Sadr City up close
Bush's plan is a fantasy, a dangerous one which also provokes Iran to no good purpose.
1) While the Iraqis made a lot of promises and big talk, remember ONE thing. Moqtada Sadr hung Saddam Hussein. Not the government, and they had to go along. So any threat from Maliki should be taken as a threat from Kerensky to tell Lenin that Trotsky needs to control the Bolsheviks
2) Sadr has already manuvered his way past Washington's coup and had brutally demonstrated his power
3) There is no effective Iraqi government to impliment any program. No matter how much money you give to them, they will either steal it or not use it.
4) While Maliki talks unity government, his plan for securing Baghdad basically means attacking Sunni neighborhoods.
5) Sadr fully expects a surge. Fully. According to NPR, he's handing out grenades to every home and drafting every swinging dick between 15 and 45.
People think Bush can flatten Sadr City with airstrikes like they did Fallujah, but that is impossible. People fled Fallujah and turned it into a battleground. So you had minimal risks of killing whole blocks of people. The US could also surround Fallujah.
Sadr City is a whole different story.
Sadr can not only tie down US forces in Sadr City, his supporters and their criminal allies can cut the supply lines to Baghdad. US air power is extremely limited and could be counter productive. The people of Sadr City have no place to go. They will defend their homes. If you turn some of them into rubble, you repeat the mistake the Israelis made last year.
The constant talk of the Iraqi Army joining in this may be the winter's most brutal surprise. If they don't defect, they may not show up. This is a plan of bailing wire and duct tape. Bush gave a speech which should have scared the crap out of people, and I think did. The pundits, unarmed, treat this plan seriously, and mention increased casualities.
What they aren't telling you is that if the US gets sucked into urban combat with both the Shia and Sunni, we will have a disaster on our hands. Not only more dead and wounded, but US forces hampered by the supply line attacks and the desertion of the Iraqi Army.
Odierno and Petraeus take the Iraqis at their word. They are fools.
We will not get the Iraqi support promised. And Americans will die because of that.
posted by Steve @ 3:14:00 AM