April 9, 2007
DRAWING THE BATTLE LINES MORE CLEARLY (via Patrick Hynes):
Patterns of War Shift in Iraq Amid U.S. Buildup (ALISSA J. RUBIN and EDWARD WONG, 4/09/07, NY Times)
Nearly two months into the new security push in Baghdad, there has been some success in reducing the number of death squad victims found crumpled in the streets each day. [...]
The American military believes that much of the drop in executions has come because of decreased activity by Shiite militias and death squads, especially the powerful Mahdi Army militia that claims allegiance to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr.
Many militia leaders have been detained in raids by the American military, according to the Iraqi government, and despite some major car bomb attacks on Shiite areas, the militias appear to have decided to refrain from carrying out revenge killings.
“The cycle of violence is not as predictable,” a senior American military official said. “Iraqi people are showing restraint, and the ability of death squads to retaliate is being circumscribed.”
The Shi'ites, not the Iraqis. Note that over the weekend Mookie was even forced to mouth off about the U.S. because it's become so obvious he's collaborating with the surge. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2007 7:47 AM