This Is Called Winning

Americans' tax dollars are currently being burned up by the US military, which is helping one Shiite militia fight another Shiite militia. According to Reuters, US Special Forces are "operating alongside" the government (dominated politically by ISCI and its paramilitary Badr Corps) in its battles with Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army. The British are also fighting. This is what the Bush Administration and John McCain call "winning" in Iraq--rousing the followers of a cleric who is politically and militarily powerful in the south of Iraq and slums of Baghdad. Cindy Sheehan lost her son last time the US engaged with them, in Najaf.

Read blogs, foreign press, McClatchy News Service, and indie news sources to get a handle on this--the New York Times and TV networks unfortunately can't be trusted to report it accurately. The Times recently held an Op Ed roundtable of nine commentators on "what went wrong" in Iraq and didn't include a single person who opposed the invasion five years ago. They also underreported the size of the marches back in the day--I was there, hundreds of thousands were out in the streets of New York and now not one person can be found for a panel?

In reporting about the Shiite-on-Shiite fighting today, a Times headline (copied at noon and pasted here) says "Among the differences between the ongoing Shiite battle in Iraq and the wave of Shiite attacks of 2004, one is that the Shiite rebels are fighting Iraqi soldiers, not Americans." This is government spin, and not true according to the Reuters article. When you jump to the actual Times story, the wording is different; it reads "For starters, the Shiite rebels are fighting mainly Iraqi soldiers, rather than Americans." Mainly.

Update: According to an AP story "al Sadr has pulled his fighters off the streets." They'll be back. The article confirms that "Several clashes have involved U.S. forces and the U.S. military launched airstrikes in Basra. The military said 16 enemy fighters were killed in when an AC-130 gunship strafed heavily armed militants attacking Iraqi troops during clashes on Saturday." 16 enemies--enemies of whom?