Gen. Petraeus Briefs Congress This Week…Dems Only Want Bad News!

On Thursday 3 Apr 08, Nancy Pelosi issued a warning to Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, “not to put a shine” on recent events in Basra. Her statement reads:

“I hope we don’t hear any glorification of what happened in Basra,” said Pelosi, referring to a recent military offensive against Shiite militants in the city led by the Iraqi government and supported by U.S. forces.

Although powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed to a ceasefire after six days of fighting, Pelosi wondered why the U.S. was caught off guard by the offensive and questioned how the ceasefire was achieved, saying the terms were “probably dictated from Iran.”

“We have to know the real ground truths of what is happening there, not put a shine on events because of a resolution that looks less violent when in fact it has been dictated by al-Sadr, who can grant or withhold that call for violence,” Pelosi said.

Of course, she is relying heavily on her friends in the Lame Stream Media to provide subterfuge, as the events in Basra, and now Sadr City, have a reality other than which is portrayed by the LSM, and the Defeatocrats in Congress.
One simple question. Why would Mookie call for a cease fire, if his militia was winning in Basra? Has there ever been a fight, where the one who is winning calls for a truce?
Perhaps some additional information on events in Iraq could be found, other than that which is promulgated by the mass media, that could help explain this unusual occurrence.
Most reports of the week long battle in Basra were that the Mahdi militia had held it’s ground, and inflicted heavy losses on the Iraqi Army, and that many Iraqi soldiers and policemen left their posts, and joined the militia in the fight. While it appears some Iraqi soldiers and policemen did indeed refuse to engage the militia, the number being reported seems to be considerably less, than most reports.
According to one journalistic source, the fighting between the two forces, was decidedly in the Iraqi government’s favor, and that the Mahdi militia suffered tremendous losses.

I won that wager. I had written that “the Iraqi Army’s military operation in Basra will be a spectacular win against disorder and Iranian influence”. And I was right.

Of course, most western media outlets are declaring Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran as the victors of Operation Cavalry Charge. Nothing could be furthest from the truth.
Maliki was a political nobody before he ‘accidentally’ became Prime Minister almost two years ago, but today he is perceived as a statesman commanding a strong and motivated army that can impose law and order on once-powerful forces that have run amuck. If that’s not a benchmark of success, then what is?

The western media operating in Iraq regurgitated the Mahdi Army’s bravado as fact thereby serving as useful propaganda tools for the criminal cartels. I’d single out the New York Times, the Associated Press, McClatchy and CNN as the worst transgressors. Many journalists were positively orgasmic in anticipation of another ‘intifada’ or uprising to crease Bush’s message of hope and regeneration.
Maliki won, pure and simple. The western media invented the narrative that Maliki was at war with the Sadrist movement, even though no such declaration was ever made. No one was interested in turning the Sadrists into martyrs when their stocks are sinking faster than Bear Stearns’ anyway. Why turn the Sadrists into desperadoes with nothing to loose? Maliki’s approach is piece-meal: he’s taken out the intimidation factor that kept much of the Sadrist sway in place and he’s done that by showing them that they are no armed match for a better-disciplined, better-supplied Iraqi Army with plenty of stamina. The Sadrists are left with some political gains that they’ve accrued from joining the political process, such as government posts and lucrative contracts that they’d be loathe to part with and that’s their collateral for good behavior from now on.
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.

The insights from Talisman Gate are not only informative, but refreshing. Added to his view of events is Jack Kelly, who offers further insight into what actually transpired in Basra, and how Iran’s fortunes have been altered.

So who’s right? It is rare in the annals of war for the side that is winning to seek a cease-fire. “The Iraq army has cordoned off the city and is methodically advancing to allow residents to leave the city amidst the fighting, militants to turn over arms, while gradually isolating the factions they intend to uproot,” a Marine liaison officer to the Iraqi security forces said in an e-mail Tuesday to radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

Why might al-Sadr have sought a cease-fire? “Sources in Basra tell Time that there has been a large-scale retreat in the oil-rich port city because of low morale and because ammunition is low due to the closure of the Iranian border,” the magazine’s Web site reported.

