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Iraq, militias al Sadr and Malilki
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 16, 2006

So I go to a USA Today article and I read this:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in an interview with USA TODAY that his government will not force militias to disarm until later this year or early next year, despite escalating violence in Baghdad fueled by death squads and religious warfare.
The gnashing of my teeth was probably heard in the next county. Stumps I tell you. Stumps!

I'm thinking to myself, how damn dumb can you be?
The prime minister criticized the U.S.-led military coalition for an overreliance on force, which he called the "wrong approach."

"Terrorism and militias — especially militias — cannot be dealt with only by using tanks, guns and aircraft," he said.
Really?! I'm throwing my hands in the air now. This sort of stuff drives me crazy. Death squads. Militias. Direct threat to your government. Spike in deaths. What don't you understand about this!?
"The problem that we face in disbanding militias — and the militias have to be disbanded — is that there are procedures, steps that need to taken, which take time," he said.
What freakin' "procedures and steps" and how much time?! I'm in a rage now. Bureaucracy. Dithering. Fiddling while Baghdad burns.

Then I read this:
Radical cleric Moqtada Al Sadr ordered his militia on Friday not to take part in the wave of sectarian bloodshed sweeping Iraq ...

The Shia firebrand issued the order amid what a US military spokesman called a “tremendous spike” in killings in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, warning the surge in violence “will still get worse before it gets better.”

[...]

But on Friday, Sadr called on those who had killed Iraqis to ”repent”.

“There are rumours that there are groups or persons from the Mahdi Army attacking the Iraqi people with no right to do so,” Sadr said in a statement bearing his signature distributed by his office in the shrine city of Najaf.

“It is not proved so far but, if proved, I will declare their names and will renounce them with no fear or hesitation,” he said.

[...]

“Criminals should not take righteousness as a shield,” Sadr said, warning that if they continue to fight he will no longer seek to protect them. “I ask them to do this because I love them, not because I need them.”
What?!

Al-Sadr calling off his militia? Claiming he'll renounce those who are committing these murders? Telling them to stop?

Yeah I know ... all blow and no-go? Could be ... but still. Seems newsworthy to me.

So why did I have to read about this in the Khaleej Times?

Why isn't this in USA Today?

Good grief.

You don't suppose Maliki is right, do you?

Oh, and if so, I'd like to take this to the bank as well:
Al-Maliki also predicted a significant U.S. troop withdrawal starting early next year, despite the growing violence. If Iraq's security forces continue to build in strength, U.S. troops could start withdrawing in "a matter of months," he said. There are currently 141,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Then on with the "procedures and steps" and more power to you Mr. Maliki.
 
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Al-Sadr calling off his militia? Claiming he’ll renounce those who are committing these murders? Telling them to stop?

Yeah I know ... all blow and no-go? Could be ... but still. Seems newsworthy to me.

So why did I have to read about this in the Khaleej Times?

Why isn’t this in USA Today?

Good grief.

You don’t suppose Maliki is right, do you?


There’s all kind of relevant events in Iraq that never make it into the English media. One good reason to follow Juan Cole is that he’s fluent in the languages and passes them along.


As for Maliki being right: not really. "Next year" is his version of "when the Iraqi’s stand up, we’ll stand down." "Next year" is just a way of saying "not right now".

Sadr’s statements shouldn’t be attributed to Maliki’s benign, so much as to the way the situation is no longer under anyone’s real control right now. And Sadr, being an authoritarian kind of guy, isn’t happy about it. It’s essentially the difference between Saddamn/Qusay (wants the trains running on time, willing to kill whoever it takes to get that) and Uday (wants to kill, if the trains stop running..., hey, that’s funny, tee-hee!)
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
As for Maliki being right: not really. "Next year" is his version of "when the Iraqi’s stand up, we’ll stand down." "Next year" is just a way of saying "not right now".
A bit of sarcasm in my question, ’nost.

I’m mostly lamenting the fact that you can’t even make an informed decision or come to a valid conclusion when you only get part of the story.

