February 15, 2007
Iraq Security Crackdown Proceeding Faster Than Expected
According to AP, after several days sealing off the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City (a slum area in Baghdad) and searching house to house for weapons and militants, we have now also moved heavily into the Baghdad headquarters of the Sunni terrorists:
U.S. and Iraqi forces pushed deeper Thursday into Sunni militant strongholds in Baghdad - where cars rigged with explosives greeted their advance - while British-led teams in southern Iraq used shipping containers to block suspected weapon smuggling routes from Iran. Early Friday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, was wounded and an aide was killed in a clash the previous day with Iraqi forces north of Baghdad.
So far, the claim that we wounded Ayyub Masri, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq, and killed one of his top aides (Abdullah Majemaai) comes only from the Iraqi forces -- and they've been wrong before. But if true, this is a very nice and somewhat serendipitous benefit:
The announcement about the wounding of al-Masri, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader, came from Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman. He said the clash occurred near Balad, a major U.S. base about 50 miles north of the capital, and identified the dead aide as Abu Abdullah al-Majemaai.
We met a number of terrorist ambushes but evidently suffered no casualties in Baghdad (deaths or woundings); however, one Marine was killed in combat in the Anbar province -- also a Sunni-terrorist hellhole.
At the same time (hat tip to Sachi, who dug up the links), Bill Roggio reports that we haven't slackened our aggression against the Mahdi Militia of Muqtada Sadr:
Coalition forces also are maintaining the pressure on Sadr, and working to dismantle the Mahdi Army from underneath him while he is in Iran. In Baghdad, two more operatives of Jaish al-Mahdi, or the Mahdi Army, were detained over the past 24 hours. Iraqi Special Forces captured a "weapons supplier and financier of sectarian violence conducted by rogue Jaysh Al Mahdi cells," along with "an additional person for questioning." Another Mahdi cell member who is "believed responsible for kidnapping, torture and murder of Iraqi citizens and security forces in the area" was captured by Iraqi Special Forces.
(Actually, MNF-I says "rogue" elements of JAM; but I think that is just because we're being overly cautious before connecting the dots to Muqtada Sadr -- still in hiding in Iran -- before formally fingering him sometime later.
(I think we should be more aggressive in our propaganda right now... but that's just me.)
I am actually surprised at how well the strategic change of course in Iraq is going in its early stages; I'm very, very optimistic about the effect overall as it proceeds into its larger and more thorough stages, when the rest of the 90,000 troops (21,500 Americans, the rest Iraqis) descend upon Baghdad and start truly owning the territory.
Unlike many -- Mark Steyn, James Lileks, and a number of actual heavyweights, including some generals -- I believe that success in Iraq will become so brutally clear, that even the drive-by media will be forced to admit it.
I believe also that the 2008 election will take place in a political atmosphere where Iraq will look a heck of a lot better than it looked in 2006... and that this will have a major impact on the election itself. If my prediction turns out to be true, then an awful lot of Democrats (and even a few white-flag Republicans) are going to look like hyserical poo-flinging monkeys.
(That last isn't a prediction, because it's too easy: no matter what happens, most of the Democrats and some Republicans will fit that image. It's kismet.)
Any of the Big Three candidates on the GOP side would be well positioned to take advantage of that change of atmosphere, assuming I am correct about Iraq. No Democrat will, because every last one of them shall spend this entire year campaigning on the theme that we've already been defeated, we're helpless, and we should simply run away and abase ourselves until we're forgiven by the world community.
Should be an interesting year-plus.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 15, 2007, at the time of 6:50 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1791
The following hissed in response by: Tomy
I enjoy your optimism. Check out this graph I created from existing Gallop data. The chart uses a true timeline, which Gallop never does.
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
I want to see that graph, Tomy... but while the link works to the post, the image does not show up. :(
The following hissed in response by: Sachi
I have the same problem as Michael.
The above hissed in response by: Sachi at February 16, 2007 9:39 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Democrats will do what they have done in the past, namely pretend reality is what they say it is.
Look at the economy - arguably better than it was under Clinton. How many Democrats ran last election claiming the exact opposite was true?
The following hissed in response by: Tomy
Michael and Sachi,
I tried posting it again; don't know what's going on. Do you see any text? Also, please try clicking on the empty space where the picture should be.
The following hissed in response by: brutepcm
I agree with big D. Reality is whatever the MSM and the Dems say it is. The sky is red. UP is down. Freedom is slavery. Defeat is redeployment. As long as one suicide bomber or IED causes casualties every month or so, they will claim failure.
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