Iraq Shiite Showdown
A relatively decent article out of The Times on today’s election in Iraq. I must commend the NYT on it’s coverage out of Iraq this election cycle. They remain unabashedly pro-Maliki, but have begun to allow a few dissenting voices space in its articles (albeit, small space), including one standout gem in the linked report.
Many of you remember the famed “Basra Offensive” in March 2009 (just as the Dow was hitting bottom), which “flushed out” the Shi’a Mahdi Army and made Basra safe. That’s the prevailing narrative, anyway, and the Times basically assumes its true.
But they do allow this gem from an opposition Shi’a candidate aligned with the “defeated” Mahdi army regarding the Basra Offensive, what the Iraqis call the “Knights operation”:
“They did arrest criminal groups, but the groups only came back later with different names,” he said. “What they refer to as the Knights operation was really the targeting of political groups. They killed many. It was a crime against the Iraqi people.”
They spend the rest of the article tacitly supporting the opposite claim (that the Basra Offensive was a success and not a crime), but at least they entertained the possibility of it being a political pogrom instead of a legitimate military action.
A rare forum for dissent from a paper whose job is basically to manufacture consent for US actions in Iraq.