Comment
With all the talk about the great effectiveness of “the surge” in Iraq, one little important bit of evidence is always left out when discussing the reduction in violence: the Mahdi Army’s decision to lay low since last summer.
However, this week Moktada al-Sadr – a guy who went from a terrorist who needed to be killed into a political leader we deal with – decided to reassert himself:
Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who commands the Mahdi Army and initially called for a suspension of his militia’s activities in August, called on Monday called for a nationwide civil disobedience campaign, beginning in Baghdad, in response to what his followers say is an unwarranted crackdown.
and what happened? all hell broke loose.
Barrages of mortars and rockets pounded the fortified Green Zone area for the second time in three days.
Sadr City, the Baghdad neighborhood that is the center of the Mahdi Army’s power, was sealed off by a double-cordon of troops, some Iraqi, and others said to be American.
A photographer who was able to get through the cordon found more layers of checkpoints, each one manned by about two dozen heavily armed Mahdi Army fighters clad in tracksuits and T-shirts.
Tires burned in the city center, gunfire echoed against the shuttered stores and teams of fighters in pick-up trucks moved about brandishing machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket propelled grenades.
Then there’s this:
Tuesday’s violence raised fears across Iraq that the cease-fire declared by Mr. Sadr was in danger of collapsing, erasing the security gains of the past six months.
So apparently we’re not the ones keeping the violence down over there. Doesn’t that mean the surge wasn’t nearly as effective as we’ve been led to believe?
Hmm, no wonder General Petraeus is now backing off the statements he made before Congress in July about troop reductions:
But it now appears likely that any decision on major reductions in American troops from Iraq will be left to the next president. That ensures that the question over what comes next will remain in the center of the presidential campaign through Election Day.
General Petraeus, speaking to Mr. Bush by secure videoconference during a two-hour meeting of the National Security Council, recommended putting off decisions on further troop reductions for a month or two after the departure in July of five extra brigades sent last year to help secure the nation, the officials said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely about internal deliberations.
So next time you hear the president or John W. McCheney tell you the surge is working, at least you’ll know they are no more telling the truth than Hillary and her Bosnia bullshit…
By the way, 4,000 and counting.