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WASHINGTON - The escalation of fighting between Mahdi Army militiamen and their Shi'ite rivals, which could mark the end of Muqtada al-Sadr's self-imposed ceasefire, also exposes General David Petraeus' strategy for controlling Muqtada's forces as a failure.
The signs that the Madhi Army will no longer remain passive mark a major defeat for the US military command's strategy aimed at weakening the Mahdi Army.
Thursday: 225 Iraqis, 1 US Soldier, 3 US Contractors Killed; 538 Iraqis Wounded
US President George W Bush has praised Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki's "bold decision" in ordering Iraqi forces to crack down on Shia militias in the city of Basra.
Heavy fighting continued in the city for a third day between militias and security forces, with violence in other parts of southern Iraq and Baghdad.
The clashes have claimed more than 130 lives since Tuesday.
Mr Maliki vowed that he would continue the fight against the militias for as long as was necessary.
"We have made up our minds to enter this battle and we will continue until the end. No retreat," Mr Maliki said in a speech broadcast on Iraqi state television.
Thousands in Baghdad demanded the Iraqi PM quit
Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.
With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki’s police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.
Saboteurs also blew up one of Iraq's two main oil pipelines from Basra, cutting at least a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 per cent of government revenue, a clear sign that the militias — who siphon significant sums off the oil smuggling trade — would not stop at mere insurrection.
In Baghdad, tens of thousands of supporters of Mr Sadr, whose base of support is the Shia poor, marched through the streets shouting slogans demanding that Mr Maliki's government be overthrown. "We demand the downfall of the Maliki government," said one of the marchers, Hussein Abu Ali. "It does not represent the people. It represents Bush and Cheney."
Just leave this pathetic society to ruins. Apparently, all they are capable of doing is kill each other. Leave them to their misery. If they mess with us at home. send a few tomahawks their way...
Originally posted by Agit8dChop
Thats why you start reading blogs and news directly from Iraqi's, or the resistance themselves.
he had the support on the streets.
So what would be an alternative plan for winning in Iraq?
Originally posted by Alxandro
[I feel we still don't know everything there is to know about why we went into Iraq, and we probably won't ever know, but I have a gut feeling information will be slowly revealed or leaked out over the next several years that will confirm that as painful and as exepnsive as it was, it was still the right thing to do.