Just a reminder: The Surge has worked! Long Live the Surge!

BAGHDAD (AP) — A parked car bomb aimed at a U.S. patrol Thursday in Baghdad killed at least nine Iraqi civilians and wounded 26, police said.

American troops killed 17 militants amid escalating fighting in Sadr City, and another U.S. soldier was killed as the military death toll increased to a seven-month high of 50. […]

Health officials also said clashes in Baghdad’s Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City killed eight people, including two women and a child, and wounded 18 others, including women and children.

John McCain is so proud.

Meanwhile, to the extent that violence is continuing it has nothing — NOTHING! — to do with our military occupation of presence in Iraq. Look — over there! See the cowardly Iranian terrorists arming those nasty militias?

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi prime minister is sending several senior Shiite leaders to Tehran to discuss their concerns that Iran is arming and financing militias in Iraq, senior Iraqi and American officials said Wednesday. […]

American officials supported the trip, but portrayed it as the brainchild of Mr. Maliki. One American official described the Iraqis’ concern about Iran’s role as “the silver lining” to recent fighting between Shiite militias and Iraqi and American security forces in Basra and in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, a militia stronghold.

When the NY Times uses weasel words like “portrayed” above, that’s code for “this is the propaganda US officials in Iraq have told us to report and which they would like you to believe.” Why do I say that? Because the same Iraqi government not two months ago hosted the President of Iran in an official and historic state visit, in which no mention was made of Iran’s role in arming all those criminal militias. Indeed, Iraqi leader al-Maliki went out of his way to praise Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government by stating “I can honestly say that the Islamic Republic’s recent position has been very helpful in bolstering security and stability.” Iraq also accepted a $1 billion dollar loan from Iran at that time.

Now the Bush administration and General Petraeus would have us believe that Maliki has done a 180 degree reversal of his prior position and willingly lays all the blame for the current outbreak of violence at the feet of Iran. Sorry, guys, that dog won’t hunt. It’s well established that it was Maliki’s own attempt to eliminate Muqtada al-Sadr and his paramilitary, the Mahdi Army, as a political and military force prior to the provincial elections this Fall in Iraq, which led to the current wave of fighting. In other words, the reason that the violence has increased in Iraq is because Maliki, with US support, decided to break the truce with the Mahdi Army in order to further cement his own hold on power. Thus, the Iraqi government’s diplomatic mission to Iran is nothing more than a political kabuki dance choreographed by the Bush administration to help catapult its propaganda against Iran back in America.

Maliki is simply a puppet dancing on Bush and Cheney’s strings. Iran knows this, The Arab governments in the Middle East know this. Everyone who gets their news from a non-American media outlet knows this. For whatever reason, however, American news providers, including “liberal media” stalwarts like the New York Times have chosen not to inform their audience back in America of these basic facts. I wonder why, don’t you?

Of course, the irony here is that Iran has helped arm and train Shi’ite militias. However, the vast majority of its aid and assistance has not been directed to the Mahdi Army, the militia the Iraq government and the US military is fighting so vigorously at the moment. No, the militia to which Iran is most closely tied — the Badr Brigade or Badr Corps — is the paramilitary arm of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI (formerly the Supreme Council of the Islamic Republic in Iraq or SCIRI), the largest shi’ite party in Iraq and the major partner of Prime Minister Maliki’s coalition government. It is safe to say that the Badr organization has been subsumed within the Iraqi police and security forces. They are essentially one and the same thing at this point in time.

So, in essence, our policy in Iraq is to help the Shi’ite political party and it’s paramilitary with the closest ties with Iran work to eliminate the Shi’ite political party and paramilitary with the fewest ties to Iran, and blame Iran for all the violence that results from the implementation of this strategy. Does that sound like an intelligent, well designed approach to stabilizing and securing Iraq to you?

I didn’t think so.

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