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He's going to announce a final  offensive designed to display American mastery of the battlefield.  

In order to withdraw the deployment Bush is going to select Sadr City for a punitive offensive, or possibly a Sunni town like Ramadi or Tikrit.  This will provide the political cover for talks with Sadr and Sunni tribes.  and deliver the final parting shot before negotiating with the Sunnis Shia and the retreat to Kurdistan and the empty Western Desert.    

there is a strong chance that any new offensive will be bloodily repulsed by the defending population.  

Here is the scenario:

Privately knowing that the US will have to pull garrisons out of Iraq the administration decides to hammer the capabilities of the resistance to 1) prevent attacks on evacuating US troops 2) punish Iraqi groups willing to fight 3) Allow the US to meet in talks from an apparent position of strength.

Sadr City and (for the sake of example) Ramadi are selected as the focal point of the offensive effort.  Sadr is the indigenous leader of nationalistic shia, and Ramadi the hub of Sunni fighters.  Attacking both at the same time seems insane but, any independent nationalists in Iraq are a threat to American post war planning.  

Marines and Soldiers mass around the slums of Baghdad and the Ramadi  and start pounding away at the perimeter...

Students of war will recognize this event in couple of examples.    At the end of the Anglo-American War of 1812-14  The Battle of New Orleans  took place after the parties knew the war was supposed to wound up.  It was fought by the British, after terms had been tacitly agreed between the Americans and the British.   The British reduced Americna defences around the Mississippi Delta and then proceeded to move in for the kill against Jackson's force guarding New Orleans.   The British were bloodily repulsed.   The battle was essentially a strategic waste of effort.  The British were not going to reclaim any part of the Gulf Coast nor did they seriously wish to.  The expedition was only punitive.  

Another example:  The destruction of Warsaw in 1944.  With the Soviet army nearby the Polish home army decided to stage a revolt against the Germans, predictably the Germans savagely responded and the Home Army was slaughtered.  The Russians sat by and waited for the Germans to exhaust themselves killing Poles, who probably would have killed by the Soviets later on.   The Germans retook Warsaw and then promptly lost it to the Russians anyway.   All along The Germans knew the Soviets would push them out.  It was a campaign of pure spite and waste.  

What then are the Slum dwellers of Baghdad likely to do when the Americans arrive to re-establish their military credibility before the talking and evacuation begins?

We can see the answer in Hezbullah's fight with Israel.    Even though the Generals know that the effort will be a loss they will go ahead and fight the last battle.  America will lose a few hundred troops and the Mahdi army will lose thousands.   and the result will still be the same either way.  

Originally posted to Salo on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 11:35 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, we'll leave Iraq in the not too distant (0+ / 0-)

    future. But before we do so, within these two final years of Bush, there will be an escalation of our military presence and massive retaliations to punish the Iraqi's for not letting us win.
    What else from the war criminals in this admin.?

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 12:26:06 PM PST

  •  Equal opportunity insanity (0+ / 0-)

    Attacking both at the same time seems insane but,

    I'd like to think you're wrong, but once upon a time I hoped my prediction (that this war would be a disaster) was wrong, too.

    If you're rich you can afford to be stupid, but you won't be rich for long.

    by Flywheel on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 12:39:07 PM PST

    •  effectively happening already (0+ / 0-)
      the pundits want sadr dead, for no logical reason that they have yet articulated.  The Sunni have prevented this from becoming a a walk over.  

      The Sunni really are the Prussians of the Middle East.   Their continued fighting reminds me of Scharnohorst and Gniesnauer  fighting back against Napoleon.    

      •  Do you think Sadr gets eye strain (0+ / 0-)

        from striding around and glowering from under his eyebrows like that? He is quite the poser. I am not a make-up expert but that looks suspiciously like mascara under his eyes. So what's under the robe? Spandex?

        Walking. It's the new driving.

        by Batfish on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 02:30:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  An assault on Ramadi (0+ / 0-)

    is a very real possibility.

    But there's no way Bush can attack Sadr City -- unless he wants to hasten the collapse of the Maliki government.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Bush flattened Ramadi to A. send a message and B. strengthen Maliki's position.

    qui tacet consentire

    by quaoar on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 01:06:29 PM PST

    •  he'll have a pop. (0+ / 0-)
      These guys didn't let him win his little war.  they made a big mess of his PR campaign.   This is the most likely scenario unfortunately.  
    •  final push (0+ / 0-)

      I get the distinct impression that a final assault on Iraqi insurgents is imminent as well. Bush isn't going to pull out. The only alternative is to stay and fight harder. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. We'll be dealing with Iraq for decades.

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