01 April 2008

How does one say, "Mission Accomplished" in Arabic?

Al Maliki takes a page from El Presidente's handbook:
Iraq PM proclaims Basra assaults a 'success'

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki says that a crackdown on Shiite militiamen in Basra has been a success and that 10,000 extra troops would be recruited to keep order in the southern oil hub.

His statement came as officials said the toll from a military assault the premier ordered on Shiite militias a week ago had helped propel the March tally of Iraqis killed to 1,082, the highest monthly total since August.


Mr. Maliki said he had decided to implement a seven-point program in Basra following "the stability and success of the security plan which achieved the aim of imposing law in the city and restoring normalcy."

Considering the fact that al Maliki's representatives had to approach Iran, hats in hand, to beg for assistance in getting Moqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army to back off, this whole "crackdown" has been one humiliation after the next for the Iraqi PM. First, he found himself in over his head and needing US forces to pick up the slack in his government's "defining moment." Then, the aforementioned going next door for help from Tehran. Finally, the full account of his security initiative's so-called success puts the lie to his empty boasts and clearly demonstrates how thoroughly compromised his authority actually is:

"In the view of many American troops and officers, the Mahdi Army had splintered irretrievably into a collection of independent operators and criminal gangs. Now, however, the conclusion of the conflict in Basra shows that when Sadr speaks, the militia listens.

That apparent authority is in marked contrast to the weakness of Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. He traveled south to Basra with his security ministers to supervise the operation personally. After a few days of intense fighting he extended his previously announced deadline for surrender and offered militants cash in exchange for their weapons. Yet in the cease-fire announcement the militia explicitly reserved the right to hold onto its weapons. And the very fact of the cease-fire flies in the face of Maliki's proclamation that there would be no negotiations. It is Maliki, and not Sadr, who now appears militarily weak and unable to control elements of his own political coalition."

All he needs now is an imposing military backdrop for his "successful crackdown" photo op and a sock-laden codpiece...

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...