« Screw Tibet | Main | Circular Firing Squad »

We've seen the future, and it's Basra

This morning I tuned into a conference call the White House organized for bloggers, along with Bruce McQuain of QandO, and Captain Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. A "senior administration official" answered our question for half an hour on Iraq.

The call was timed to coincide with the Petraeus & Crocker testimony on capitol hill today. I asked questions about the recent events in Basra. The White House said (is that correct form? A house can't talk. Never mind, just write the story.) that we have seen the future of Iraq, and it will be very much like Basra. That is, now that Iraqi's have taken provincial control of about 50% of the country, including the province in which Iraq's second largest city Basra is located, we will see more Iraqi planned, lead, and executed operations of varying degrees of competence and success in the future. As different groups in Iraq jostle for control of resources and the wealth of the country, the government will sometimes step in to restore order as best they can.

According to our source, in the case of Basra, the government of Iraq decided that the 25-30 gang leaders who were disrupting commerce and terrorizing the population of Basra had to be dealt with. He said that the operation wasn't planned to the level of detail that a Western military operation might be, but they learned from the operation and hope to do a better job in the future. One can expect that as other areas of the country devolve into the chaotic situation that prevailed in Basra, the government will again have to take action to deal with it.

The spokesman said that the militias that controlled Basra had overplayed their hands, much like Al Qaeda in Anbar did. The population did not enjoy being terrorized, and welcomed the restoration of order and seeing the gangs driven out.

I asked about the media story line that the recent violence had strengthened the hand of Iran and Sadr, since "militias loyal to Sadr" called for a cease file, which was negotiated by Iran. Our friend in the White House said that what happened is that Maliki recognized that the JAM militias in Basra were more entrenched than expected, and the rogue militia leaders recognized that the Iraqi security forces were stronger than they anticipated. After the initial battles, each side discovered the other side was more powerful and deadly than they expected. Maliki agreed to the cease fire to address the non-military problems in Basra, including economic and political issues that could only be addressed by non-military means. Sadr agreed because his men were dying and his weapons were being confiscated in large numbers.

The administration official ended by reminding us that the battle is not over, and that the path to the future will go through other Basra type operations across Iraq. Stay tuned.

Note: I edited the original entry to showcase the ideas as those of the spokesman for the White House, and not, as I indicated, facts. Thanks to Max for the editing advice.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (28)

Well, if the White House sa... (Below threshold)

Well, if the White House said it, it must be true.

Well put and presented.... (Below threshold)

Well put and presented.

It's a data point max. If ... (Below threshold)

It's a data point max. If you want to take it as gospel, that's on you. If you consider it bald-faced lies, that's on you too.

<a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)
Bush said. "I would say this is a defining moment in the history of Iraq."

Oh, how quickly an operation goes from a "defining moment" to just a "data point".

Well, Ted, I was responding... (Below threshold)

Well, Ted, I was responding to Charlie's post which presents the White Houses propaganda as fact. I can tell because he used the phrase "In fact what happened is..." right before he told us what their version of the story was, in response to a question about the big, bad media version. I was being sarcastic, in case you couldn't tell. But really, a data point? Did you even read the post? Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

Oh, please. It's ... (Below threshold)

Oh, please.

It's on you, Max. Either take it as gospel or take it as lies. Up to you.

If you be too stupid to understand reporting on an interview then that's on you, too.

Just don't pretend to be defending anyone else by assuming *they* are too stupid to understand reporting on an interview.

Max has a point. I should h... (Below threshold)

Max has a point. I should have written the statements as spoken as being the opinion of the spokesman, not as fact. If I get time I'll update to make the post more accurate.

Good show of integrity and ... (Below threshold)

Good show of integrity and honesty, Charlie. Ted and Synova could learn something (as could several other Wizbang authors).

Thanks, Charlie, for seeing... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Charlie, for seeing through my smart-assedness to the point. I hope you don't get McCained for it. I'll let Ted and Synova's blind obedience to ideology instead of truth speak for itself.

Now, care to comment on White House conference calls for bloggers? Just making sure you're "on message?"

The future of Iraq will loo... (Below threshold)

The future of Iraq will look like Basra, no matter who wins our presidential election.

If McCain wins, the future of Iraq is more sober realizations on the part of local tyrants, central governments, and assorted citizenry that the only way for such a heavily armed society to survive is through civilization, nationalization, and patriotism, not tribal warfare.

If Obama or Clinton win (and pull out or replace Petraeus), the future of Iraq is neverending tribal warfare between governments and gangs, with both coming to resemble each other until once again ancient Babylon is made of various walled cities, each a monocultural tyranny ruled by a king and his family.

I hate to think that our choices have such grave consequences for so many nations, but that is the reality of the unstated but well-understood Pax Americana.

I've got a really great sug... (Below threshold)

I've got a really great suggestion.

How about we all complain about how bad the administration is about communicating anything and then automatically assume that anything from that source is a lie.

And *then* lets say that anyone who doesn't assume that anything whatsoever coming from the White House is a lie, has blind obedience to ideology.

And Charlie, in case you didn't notice, you're still accused of what you were accused of before. All the high minded fairness does not a whit of good for you.

So... those calls from the White House to keep you on message? Why do you take those?

