Thursday, January 11, 2007

Turn the page and go right on

The White House has provided a Fact Sheet summarising the new approach. It makes good noises. The restrictive rules of engagement have been removed; decentralisation (getting people out of the Green Zone); dealing with the militias. It doesn't say what actions will be taken against Syria and Iran (well, I suppose it couldn't really, could it?), but if it is entirely reactive, I can't see that it will go too far. Those two need the frighteners put on them or it will be business as usual.

I really wonder how far they will be able to go. Against the Mahdi Army in Sadr City, for instance. How are they going to proceed without all the Western press being fed daily, inflated figures of civilian casualties resulting in the usual cries of horror? How long will the politicians stand a well-organised fury campaign? My other main feeling is: thank God Bush didn't listen to Ol' Man Baker.

You might like to read Bill Roggio's reaction. He's just returned from Iraq where he was 'embedded' for a couple of months. He's got a lot more questions than I have. Michelle Malkin is there (in Baghdad) now and has posted some photos. She's with Bryan Preston of Hot Air. Mohammed Fadhil of Iraq the Model wonders whether the security operation has already begun with sounds of furious battle going on for two days now.

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