Media outlets - overjoyed that the Basra battle provided a rare opportunity to declare the Surge "failure" - are now falling all over themselves to pronounce Maliki's Operation Calvary Charge against Sadr'ist area mobsters and cartels a loss. Odd to assume that with one battle, a "war" is won *or* lost. Frankly, I've been looking at it as a great start for Iraqi's policing their own.
But before you get all caught up in the mantra of defeat and parroted phrases of western media, I suggest a perspective from one with more inside knowledge... Nibras Kazimi's "The 'Intifada' that Wasn't" at Talisman Gate.
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.
The United Alliance List delegation comprising Ali al-Adib of the Da’awa Party, Hadi al-Ameri of the Badr Organization and (I think…) Qasim al-Sahlani representing a group that had splintered from the Da’awa Party, evidently made al-Sadr an offer he couldn’t refuse when they sat down for a friendly chat in Tehran two days ago: the Iraqi state was willing to go all the way in smashing the Sadrist movement—arresting all the leaders and shutting down all the offices—if he didn’t play along with Operation Cavalry Charge and hand over those operatives whose names appear on the wanted lists.
See Maliki went to Basra with a long-ish list of names comprising all those involved in oil smuggling, drug dealing and the various other crimes that have wracked Basra. It just so happens that many of them claim to be Mahdi Army commanders.
This is what I wrote a couple of days ago:
snip... continue reading at link above - truly a MUST REA