Cheney Says Iraq Government "Off To A Good Start," And "Doing Remarkably Well." Sadly, The News From Iraq Doesn't Match The Spin
Or maybe the "natural level of concern" comes because earlier this year, Cheney either lied or showed unconscionable ignorance when he suggested no one "anticipated the level of violence" from an Iraqi insurgency. In fact, many respected people anticipated the possibility of a violent resistance -- but the administration ignored those people, just as they ignored generals who said they needed more troops on the ground to fight the insurgency.
But beyond Cheney and his recent history of spin (read: lies), the facts on the ground in Iraq simply don't support the idea that the fledgling Iraq government is "doing remarkably well."
The sad news from last night and this morning is the latest example:
The Shiite militia run by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr seized total control of the southern Iraqi city of Amarah this morning in one of the boldest acts of defiance yet by one of the country's powerful, unofficial armies, witnesses and police said.
The Mahdi Army fighters stormed three main police stations, planting explosives that flattened the buildings, residents said.
About 800 black-clad militiamen with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers were patrolling city streets in commandeered police vehicles, eyewitnesses said. Other fighters had set up roadblocks on routes into the city and sound trucks circulated telling residents to stay indoors.
Fighting broke out in Amara on Thursday after the head of police intelligence in the surrounding province, a member of the rival Shiite Badr Brigade militia, was killed by a roadside bomb, prompting his family to kidnap the teenage brother of the local head of the a-Madhi Army.
The Mahdi Army seized several police stations and clamped a curfew on the city in retaliation.