According to CNN, the fight in Basra isn’t gong so well, after all:
A closely held U.S. military intelligence analysis of the fighting in Basra shows that Iraqi security forces control less than a quarter of the city, according to officials in both the United States and Iraq, and Basra’s police units are deeply infiltrated by members of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army.
“This is going to go on for a while,” one U.S. military official said.
Wait — you mean to tell me that a block-by-block knife fight might not be all shock-and-awe-ish? No freakin’ way.
And you also mean to tell me that al Sadr might have used his ceasefire and local tribal loyalties to infiltrate an otherwise-incorruptible Middle Eastern police force? Say it ain’t so, Joe.
Seriously, given the nature of city fighting, the constraints of local politics and religious loyalties, ever-present age-old Arab corruption, and every other Middle East pathology, the miracle here is that the Iraqis are fighting — and winning! — at all.
Next time, skip the lurid headlines. Hell, most times you might as well skip the MSM’s story.
UPDATE: This should be obvious, but needs stating anyway. Anything on CNN is, by definition, anything but “closely held.” That’s like saying Eliot Spitzer only frequented chaste hookers.