I can't respond to much of ... (Below threshold)
charlie quidnunc:

I can't respond to much of anything until my train gets into Salem tonight around !1:00. Maybe tomorrow.

Those who are emotionally i... (Below threshold)

Those who are emotionally invested in defeat for America won't accept any report of progress, be it called a "defining moment," a "data point," or any other form it might take. The prospect so challenges their entire world view, it could cause their heads to explode, and no one wants that.

Talk about "the sh*t hitting the fan" . . .

Jim, Well said. Any... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Well said. Anyway, Ralpha Peter pointed out the real liars .

Hey Synova, I've got an eve... (Below threshold)

Hey Synova, I've got an even better suggestion. Let's automatically assume everything in the "Mainstream Media" is a lie. Then let's assume everything Bush says is the gospel truth. And then let's blindly attack anyone who questions the White Houses agenda. That way we won't have to challenge our own assumptions in any way.

Or we could use skepticism and critical thought to try to sift through the various news reports and administration statements in an attempt to discover the truth. Nah, that's too hard.

Sorry Charlie, looks like you're going to get McCained for being consistent. Shooting the messenger is the wizbang way after all.

But Max, you already assume... (Below threshold)

But Max, you already assume that everyone but yourself is too stupid to listen to a report from the White House *at all* without accepting it as gospel truth.

If not for you, what would we do?

Synova, Max is simp... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Max is simply trying to pull an Obama/Hillary on us.

Synova, I'm getting tired o... (Below threshold)

Synova, I'm getting tired of you putting words in my mouth. My original comment was in regard to Charlie posting the White House statement as fact. He was able to see my point and corrected his post accordingly. Why can't you? Nowhere in my post do I assume either that anyone is "stupid" or that the White House statement is necessarily a lie. You made those assumptions. In fact, you seem to be relatively intelligent, which makes me think you must be acting obtuse on purpose. Now I'll freely admit to being a smartass, but I simply haven't made the assumptions you are accusing me of.

Max, It seems that... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

It seems that you did try to Obama or Hillary here. Just go back and read your post again.

I think the main point of t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

I think the main point of the post is similar to what Ralph Peter pointed out. The Iraqui stepped up to the plate and tried to take care of things imperfectly. And that would be preferable to us doing things better for them. The liberal dems are trying to Obama/Hillary to us about Iraq. Trying to distract from the main point by using the arg that "if is from the WH, then it must be true" seems like another typical Obama/Hillary.

If you're more interested i... (Below threshold)

If you're more interested in being cute than being clear...

What should be obvious is that poorly chosen language did not in any way obscure the *fact* that what was being reported on was a conversation with a White House source. A regular person would not expect to be misled.

But what does this mean?

"Now, care to comment on White House conference calls for bloggers? Just making sure you're "on message?""

How is that anything but an implication that the purpose of the calls is to make sure bloggers are on message AND that bloggers (and this one in particular) are susceptible to this?

We WANT our government to communicate with us. Of COURSE it's going to be their version of what is going on but we WANT to know what they think is going on. If we want our government to communicate with us we have to let them do that.

Well, Synova, I will admit ... (Below threshold)

Well, Synova, I will admit to being obviously wrong about your relative intelligence. Geez, defensive much?

Well, Synova, I will admit ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Well, Synova, I will admit to being obviously wrong about your relative intelligence. Geez, defensive much?
Is this another attempt to pull an Obama to cover up one 's mistake? It is similar to pulling a Rockfeller when McCain was Obama'ed by Rockefeller.

I don't feel defensive and ... (Below threshold)

I don't feel defensive and I'm not the one who's gone to personal insults on anything. If I've put words in his mouth it's because there weren't any of his own there.

So it's about me?

Or it's about deliberate smart-assedness in order to position one as the aggrieved party?

I know it's a waste of time... (Below threshold)

I know it's a waste of time, but here goes.

"If you be too stupid to understand reporting on an interview then that's on you, too." - Synova, comment #6 4/8/08, 5:05pm

"I'm not the one who's gone to personal insults on anything." - Synova

I not be too stupid, YOU be too stupid.

If it wasn't about wasting ... (Below threshold)

If it wasn't about wasting time you wouldn't be here.

If you can't understand how hypotheticals differ from statements of "fact" even small words can't help.

So I'll demonstrate making it personal.

You, Max, are a self-serving self-righteous boob who is most interested in presenting yourself as smarter and more clever than others than in discussing any issue. Your superiority oozes from your snippy, off-topic, need to correct other people's mistakes, remarks while you imply that others are too simple to see what you see.

You present admitted smart-assery specifically in order to annoy people whom you can then act superior to because they reacted the way you intended them to and understood your statements in the way you intended them to. This makes you a liar and dishonest in your interactions with others. Like a punk or goth wallowing in angst and alienation who makes themself outrageous on the outside so they can complain that people are too superficial to see past their deliberate display.

Shape up, why don't you.

Finally we see Synovas true... (Below threshold)

Finally we see Synovas true colors. Really, if you can't take a little snark, then what the hell are you doing here? I see that you are as small a person as LAI. I will not interact with you anymore.

Synova, you are blessed wit... (Below threshold)

Synova, you are blessed with the brains and eloquence that some men only dream of. They are reduced to snark, which is a more accurate demonstration of "small". True colors, indeed.






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy