The Associated Press reports:
Baghdad’s streets were electric with tension Wednesday as U.S. officials confirmed the new security operation was under way. U.S. armor rushed through streets, and Iraqi armored personnel carriers guarded bridges and major intersections.
New coils of barbed-wire and blast barriers marked checkpoints that caused traffic bottlenecks. U.S. Apache helicopters whipped the air over parts of the capital where they hadn’t been seen before.
It’s much too early, of course, to have any evidence as to how successful the new strategy will be. But that doesn’t deter the AP from adopting a thoroughly pessimistic tone. Here is the first Iraqi reaction quoted by the AP:
But gunfire still rang out across the city, and some residents said they doubted life would get better. “Nothing will work, it’s too late,” said Hashem al-Moussawi, a resident of the Sadr City Shiite enclave who was badly wounded in a bombing in December.
And here is the conclusion of the article:
A giant billboard near the site of a series of attacks – including the one that wounded al-Moussawi – displays the pictures of more than 40 victims, many of them children. A woman clad in black is shown weeping, her face buried in her hands.
That’s actually as optimistic as it gets. In between, the gloom is unrelieved, with not a single Iraqi quoted who expresses optimism about the surge. I don’t know whether the new approach will bring relative tranquility to Baghdad or not; I fervently hope that it will. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if the AP and other news outlets write the surge’s obituary before it has even been fully implemented.
Via Power Line News.
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