Sunday, July 06, 2008

Defeat of Terrorism Actually Mentioned in Section A!

Who says there's no progress on Iraq? Time was when a claim we'd defeated terrorism there--or even dealt it a serious blow- wouldn't have made it into the front section of the Detroit Free Press at all.

Not that it was front page news today, either. That was dedicated to huge story of a pattern of sexual harassment lawsuits at the Jeep Assembly Plant in Toledo. Then of course there's a timely story about the price of gas.

But then there it was, down at the bottom of page 4A:

Terrorism defeated in Iraq, leader says

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's prime minister said Saturday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shi'ite militias.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched the crackdowns to extend the authority of the government over areas in Baghdad and elsewhere that largely have been under the control of armed groups since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

"They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it," al-Maliki said. "But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them."

He was speaking at ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the 2003 assassination of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a leading opponent of Saddam Hussein who was killed in a truck bombing in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf after returning from exile in Iran.

Such attacks plagued Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion, but violence in the country has now fallen to its lowest level in four years. The change has been driven by the 2007 buildup of U.S. forces, the Sunni tribal revolt against Al Qaeda in Iraq and al-Maliki's crackdowns, among other factors.

So Happy Birthday, President Bush.

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