The Battle of Baghdad

There is another excellent post from Mohammed at Iraq the Model dated yesterday (Friday, February 23, 2007).  He has been driving around Baghdad and reports on the increasing presence of the military and the apparent increasing security:
The buildup of troops in the capital seems to be incremental and increasing by the day giving a steadily growing sense of the seriousness of the operation. Yesterday during my tour with some friends we were stopped to be searched seven times during about only two hours; five times in Karkh and two in Resafa [the west and east sections of the city]
Is the correlation of forces swinging in our favor?  In a commentary on the British withdrawal of troops from Basra, the London Times notes that "80 to 90 percent of all violence in the country occurs in the capital."  If this is true, it is a statistic that we do not see often.  It can mean two things - that the Battle of Baghdad is the final phase of the insurgence or that the bad guys still have the ability to do violence anywhere in the country and are simply choosing to focus on Baghdad for now.  Either way, it indicates their resources are not inexhaustible.

And look at the ancillary benefits of the troop surge led by General Petraeus.  Moqtada al-Sadr has reportedly decamped for Teheran.  Although this is denied by his supporters, he has not shown his face in Baghdad in recent days. 

One wonders what the table conversation is like in Teheran:
"Welcome brother al-Sadr.  You, like us, prefer death to life.  Would you like some caviar?"

"Thank you, brother Achmadinejad.  Yes, I join you in our love of death over life.  Alas, it does not seem exactly the right moment for me to seek death over life in Baghdad.   Caviar would be fine.  Have you heard from brother bin Laden?

"He is seeking death over life in Waziristan, but we do not despair of his even visiting us here in Teheran, as he knows that we here love death more than life.  Coffee?"
Both the Dems in Washington and the bad guys in Iraq have the same strategy - the "slow bleed."  Our role as citizens is not to assume disaster in the absence of facts.  It is likely that success in Iraq will be a patchwork quilt - meaning success here and then there, building to a successful whole over a long period of time. I continue to be impressed by the strong rally in the Iraqi dinar over the last three months, which continues.  It is now up 15% since October, a very large move for a currency.  The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has increased interest rates during this period, but that would not be sufficient to move the dinar this way, in our view, if there were panic in Iraq about the future. 

If they are not panicking in Iraq, let's not panic here at home.  We have the first team in the field, and they are pressing the opposition.  Let's give them the support to press on, remembering that the outcome in Iraq is a matter of high consequence for us all.  We are fighting the bad guys in Iraq; far preferable to fighting them here.
There is another excellent post from Mohammed at Iraq the Model dated yesterday (Friday, February 23, 2007).  He has been driving around Baghdad and reports on the increasing presence of the military and the apparent increasing security:
The buildup of troops in the capital seems to be incremental and increasing by the day giving a steadily growing sense of the seriousness of the operation. Yesterday during my tour with some friends we were stopped to be searched seven times during about only two hours; five times in Karkh and two in Resafa [the west and east sections of the city]
Is the correlation of forces swinging in our favor?  In a commentary on the British withdrawal of troops from Basra, the London Times notes that "80 to 90 percent of all violence in the country occurs in the capital."  If this is true, it is a statistic that we do not see often.  It can mean two things - that the Battle of Baghdad is the final phase of the insurgence or that the bad guys still have the ability to do violence anywhere in the country and are simply choosing to focus on Baghdad for now.  Either way, it indicates their resources are not inexhaustible.

And look at the ancillary benefits of the troop surge led by General Petraeus.  Moqtada al-Sadr has reportedly decamped for Teheran.  Although this is denied by his supporters, he has not shown his face in Baghdad in recent days. 

One wonders what the table conversation is like in Teheran:
"Welcome brother al-Sadr.  You, like us, prefer death to life.  Would you like some caviar?"

"Thank you, brother Achmadinejad.  Yes, I join you in our love of death over life.  Alas, it does not seem exactly the right moment for me to seek death over life in Baghdad.   Caviar would be fine.  Have you heard from brother bin Laden?

"He is seeking death over life in Waziristan, but we do not despair of his even visiting us here in Teheran, as he knows that we here love death more than life.  Coffee?"
Both the Dems in Washington and the bad guys in Iraq have the same strategy - the "slow bleed."  Our role as citizens is not to assume disaster in the absence of facts.  It is likely that success in Iraq will be a patchwork quilt - meaning success here and then there, building to a successful whole over a long period of time. I continue to be impressed by the strong rally in the Iraqi dinar over the last three months, which continues.  It is now up 15% since October, a very large move for a currency.  The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has increased interest rates during this period, but that would not be sufficient to move the dinar this way, in our view, if there were panic in Iraq about the future. 

If they are not panicking in Iraq, let's not panic here at home.  We have the first team in the field, and they are pressing the opposition.  Let's give them the support to press on, remembering that the outcome in Iraq is a matter of high consequence for us all.  We are fighting the bad guys in Iraq; far preferable to fighting them here.