Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iraq: the new Energizer Bunny

Cease-fire reported with Iraqi militants in Sadr City
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press Writer
Sat May 10, 2008
BAGHDAD - Shiite groups brokered a reported cease-fire Saturday with militants fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad's Sadr City...

Okay - this sounds like a positive step.

... but then the sentence continues:
... as the country's army launched an offensive in Mosul against al-Qaida's main bastion in Iraq.

I believe McCain was the first to use the term "Whack-a-Mole" to define our "strategy" in Iraq. Nothing much seems to have changed.

On the bright side:
1) it probably makes more sense to go after the so-called AQI in Mosul than to turn Sadr City into rubble.
2) I assume the U.S. is a party to the cease-fire. Maybe we'll reassess our attitude towards al Sadr.
3) That "Shiite groups" brokered the cease-fire also sounds promising: perhaps Iraqis - maybe even Maliki's government - will be willing to deal with the Sadrists politically. (The military response doesn't seem to working all that well.)

Now, on to the so-called AQI in Mosul.
Remember, a couple of days ago we had the headline:
Al-Qaida in Iraq leader reported arrested
Turns out they got the wrong guy. Latest news:
Al-Qaida in Iraq leader reported arrested

I'm still waiting for someone to say exactly what the strategic objectives in Iraq might be. What is the envisioned end-state?

Stop the madness!

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