As Jackboot John McCain launched his weeklong ‘Biography Tour’ in an attempt to showcase his long, storied relationship with the US military and started what Reuters news service tagged as a “trip down memory lane,” the war in Iraq, a humid, horrid place where Jackboot John would keep US GIs 10, 20, a hundred years, continued a slow meltdown.
At least five American soldiers were killed and another 31 were wounded in three separate attacks in Iraq today. Iraqis did not fare any better, with 81 Iraqis killed and 126 more wounded as well. Clashes in Baghdad were the cause of most of the casualties. Also, 42 college students were kidnapped then released near Mosul.
Two US soldiers were killed and 17 more were wounded during a rocket or mortar attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad. In the southeastern neighborhood of Rustimiyah, another attack left one GI dead and 14 more injured. One American soldier was killed today during a roadside bombing in Diyala province. Also,one American soldier died from a non-combat incident.
Clashes between gunmen, U.S. forces, and Iraqi security in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City left 25 dead and 98 wounded. A helicopter strike caused nine more deaths. The U.S. Army had been staging operations near Sadr City in hopes of reducing rocket and mortar attacks on the international Green Zone.
These attacks escalated after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki implemented a crackdown on the Mahdi Army ahead of elections. In a separate event, mortars injured two policemen.
— antiwar.com/updates, (4/6/08)
The five killed on Sunday brings the death toll of US troops in Iraq to 4,024 with another near 30,000 wounded in action.
Intense is most-likely the best term to describe the shaping power struggle between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has called for a massive strike this Wednesday — if that day comes: Maliki called yesterday for the disbanding of Sadr’s Mehdi Army, which has just finished putting a hard ass-kicking on government troops.
And Maliki continued blubbering that if Sadr doesn’t break-up his militia, the cleric’s followers could be banned from participating in upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Jackboot John blurred reality as he blubbered on Fox News Sunday that the Iraqi government troops did a bang-up, swell job against the ragtag Mehdi Army during the fighting in Basra, and Baghdad and in just every little town in the country.
Seemingly, all the news reports coming out of Iraq during the fighting and afterward gave Maliki’s army a fierce thumbs down for performance, and amid stories of mass desertions, one in which a 1,000 government GIs switched over to join Sadr’s boys, including a couple of commanders.
Even the US Army was taken aback on how well the Mehdi army handled itself.
Jackboot also put a big Arizona-sized boot in his mouth on how a ceasefire was achieved last week to end the flare-up.
“It was al-Sadr that declared the ceasefire, not Maliki. With respect, I don’t think Sadr would have declared the ceasefire if he thought he was winning. Most times in history, military engagements, the winning side doesn’t declare the ceasefire. The second point is, overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. … The military is functioning very effectively.”
—Fox News Sunday, (4/6/08)
It’s been published and verified some Iraqi lawmakers went to Qom, one of Iran’s most-holy cities, apparently after the offense in Basra started, as the conflict widen, and it appeared government forces were getting pounded, to get the commander of Iran’s Qods brigades to broker a ceasefire.
If that had not happened, a full-blown civil war would have erupted.
Of course, that civil war is still coming, but will take place after the US has pulled itself out of the mess.
And what about old Jackboot John?
This entire bio-tour has been about a Jackboot being a man of the people — a war-like man of the people.
The operation kicked off Monday in Meridian, Miss., where his slave-owning relations and his war-obsessed kin got their start.
Not unlike Forrest Gump‘s Lt. Dan, Jackboot John’s family has donned some kind of war uniform since day one, and although maybe they didn’t die in every war, they snatched and rattled the saber on a moment’s notice.
McCain, the son and grandson of admirals and a decorated Navy pilot and prisoner of war and who served 27 years in the Navy, has deep connections to the military. His ancestors have served in every U.S. war except the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict. One of his sons, a Marine, served in Iraq; a second is at the Naval Academy, which McCain, his father and grandfather also attended.
Jackboot John, however, has had his bio tour take some detours this week:
On Tuesday, McCainâ€™s return to his old high school in Alexandria, Virginia, was not welcomed by all.
A student in the crowd asked him, “We’re told this isn’t a political event, so what exactly is your purpose in being here?”
McCain shot back, “I knew I should have cut this thing off. This meeting is over.”
— cnn.com, (4/6/08)
The US military needs to be over and gone from Iraq. And soon, as a withdrawal in good order only has a short window of opportunity.