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calendar   Sunday - July 06, 2008

Cross your fingers, hold your breath

UPDATE at the top! News Item:Iraq proposes temporary US troop withdrawal agreement

The proposed memorandum includes a formula for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, said the prime minister—an idea opposed by U.S. President George W. Bush. “The goal is to end the presence (of foreign troops),” said al-Maliki.

Ok, this thing is in the early stages, with proposals going back and forth, and lots of details to work out. But the real news is that both Iraq and the US are working on it. Such a step was not even close to the event horizon last year. Could there be a large mezzo-soprano warming up in the wings?



News Item:The last of Saddam’s yellowcake removed from Iraq. It took a lot of effort, and was kept mostly secret, but all 550 tons of yellowcake has been removed from Iraq. Legally. The Iraqi government sold it to a Canadian firm for processing. No, this wasn’t Joe Wilson’s yellowcake, it was older stuff from back in the 80s. Other radioactive material was also taken away as part of this deal.

News Item:United Arab Emirates forgives Iraqi debt.  UAE cancels $4 Billion debt, moves to establish full diplomatic relationship with Iraqi Al-Maliki government. Other arab governments are moving in the same diplomatic direction, at least:

Al-Maliki’s American backers also have pushed Arab states to restore ties with Iraq, where violence has declined by 70 percent over the past year. Neighboring Jordan named an ambassador last week, and Kuwait and Bahrain say they will soon follow suit.

News Item:Al-Maliki: Iraq Defeated Terrorism

Iraq’s prime minister said yesterday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.  Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began the crackdowns to extend the authority of the government over areas in Baghdad and elsewhere that have largely been under the control of armed groups since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.  “They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” al-Maliki said. “But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them.”
...
the Iraqi government held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a major project to refurbish the main road to the Baghdad airport. The road was once considered one of the most dangerous in the world but has become safer with the decline in violence in the country.

News Item: UK Times says “Iraqis lead final purge of Al-Qaeda”

American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.

After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul.

A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.

Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.
...
Even in the district of Zanjali, previously a hotbed of the insurgency, it was possible to accompany an Iraqi colonel on foot through streets of breeze-block houses studded with bullet holes. Hundreds of houses were searched without resistance but no bomb was found, only 60kg of explosives.

American and Iraqi leaders believe that while it would be premature to write off Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni group has lost control of its last urban base in Mosul and its remnants have been largely driven into the countryside to the south.

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who has also led a crackdown on the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad in recent months, claimed yesterday that his government had “defeated” terrorism.

“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” Maliki said. “But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them.”

The number of foreign fighters coming over the border from Syria to bolster Al-Qaeda’s numbers is thought to have declined to as few as 20 a month, compared with 120 a month at its peak.

Brigadier General Abdullah Abdul, a senior Iraqi commander, said: “We’ve limited their movements with check-points. They are doing small attacks and trying big ones, but they’re mostly not succeeding.”

Major-General Mark Hertling, American commander in the north, said: “I think we’re at the irreversible point.”

News Item: Bill Roggio, from the Long War Journal, reports that Sadrist forces are on the run in Baghdad, with their leaders being busted left and right. While they are still a force to be reckoned with, they’ve suffered major ongoing loses for months now.

The heavy casualties suffered by the Mahdi Army have forced Muqtada al Sadr to change his tactics and disband the Mahdi Army in favor of a small, secretive fighting force.

In other words, Sadr can’t field a force bigger than squad levels any more. Too bad, eh?

News Item:AQ in Libya defeated The fight there barely lasted a year; I didn’t even know they were there!



Putting all the pieces together? Strata-Sphere Blog reads between the lines at the Times Online and says that they’re saying the magic words: Mission Accomplished.

al-Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq and Lebanon. They failed to make a serious presence in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They and their Taliban cousins have been expunged from 75% of Afghanistan. al-Qaeda has been pushed into its final, small sanctuary inside the tribal areas of Pakistan where it is surrounded by 100,000 Pakistani troops to the south and 100,000 US-NATO and Afghan forces to the north.

And today we learn al-Qaeda is surrendering its efforts in Libya after 13 years of trying to overthrow that OPEC nation

Barack Obama is not going to end the war in Iraq. If he ever gets elected, by the time he takes the oath of office it will be already over - thanks to the US Surge, the Sunni Awakening and PM Malike’s defeat of the Mahdi Militia. Mission Accomplished, with thanks to our military, who never gave up like the liberal, democrat Congress did, to our Iraqi allies who fought and died by our side, and to George Bush who made it clear failure was not an option. To the victors!

I don’t know if I can be bold enough to say that one out loud yet ... but ... wouldn’t it just be fabulous if Bush could start bringing home large numbers of the troops in Iraq before the election? Think that would take a little of the wind out of Barry’s sails? And help reelect such patriotic nay-sayers like SanFran Nan and Murtha and Reid?

Now, that’s what I call ending the day on a positive note.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/06/2008 at 09:33 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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