...and members of Congress can again be expected to grovel shamelessly before this military apparatchik. Consequently, Petraeus will succeed in his principle mission: to support the next phase of Bush administration lies about what is going on in Iraq.
First of all, since there is no game official to declare wins and losses, this war can go on indefinitely, even though the US has already lost. The defeat of the Badrist by the Sadrists in the latest debacle is just the most recent manifestation of that defeat. And make no mistake about it, Maliki didn't think this up on his own (the line being propagated by the government and the press). This was made in the USA; because they wanted to clean out any independent influences (Like the immensely popular Muqtada) exercising governance in Basra, last stop for Iraqi oil on the way to the sea. Maliki does not make decisions like that without guidance from his American masters in the now-targeted Green Zone.
The Badr militias (now transformed into the Iraqi armed forces) are an invention of Iran, and their leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim (his political organization is the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, formerly the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) has suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Sadrists.
That is one of the reasons the ceasefire was brokered by Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (declared idiotically by an acquiescent Congress last year to be a "terrorist organization"). That Suleimani brokered the ceasefire is also a diplomatic humiliation for Maliki, and for his US masters, who just watched Iran give a material demonstration of their newfound regional influence.
What Bagwan Petraeus (so named by me because Congress tends to grovel before uniforms as if they are in the presence of pop-prophets) is tasked with during this canned interview with America is to spin the tale that Iran is who "we" are fighting in Iraq.
I know, I know. It sounds hallucinatory; but this is the public that swallowed the WMD story, the story that The Surge "worked" (it didn't, another post), and every lie in between.
The story Bagwan Petraeus will spin goes like this: Muqtada is pro-Iranian (He is not). Muqtada has two kind of troops, the ones that follow his lead, and the renegades who act on their own.... except when they are influenced by Iranians (complete bullshit). These mythical Iranian proxies Petraues will call "special groups," because if Petraeus admit that they sicced the Badr Army aka Iraqi armed forces aka SIIC onto the Sadrists, he will be announcing to all of Shia Iraq that the US wants to erase the influence of the most popular leader in Shia Iraq. Except, of course, Petraues will not admit that the US designed this operation because it was an abject failure... kind of like the entire Iraq Occupation Adventure.
Bagwan will not tell Congress that Iran rescued his Iraqi allies... even though that is exactly what happened. In fact, that is the only Iranian "interference" that will be demonstrable in what is likely to be a prevarication-fest, duly lapped up by obsequious Congress-critters and the Boeing-ADM-Searle "press."
So be advised, dear readers. We are still in Wonderland. And the only viable "exit strategy" for Iraq is to lead every last American troop and mercenary and war profiteer onto ships and airplanes and bring them home now.