The beginning of the end of the “Surge Victory”.
Hail Democracy in action!
UPDATE from McClatchy:
Iraq fighting is worst in months; Maliki issues ultimatum
BAGHDAD — Amid heavy clashes between government forces and Shiite Muslim militants in Baghdad and the southern port city of Basra, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki issued an ultimatum Wednesday demanding that the militias surrender their weapons within 72 hours. Radical cleric Muqtada al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia is a prime target of the government offensive, responded by demanding that Maliki leave Basra.
U.S. forces joined Iraqi troops in Baghdad to fight Mahdi Army militants, and police said that at least 20 people had been killed in the Sadr City neighborhood, a stronghold for Sadr’s backers.
The city’s fortified Green Zone sustained a third round of intense mortar fire beginning at 5:30 a.m. that seriously injured three U.S. government employees, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy. A mortar round struck near Maliki’s office.
With barely functioning hospitals and people holed up in their homes it was unclear how many people had died in Basra. According to health ministry officials in Basra, at least 33 people had been killed and 150 had been wounded in the fighting.
Maliki stipulated in his ultimatum that the militants would be spared if they surrendered their weapons within 72 hours. As he spoke, Sadr called for calm, asking Maliki to leave the Mahdi Army-dominated oil hub of Basra and send a parliamentary delegation to solve the crisis through dialogue, Sadr spokesman Hassan al Zargani said from Tehran, Iran.
In Baghdad, Mahdi Army-dominated neighborhoods remained sealed off, angering residents who couldn’t open their businesses, get to hospitals or send their children to school.
In the south the fighting spread to Kut as Maliki sent more forces from Karbala to supplement the 15,000 troops he already had. U.S. air support attacked targets on major roadways and the homes of suspected weapons smugglers, said Abdel Kareem Khalaf, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
There is but one key reason that the “Surge” has been touted as successful and that reason (The Mahdi Army’s participation in a “truce” along with other factions) is coming unhinged. They will not and CANNOT give up their arms. That would be suicide. This is akin to King George asking the citizens of the New World to give up their weapons. This is akin to destroying their “right to bear arms”, as our Constitution calls.
Democracy in action should not look so much like our colonial rule did to us a few hundred years ago.
Democracy? Yeah, right. The Bush Administration is doing everything it can to demolish democracy everywhere in the world.