Victory in Basra (and al Anbar)

The Telegraph, of all places, has a status update on how well the Brits are doing in Southern Iraq. In short, using rightwing blogosphere metrics, they are winning. Troop casualties and attacks on the Brits are down.

Oh yeah, there’s this too:

Since the withdrawal, attacks on British forces in the region have plummeted, but the level of violence in Basra remains high. Iraqis living in the city say it is now patrolled by death squads. Even the British admit that local Iraqi troops are unwilling to take on the Shia militias. As for the police — as elsewhere in Iraq — they remain ineffective and are heavily infiltrated by members of the militias.

This is exactly the same thing the US has done in al Anbar. Of course, we’ve turned the region over to warlords (though “Sheiks” is the righty PC term du jour) — freedom and democracy be damned.

The Telegraph then focuses on a critical question:

But if, as the British mantra now runs, the answer is “an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem”, the question that must now be asked is why it took so long to reach that conclusion, and whether it should have been reached much earlier, at a cost of far fewer British lives.

As a matter of fact, I would go all the way to before the war. It was not worth the lives and treasure spent to rid Iraq of Saddam when it should have been obvious that he would simply be replaced by other Saddams.

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