Thursday, March 27, 2008

Return to 'Normalcy'

It figures George W. Bush would model Warren G. Harding. Bush said today that things in Iraq are returning to type:
Speaking at a US Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio, Mr Bush said "normalcy" was returning to Iraq.
The London Times describes what "normalcy" must mean to Bush:
Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki’s police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.

Saboteurs also blew up one of Iraq's two main oil pipelines from Basra, cutting at least a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 per cent of government revenue, a clear sign that the militias — who siphon significant sums off the oil smuggling trade — would not stop at mere insurrection.

In Baghdad, thick black smoke hung over the city centre tonight and gunfire echoed across the city.

What's almost as bad from the White House viewpoint is that it's going to be a lot tougher for al-Maliki to spin this strife into gold. Mainly because, the AP is reporting, "gunmen kidnapped an Iraqi civilian spokesman for Baghdad security operations Thursday and killed three of his bodyguards after torching his house in a Mahdi Army stronghold in the capital."

It's kind of hard to say the surge is working when you're blindfolded and tied up in the trunk of a car. But normal, right?

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