Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's Better in Basra

A second look proves that the Iraqi city is doing alright, despite what you may have heard in the Media. From the AFP:

An AFP correspondent said three northwestern neighbourhoods once
under the firm control of the Mahdi Army militia of radical Shiite cleric
Moqtada al-Sadr -- Al-Hayaniyah, Khamsamile and Garma -- are now encircled by
Iraqi troops who are carrying out door-to-door searches.
Two other
neighbourhoods once dominated by the Mahdi Army, Al-Qiblah in the southwest and
Al-Taymiyyah in the centre, have been cleared of weaponry and many people have
been arrested, military officials say.
Residents expressed relief at the
improved security.
"I am very happy about the situation right now. The
deployment of the Iraqi army has made gunmen and gangsters disappear from the
streets," said court employee Mahdi Fallah, 42.
"The gangs were controlling
the ports and smuggling oil. Now the ports are back in government hands.
Everything in Basra is better than before."

Read the rest of this encouraging story. Looks like the Iraqi Army is finally stepping up. Not a perfect battle to be sure, but certainly a major improvement, and I expect many more from our new democratic allies.