US and UK special forces are carrying out operations in Basra in southern Iraq against Shia militiamen, a Western military source has told the BBC.
The aim is to detain senior figures in the Mehdi Army and other Shia militias, and members of a local tribe.
We have commented before on the relative lack of success of the free, independent, democratic Iraqi state (not much freedom, independence or democracy on show). The Iraqi government can't even seem to monopolise force. During the Basra fighting three weeks ago roughly 10% of the Iraqi forces went awol. After the battle Nouri al-Maliki asked Moqtada al-Sadr ever so politely for 50 armoured cars back. A large number of the Iraqi soldiers and police presumably either defected or had prior sympathies with the militia.
The sought after client state has not come to fruition. If America (or, lets be precise PNAC) is to prevail in Iraq it'll take a lot more soldiers and a lot more time. John McCain's 100 year reich may be awful (and a rhetorical exaggeration) but it could be the last refuge for war hawks, utter honesty. The war will cost billions, kill millions, many American families will have to give their children for the greater good. But, what good?
And why is McCain winning in the polls?