Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Basra burning

One of the features of our excellent adventure in Iraq is its opacity. The US military is partially responsible, its unannounced but clear 'death or internment' policy for any reporters not on the team, plus the fact that those reporters on the team are usually partisan hacks makes guesswork an essential part of creating any likely scenario for events.

Take today's news that fighting has broken out between Sadr militia and 'government troops' (a euphemism for the Badr brigades, another militia). Sadr is considered a 'nationalist', while the Badr boys were under the Iranian umbrella during Saddam, they must have continuing contacts with Tehran, but the US always accuses Sadr of being the recipient of Iranian arms and training. Talabani, a Kurd, has a love fest with Ahmadinejad and no one blinks, but Iran, says Petraeus, is supplying the rockets that hit the Green Zone.

Anyway, whoever they are, the Sadrists and the Badrists are going at it hammer and tongs in Basra, Kut, and Baghdad, as well as other places we've never heard of. The supreme war master, Maliki, is supposedly on hand in Basra to direct the action. The Iranians, who seem to have covered both sides of the bet watch and wait.

We, on the other hand, must wait along with Feckless Leader for the 'foundations for peace for generations' to get started being more than foundations. And, as we think about the 4000 US military deaths, remember along with White House Press Secretary Dana Perino that "It is a sober moment". Damn, just when I want a drink.


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