Friday, March 28, 2008

Parts Of Baghdad Under Militia Control - Basra In Flames

Get ready for the big thud, the sound of the other shoe dropping in Iraq.

Nouri al-Maliki’s bluster sounds a bit muted now as his push-back in Basra has stalled and areas of the capitol, Baghdad are under militia control. Al-Maliki gambled everything on the success of Operation Saulat al-Fursan, or Charge of the Knights, to sweep illegal militias out of Basra. That operation, even with US assistance seems hopelessly stalled right now.

Meanwhile in Baghdad the Mahdi Army took over neighborhoods of the city one by one. In some areas resistance was so mild that the militia simply ordered police to leave and they complied. According to one report, a witness saw Iraqi Shia policemen rip off their uniform shirts and run for shelter with local Sunni neighborhood patrols, most of them made up of former insurgents wooed by the US military into fighting al-Qaeda.

The developments continue to be virtually ignored by the US press. I have to wonder why? Are they affraid to report on how badly things are going or are they being bullied by the Bush administration to censor the news?

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