Thursday, 8 March 2007

The Surge: A real inconvenient truth

To those that only get their news from the agenda-driven media such as the BBC, ABC, New York Times, Reuters, CNN or The Guardian etc they might be forgiven for thinking that the situation in Iraq and, particularly, Baghdad, is one of undiminished violence and weak political leadership.

To those that take some time to read Iraq's newspapers and interact with people actually in Iraq, and especially the bloggers, a different picture emerges.

Hands up all of the people who can tell me what Operation Imposing Law is. If you were watching Australia's ABC you might have missed it, as they've mentioned it only twice since it went into force on February 19. That number matches the BBC and is one less than CNN. Even Fox News has less than ten mentions.

Operation Imposing Law is the Iraqi government's initiative to increase pressure on its internal malefactors by implementing some tough new rules for Baghdad including banning cars from being parked near markets and mosques, introducing an odd-even number plate system to limit traffic in the city, the establishment of moving checkpoints (i.e. they're only in one spot for 2-3 hours) and enforcement of laws that police normally turn a blind eye to (such as breaking the odd-even rule). Furthermore, Prime Minister Malaki has announced that a cabinet reshuffle will take place in the next two weeks and that the Supreme Judicial Council will be issuing warrants against a number of politicians and MPs who have connections to militant groups that are involved in attacks on civilians or security forces.

Doesn't sound like the Iraqi government is sitting back and letting the chaos continue to me. It's more a case of having an enforcement campaign in parallel to The Surge and that's a big reason that terrorist killings are a half of what they were in January and one third of December's number.

Since the announcement of the troop surge Moqtada Al-Sadr has bugged out to Iran, his Mehdi army has tried to meld back into the civilian population, the government has implemented tough regulations in Baghdad, families are returning to the city and violence is down. The attacks that are occurring at present are being carried out by Al Qaeda in Iraq, a group that we've been told has not been very active. The current situation puts that lie to rest.

For our agenda-driven news media and left wing political parties that is the worst possible news from Iraq. No wonder they're not reporting it.

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