Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Vanishing Victory

The Washington Times is the only paper I've seen so far to report on the American victory over the Mahdi's Army. When the a-Sadr forces rose up in revolt, it was a top news story in the major media in the "We're Losing" category. When the revolt was put down, only a right-wing player like the WT bothered to cover it from the point of view of a Coalition success.

When the division got word April 8 that Sheik al-Sadr's uprising meant most 1st Armored soldiers would stay and fight, rather than going home as scheduled, it touched off a series of remarkable military maneuvers.

Soldiers, tanks and helicopters at a port in Kuwait reversed course, rushing back inside Iraq to battle the Shi'ite cleric's 10,000-strong army. Within days, a four-tank squadron was rumbling toward the eastern city of Kut. And within hours of arriving, Lt. Col. Mark Calvert and his squadron had cleared the town's government buildings of the sheik's so-called Mahdi's Army.