we taught them everything they know

by lestro

Well, we’ve done a heckuva job in Iraq and have obviously trained the Iraqi leadership to the absolute best of our leadership’s abilities, as apparent by the Iraqi push into Basra last week that stirred up the Mahdi army:

… interviews with a wide range of American and military officials also suggest that Mr. Maliki overestimated his military’s abilities and underestimated the scale of the resistance. The Iraqi prime minister also displayed an impulsive leadership style that did not give his forces or that of his most powerful allies, the American and British military, time to prepare.

“He went in with a stick and he poked a hornet’s nest, and the resistance he got was a little bit more than he bargained for,” said one official in the multinational force in Baghdad who requested anonymity. “They went in with 70 percent of a plan. Sometimes that’s enough. This time it wasn’t.”

As the Iraqi military and civilian casualties grew and the Iraqi planning appeared to be little more than an improvisation, the United States mounted an intensive military and political effort to try to turn around the situation, according to accounts by Mr. Crocker and several American military officials in Baghdad and Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A leader with good intentions and bad advice who went lumbering into a battle with no exit strategy and a vastly underestimated sense of the insurgency that was waiting for them?

why does that sound familiar? oh yeah.

But the comparisons don’t end there.

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our surge can beat up your surge

by lestro

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.

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