General Petraeus's Surge command was supposed to make his nominal dotted-line boss, W, look good before his long awaited happy talk report was presented before a weak willed Congress. The timing of these attacks in Sadr City and the Green Zone is meant to cast aspersions on the president and his chief Iraq military commander. A more triumphal charm offensive was aimed at Congress with an RPG - Report Progress is Great as directed by the White House that vets his words and Ambassador Ryan Crocker's. Instead, more than thirty people suffered injuries and three American troops lay dead when the smoke cleared Sunday in Baghdad's Green Zone safer sanctuary.
Hidebound leathery Americans still trying to justify that the military is winning a war that shifted a couple of years ago to the political and diplomatic fronts are out of step or shouting Remember the Maine! A spate of unending violence in Mesopotamia screamed for desperate measures. Enter Mr. Bush's last seven-11 Camo Gucci Gulp Surge with his magical thinking heir apparent with a forty ounce of Bush koolaid elixir, John McCain. See John McCain crowing that the Surge is working even though when he was heavily guarded while traipsing around Baghdad, he could not go back to the same market he went to last year when he falsely claimed things were getting better as violence wet out of control. McCain claims the Maliki official Iraq forces did pretty well - oh goodness, that's some might powerful bush league stuff he drinks.
The attacks also came as Iraq’s national security council intensified pressure on the Mahdi Army, the armed wing of the political group led by Moktada Al-Sadr, the powerful anti-American Shiite cleric, to disarm. In a statement, the council declared that all political parties must immediately dissolve their militias and surrender their weapons if they wished to participate in elections. (Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images Sadr City)
The timing of the statement was seen as message meant in particular for Mr. Sadr, who represents the biggest political threat to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and his associates, and who derives much of his support from Sadr City, the sprawling area of Baghdad that has been encircled by American and Iraqi troops for more than a week.
After the Iraqi soldiers came under attack, American forces, equipped with Abrams tanks, and troop-carrying Strykers and Bradley fighting vehicles rumbled to the scene. An American helicopter fired at least two Hellfire missiles at militia fighters armed with rocket propelled grenades, and blasted one of their vehicles. Later at least one militia-fired rocket hit the Jamilla market, a heavily frequented part of Sadr City, where clashes left at least 20 people dead, Iraqi officials said.
At large whoosh from a nearby rocket disrupted a briefing held by Iraqi and American commanders for a small group of reporters at the lone American Army and Iraqi combat outpost in Sadr City, prompting correspondents and soldiers to duck for their lives. The news conference, given by Gen. Abud Qanbar Hashim, the Iraqi commander for Baghdad, and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey W.Hammond, who leads the American division charged with securing the capital, began as bursts of gunfire rattled nearby streets.
Check your television again because its a shame if that's how folk's get the latest news on what current tragedy has befallen Iraq during the American invasion, occupation, forced purple finger democracy, re-invasion, reoccupation, assisted executions, political meddling, Surge 1 moving into super-sized Surge-Stay-the-Course. American TV media (MIA) mostly abandoned Iraq because its too expensive to cover full time, to say nothing of the realities of danger. With the lack of representatives for the American populace reporting everyday, many decided the Surge - patent pending - was doing just fine. Not.
The Republican Party's presumptive nominee for president, Senator John McCain said Sunday Iraq's military performed "pretty well" during its recent assault in the southern Iraqi city of Basra despite mixed results of the battle.
He said such an assault would have been unthinkable just nine months ago.
There is no progress on the requirements to get some political laws passed on sharing oil revenue. Lately, Iran is showing more clout in Iraq with helping to broker the Shi'a stand down and al-Sadr deciding when to agree fighting against a fellow Shiite. Bush's guy, President Maliki, is being out negotiated too. But hey, Condi's State Department re-approved the Iraq contract for Blackwater services, even after incurring the wrath of Congress and the public's after they allegedly shot first, maimed and killed innocents in Baghdad, then claimed they were fired upon while protecting an American.
Released tomorrow is Patrick Cockburn's latest book which is incredibly timely. Entitled, Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shi'a Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq, offers a perspective that shows insight into the most powerful Shi'a in Iraq with ties Iran.