Monday, March 31, 2008
may be the last time, i don't know:
My friend Malcolm Nance spent a lot of time in Iraq. Here's his SWJ post on Sadr Part Deux:
Unfortunately, the Basrah Operation may have also been an attempt at a Hail Mary pass for both General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in the heart of the election season. To show dramatic tangible gains all across Iraq would bolster the President’s case for continuing the war. This is most likely due to pressure, if not direct orders from the White House through the Vice President’s visit last month. Considering their stunning record of incompetence when making even the smallest decisions about Iraq, the over reliance on the Iraqi army to complete even the simplest independent task by all parties may only increase US casualties and public intransigence about the entire adventure.

Unfortunately, scheduling General Petraeus to testify back to Washington in early April while the fighting occurs may herald the end of American “last chances” in Iraq. That depends on the election. The results of November 4th may force both Petraeus and Crocker face up to the possibility that they had better have withdrawal plans drafted by November 5th and standby to execute them on January 21st 2009. No matter who is in charge or how it is sliced, the longer it takes the Iraqis to fight even small pockets of militias means more American soldiers will die in their place.
--Spencer Ackerman