Have you heard anywhere else that al-Sadr is essentially issuing a "stand-down" order to his militia?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Isn’t Sadr losing control of portions of his militia? Thus this statement is sort of a freebie for him to make. Not to mention actions speak louder than words in Sadr’s case.

Methinks maybe a withdrawal deadline could actually be useful...not for cutting and running, but for getting some fire under the Iraqi’s asses.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
The issue is, has been, and will be:
When will the Iraqi people, as a people, be willing to fight, kill, and die for a Free Iraq?

More US troops might help, but probably not — because it crowds out the need for Iraqis to commit themselves to it. (Unless the new troops are fluent in Arabic.) (Though likely fewer Iraqi deaths in the short term)

Less US troops might help, but probably not — because it opens too much space for local takeover by the most ruthless local militant group. (Though likely fewer US deaths in the short term)

Current US levels insure that anywhere the Iraqi army is willing to fight, the US can make sure they win. There needs to be more Iraqi army willing to fight everywhere.

Iraqis standing up should have been sold by Bush as a 5-10 year program. Nixon’s 69 - 73 - 75 (6 years) of Vietnamization wasn’t enough standing up for S. Viet forces with corrupt, incompetent, cowardly officers in the N. Viet blitz of ’75.

Where has it been done faster in an Arab country?
Calls of Bush incompetence, on this issue, are without any historical standard of comparison.
 
Written By: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad
URL: http://tomgrey.motime.com
When will the Iraqi people, as a people, be willing to fight, kill, and die for a Free Iraq?
They are fighting for a free Iraq already. They want it free of a Americans, free of Christians, free of muslims that don’t agree with them and free of anybody else that doesn’t agree with them.

I think what you mean is they need an ICLU.
 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
What?!

Al-Sadr calling off his militia? Claiming he’ll renounce those who are committing these murders? Telling them to stop?

Yeah I know ... all blow and no-go? Could be ... but still. Seems newsworthy to me.
Of course it does. Probably seems newsworthy to Bush too.

But back in reality land, it is meaningless. Sadr has lost control of parts of his militia. And his statements are obvious lies anyway. How in the world would he gain credibility by denouncing Shia who are engaging in revenge killings on Sunnis, who are in turn massacring Shia?

He wouldn’t.

It’s been fascinating to watch your take on Iraq "evolve" over the last couple of years. Kinda sad too. So it has come to this:

The Prime Minister of the elected government of Iraq has publicly announced to the world that he is not going to even try to do the one thing that must be done in Iraq to achieve stability: disarm the militias. For, as any first-year poly sci student could tell you, and as Max Weber has said, there can be no stable nation state if the government of the state does not have a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. As long as militias exist to protect ethnic groups, they will be perceived as exercising legitimate physical force, i.e., there will be no stable nation state.

What’s even more fascinating is that while you are alarmed or troubled by the words of the Prime Minister of the legitimately elected government of Iraq, a man who has addressed Congress and spent time in the White House, you take some form of comfort in the words of Sadr, a man for whom we have issued an arrest warrant and who is still the ostensible head of a militia that kidnaps people and drills holes in their head while they are still alive.

Wow.

As I have said before, and I will say again, you take wingnuttery to a whole new level. You are truly out there.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
" S. Viet forces with corrupt, incompetent, cowardly officers in the N. Viet blitz of ’75."

Not all of them.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
As I have said before, and I will say again, you take wingnuttery to a whole new level. You are truly out there.
As you might imagine, that is worn as a badge of honor considering who is saying it. I mean when you have the person who defined the term "moonbat" calling you a wingnut, well, beside the comic relief there should also be thanks for the huge separation from your views you’ve afforded me.

Thanks.

And I might add, this comment is fairly typical of your verbose but intellectually vapid style. All heat, no fire, but plenty of name calling. It’s why we like having you around.

Simply wonderful in a moonbat sort of way. Points for trying.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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