You heard all that nonsense about the surge working, right? Well, even if there have been security gains, they’re about to go into the shitter:
BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi security forces fought fierce gunbattles with powerful Shiite militias in the southern oil hub of Basra on Tuesday in a major operation aimed at bringing the southern oil city under government control.
Gunmen also patrolled several Baghdad neighborhoods as followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered a nationwide civil disobedience campaign to demand an end to the crackdown on their Mahdi Army movement.
More evidence of freedom on the march after the jump.
And it gets even better!
Explosions rang out across central Baghdad as rockets or mortars fired from Shiite areas targeted the U.S.-protected Green Zone for the second time this week.
The violence was part of an escalation in the confrontation between the Shiite-run government and al-Sadr’s followers - a move that threatens the security gains achieved by U.S. and Iraqi forces. Police and hospital officials reported that at least 22 people had been killed and 58 wounded in the Basra clashes.
Al-Sadr’s allies have grown increasingly angry over raids and detentions against them by U.S. and Iraqi forces, who insist the crackdown only affects rogue elements loyal to Iran.
It’s important to understand that the Iraqi “government” simply does not exist outside the Green Zone. It can’t do anything. You might also recall that the only reason the violence ebbed was because we were paying the Iraqis not to shoot at us. “Were” is the operative word - we haven’t been paying lately. Are you surprised the natives are getting a little restless?