“They were running short of ammunition, food, and water,” a U.S. military officer told Bill Roggio, editor of the Web-based Long War Journal. “In short, [the Mahdi Army] had no ability to sustain the effort.”

That sure doesn’t sound like al-Sadr’s forces were winning. It is easier to maintain the illusion that they were if friendly, enemy, and noncombatant casualties are lumped together.

Mr. Roggio said his sources in the U.S. military tell him the Mahdi Army was getting pounded. “According to an unofficial tally … 571 Mahdi army fighters have been killed, 881 have been wounded, 490 have been captured, and 30 have surrendered over the course of seven days of fighting. … The U.S. and Iraqi military never came close to inflicting casualties at such a high rate during the height of major combat operations against al-Qaeda in Iraq during the summer and fall of 2007.”

The Mahdi Army has won by surviving, media analysts say. But it seems apparent the Mahdi Army survived by quitting.

Al-Sadr offered the cease-fire after two Iraqi parliamentarians traveled to Iran to meet with the head of the Quds (Jerusalem) force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, McClatchy Newspapers reported. The lawmakers urged Brig. Gen. Qassem Suliemani to lean on al-Sadr (who is in Iran) to offer the cease-fire.

If true (Mr. Kazimi’s government source in Baghdad described it as a “naive fabrication”), the McClatchy story indicates the Mahdi Army is under Iranian control.

Why would Iran want the fighting to stop?

“The Iranians have realized that they no longer can use the Shiite militia threat to force Washington’s hand on Iraq without jeopardizing their own interests,” speculated STRATFOR, a private intelligence service.

Fighting among Shiite factions and the increasing independence of Shiite factions they thought they controlled, havevirtually dashed Iran’s hopes to dominate Iraq through Shiite proxies, STRATFOR said.

“The mullahs know that they are losing,” said Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute. “Their great dream of driving America out of Iraq, which seemed about to be fulfilled just a year and a half ago, has now turned into the nightmare of humiliation and defeat for the Islamic republic. The al-Maliki government is attacking the remnants of the Mahdi Army in Basra, that same government the mullahs thought they had under control.”

There are further assessments of what has transpired in Iraq, concerning the attack in Basra, here, and here. There is also more info coming in now, about Sadr’s forces in Baghdad being assaulted, here, and here.
All this information taken together, events in Iraq, from Basra to Hillah to Baghdad to Iran, all seem encouraging and positive, to this observer.
My advice to Gen. Petraeus is be honest with Congress and the American people, as you have always been.
My advice to Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of her “La-La-La-La-La” colleagues is, take in the information, ask legitimate questions from Petraeus and Crocker, and try for once to leave political opportunism outside the chamber. Our nation, as well as our military, deserve better than a staged dressing down of the Commander of Iraq, when the information available indicates our efforts in Iraq are clearly achieving positive results.
I’m not, however, expecting anything less than a pitiful display of arrogance and ignorance by the Defeatocrats in Congress.

4 Responses

  1. Tomorrow’s speech be seen on c-span, or go here to watch it live.

  2. Yada, Yada, Yada……
    When the wind blows fro too long, you can no longer hear the chimes.

  3. Nancy Pelosi is acting a part for political power. She will not change her lines in the play.

  4. I was encouraged that the facts about what happened in Basra, and now Sadr City, are actually reaching main stream news, as the Fox All-Stars discussed this very issue on Brit Hume’s Special Report.
    I cringe when I think of two honorable men like Petraeus and Crocker having to sit there and listen to the vile statements, and impertinent question, from the sleazy porksters in Congress, without being able to take them outside and show them some manners.
    I think what really has Piglosi’s goat on this, is the old theme of “the surge is a failure” is now clearly a failure, and the newer theme of “not achieving benchmarks” is about to be proven a failure as well. One of the benchmarks was that the Iraqi government disarm the Shiia militias. The only reason she would complain about Maliki’s performance, is that the donks thought they had set the bar high enough so the Iraqi government would fail.

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