H/T - Michael aka "Doc at the Autopsy"
"...we've broken the grip of al Qaeda on the capital. We've weakened the influence of Iranian backed militias. We've dramatically improved security conditions ..."
-- GW Bush, 3/27/08
"The Civil War in Iraq is over. And until the American domestic political debate catches up with that fact, we are going to have a very hard time discussing Iraq on the basis of reality." -- Fred Kagen, 3/24/08
Less than 24 hours after this statement by Kagan and before Bush's statement above, this came across the wire:
With Iraq's top leaders directing the battle, Iraq's army and national police pressed a major operation Tuesday to wrest control of the southern port city of Basra from the Shiite Mahdi Army militia. Fighting between government forces and the militia quickly spread through Iraq's south and into Baghdad.and...
BAGHDAD — American-trained Iraqi security forces failed for a third straight day to oust Shiite militias from the southern city of Basra on Thursday, even as President Bush hailed the operation as a sign of the growing strength of Iraq’s federal government.Two Americans have been killed and the Green Zone in Iraq is under attack. The level of denial is amazing. Bush is just tap dancing til he can hand his mess over to someone else to deal with.... leaving America in a shitty situation, with a faltering economy and a weakened military.
The fighting in Basra with the Mahdi Army, the armed wing of the political movement led by the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, set off clashes in cities throughout Iraq and major demonstrations in Sadr City, the huge Baghdad neighborhood that is Mr. Sadr’s base of power, and other Shiite neighborhoods in the capital.
Republican Senator and Vietnam Vet Chuck Hagel said it best:
"This is another episode of 'Alice in Wonderland.' ... What do you mean stability and security? Baghdad has been over the last year essentially ethnically divided. You've separated the Sunnis and Shiites. To make some assertion somehow that things are looking much better in Baghdad and it's calm and it's back to where it used to be is just not the case. . . and when you look at the casualties the United States has taken since the so-called military surge, over 900 deaths, you look at 30,000 wounded and the money we've put in there, then the other point of this is if, in fact, the surge has calmed things to a point where the president and others are saying, well, they've done a great service, they've achieved terrific things; why are they talking about keeping more troops in Iraq for the rest of the year? This is still a serious, dangerous situation in Iraq."