Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Word from Inside Iraq, Surge a Bust

The Baghdad "Surge" has won a big, thumbs down in today's editorial in the Iraqi online news site, Azzaman:

"Iraqis hoped that the cells of terror and violence will be dealt a heavy blow in the early days of the operation, but the course of events shows that most probably the opposite is happening.

"This operation like the ones preceding it is lame and has no proper legs to stand on.

"It emanates from the wrong proposition that Iraq’s complicated crisis can easily be solved through military means - a ‘surge’, in U.S. words, in the number of troops on the streets of Baghdad.

"Militias, insurgents, terrorists, or criminal gangs, accused of spreading terror in Iraq, know exactly how to utilize the operation for their benefit.

The editorial suggests that Iraqi PM Maliki is exploiting the surge:

"The Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government is itself tainted with sectarian strife and squabbling.

"Even the operation is sectarian in approach as it has so far targeted certain areas of the capital and left others untouched.

"Maliki appears, according to certain reports, to have notified the militias and leaders of certain factions, like the Mahdi Army of Moqtada Sadr of the objectives and aims of the operation.

"As a result, many believe that Sadr’s militias, accused of some of the most horrific sectarian killings, will escape the campaign unscathed."

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