Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Mahdi Army Taking A Beating In Iraq

I know I shouldn't be by now, but I continue to be astounded by the way the dinosaur media is reporting on the latest offensive by Iraqi and American forces on the remaining strongholds Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

To read the headlines, you'd think that this was an ill-advised, risky assault that 're-ignited the cycle of violence', and that the Iraqi troops haven't measured up and have been defecting to al-Sadr en masse.

The truth of the matter is quite different.

The Mahdi army have suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Iraqi army and their American allies. Some estimates from legitimate reporters on the ground like Bill Roggio and Michael Yon are estimating that in the past 5 days of fighting,the Mahdi Army has lost over 2% of its estimated combat force,suffering over 300 dead:

A look at the open source press reports from the US and Iraqi military and the established newspapers indicates 145 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 81 were wounded, 98 were captured, and 30 surrendered during the past 36 hours.

Since the fighting began on Tuesday 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra.

While the size of the Mahdi Army is a constant source of debate, media accounts often put the Mahdi Army at anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 fighters. With an estimated 1,000 Mahdi fighters killed, captured, wounded and surrendered, the Mahdi Army has taken an attrition rate of 1.5 to 2.5 percent over the past five days.

Now, that's what I call some heavy duty cockroach stomping.

What's even more impressive is that the Iraqi government is united behind the offensive against the Mahdi Army and the Iran 'special groups' and PM Maliki,who referred to the Mahdi Army as 'worse than al-Qaeda' and was quoted as saying that
"Our determination is strong ... those who break the law are punished, and those who draw their weapons in the face of the state are punished."

As for Iraqi soldiers and police defecting to the Sadrists, there's beena grand total of 15, according to Iraqi Major General Qassim Atta in a briefing today in Baghdad..out of about 50,000 personnel.

Only a year ago,when Mookie appeared to have Maliki in his back pocket, I wouldn't have thought this possible.

As to why a lot of the reporters of the dinosaur media are trying their damndest to turn a successful operation like this into a defeat and disaster, I have some answers, but they're admittedly not too pleasant so I'll simply move on an dlet you speculate on your own.

If this keeps up, don't be surprised if Mookie flees back to Iran.

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