By Sudarsan Raghavan and Sholnn Freeman | Washington Post Foreign Service | Friday, March 28, 2008
U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in the vast Shiite stronghold of Sadr City and military officials said Friday that U.S. aircraft bombed militant positions in the southern city of Basra, as the American role in a campaign against party-backed militias appeared to expand. Iraqi army and police units appeared to be largely holding to the outskirts of the Sadr City fighting, as American troops took the lead.The Washington Post has more, and there are something like 12,000 other news articles floating around -- all of which show that the surge has worked very well so far.
Four U.S. Stryker armored vehicles were seen in Sadr City by a Washington Post correspondent, one of them engaging Mahdi Army militiamen with heavy fire. The din of American weapons, along with the Mahdi Army's AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, was heard through much of the day. U.S. helicopters and drones buzzed overhead.
The clashes suggested that American forces were being drawn more deeply into a broad offensive that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, launched in the southern city of Basra on Tuesday, saying death squads, criminal gangs and rogue militias were the targets. The Mahdi Army of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite rival of Maliki, appeared to have taken the brunt of the attacks; fighting spread to many southern cities and parts of Baghdad.
As President Bush told an Ohio audience that Iraq was returning to "normalcy," administration officials in Washington held meetings to assess what appeared to be a rapidly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country.
But none of them, to my knowledge, explains how we can tell for sure that the surge is a success. And -- let's make no mistake -- the surge is a success.
The analysis goes like this: if the violence decreases, that shows US troops are good for Iraq, withdrawing them would be a bad move, and if we do anything, we should probably send more.
On the other hand, if the violence increases, that shows Iraq is in danger, we definitely should send more troops, and withdrawing would be a very bad move.
And since the war is "long" -- in other words, since we're in it to fight, not to win -- then no matter what happens, we probably (or definitely) should send more troops, and bringing them home would be a bad (or very bad) idea. So the surge is a sure success.
And it had to be; it was designed that way. Sending more troops could only enlarge and extend the war, which was the whole point in the first place.
What did you think? The war in Iraq was about WMD?
Of course the surge has worked. It couldn't not work!
O ye of little faith!!