Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Operation Fix Muqty: Post Op
Talisman Gate Nibras still considers Operation Fix Muqty an important success. Yet, he is still quite exorcized about the media's coverage. He takes heart in Maliki's promise to continue the operation in Basra now that those Mahdi Army members still loyal to Sadr have ceased resisting:
And eventually, Maliki may nab Muqtada over some infraction as banal as tax-evasion. Maliki is not supposed to be a performing monkey for the western media. His job entails doing the very kind of things he’d gone and got accomplished in Basra. Today, Basra is calm and Iraq’s national army is in charge, not the Mahdi’s. Well done, Mr. Maliki.
Interesting stuff from his post:
1) Maliki has promised to keep arresting the names on his list, and he has demonstrated that he’s a man who means what he says. The NYTimes does not have much of circulation in Iraq and almost nobody watches CNN, so maybe that’s why the regular folks I’ve been speaking to are so admiring of Maliki.
2) I just woke somebody up in Baghdad who usually ends up knowing this sort of thing and he completely dismissed the press report that Iran's 'Sardar Hajji' Qasim Suleimani, head of the Revolutionary Guard's Qarargah Quds (Force), was somehow involved in brokering a 'ceasefire' between Maliki and al-Sadr as a "naive fabrication". The original press report quoted anonymous parliamentary sources.
NIW definitely DOES NOT consider the operation a success:
Al Maliki, who I cannot Friggin believe just stated today that Last week’s battles IS A SUCCESS!!! Is he pulling an April Fools on us??? Is that possible?
Eye Raki says the governor of Najaf has cut a deal with the Mahdi Army to not fight openly there regardless of what the national government does.
Attawi's mother's second cousin's husband was killed when a JAM morter (they're the ones using those, right?) hit their house. She called it a missile, but since she doesn't state that he house was being occupied by JAM, I think that's unlikely.
In the Media
Wretchard judges whether Sadr or Maliki lost...decides to give loss to Sadr
Pat Dollard Admiral Mullen Addresses Meaning of Sadr’s Basra Violence
JihadWatch posts the interview discussed by Raed and Layla Anwar
Here's a Memri post of the interview. Jule's Crittenden sums it up:
Pro-acts of resistance vs. the occupiers, aka the Great Satan. That’s us. It’s Moqtada al-Sadr a couple of days ago... Saddam was bad but America is worse. Baathists are still abroad in the land. The goal of the Mahdi Army is to liberate Iraq, whatever it takes. Also, a more Islamic society, the Mahdi will be here shortly, and al-Sadr’s got Iran on-side. No big surprises there, but it’s nice to hear our latest partner for peace say it. The interesting part is that he says the battles against the Great Satan must take place in the open, not in the cities where they might harm civilians. This would be something new and different for the Mahdi Army, which reiterated its preference for the urban, human-shielded battlefield as recent as last weekend.
WaPo The War Over the War
BBC wins Most Clueless Story Angle of the Month: Iraqi death toll climbs sharply in March