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Another Angle

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.