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« Guess! That! Party! | Main | I, forgot »
April 24, 2008

Times of London: How Did Maliki Succeed In a Month Where Thousands of British Troops Failed for Years?

Quoted not to denigrate the Brits' efforts, but just because it's nice that at least some major news outlets are confronting the awful truth of victory:

One month on and Iraq’s leader can justifiably claim to have scored a stunning victory, probably the first of its kind by the post-Saddam Iraqi army. The most notorious areas of Basra are now under government control, the Mahdi Army of Moqtadr al-Sadr has been roundly defeated and the long suffering people of Basra are celebrating freedoms they did not enjoy during the four years of British military rule in the city.

So how did a military novice, using untested troops, succeed where thousands of British forces had failed?

The hint came at the weekend from the unlikely figure of Hassan Kazemi Qumi, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, whose country has in the past armed, funded and trained elements of the Mahdi Army.

“The idea of the government in Basra was to fight outlaws,” said the envoy. “This was the right of the government and the responsibility of the government. And in my opinion the government was able to achieve a positive result in Basra.” The Iranian embassy in Baghdad is not given to making any public statements, certainly not comments that support operations backed by the Great Satan, as America is called in Iran. But in the arcane world of Shia politics his comments made perfect sense.

The article goes on to argue that it was in Iran's interest to cut the Mahdi Army's legs from under them, contributing greatly to the success. Either way, it's good to see someone actually acknowledge the action was a success.

Thanks to Dave P of Esmay's World.

In related news, the Paper of Record Retard finally gets around to noticing that the Sunnis are rejoining Maliki's government, just a week after everyone else did.


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posted by Ace at 08:04 PM

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