- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
The change in tactics that began when 'the surge' was announced, have been underway nearly from the beginning. While violence is still unacceptable, it seems that the impact is being felt where it matters:
As we noted more than once before, Operation “Imposing Law” is an escalating effort with military and political components. After the troops fixed their feet on the streets of Baghdad, PM Maliki and the troops are pushing forward with both components.
Politically, Maliki put an end to speculations about his real intentions of a cabinet reshuffle and announced that the reshuffle is going to happen within two weeks from now.
In his press conference this morning, Maliki also announced that the Supreme Judicial Council will be issuing warrants against a number of politicians and members of parliament who have connections to militant groups that are involved in attacks on civilians and security forces.
Meanwhile Iraqi and American forces are increasing their presence in and around Sadr city. Today hundreds of American and Iraqi solders swept through Jamila district just north of Sadr city. They searched homes and shops without meeting any resistance.
The Mehdi army is not responding to the raids with fire, but they are trying to undermine the security plan by spreading rumors about alleged crimes committed by US soldiers, specifically against the Shia. The latest of these rumors was a ridiculous one I heard yesterday from a taxi driver from Sadr city. His story, quite similar to one told by a Sadr city council member, is that US soldiers are raiding Shia homes, arresting innocent civilians, and then dumping them at night near strongholds of Sunni insurgents, blindfolded and handcuffed so that the insurgents would find them defenseless and slaughter them!
Violent incidents are still decreasing in number and impact in Baghdad. Yesterday for instance the only reported incident was the abduction of an adviser to the minister of defense by gunmen in western Baghdad. It was less than 24 hours until the security forces succeeded in freeing the abducted general and arresting 4 of his captors.