Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Worse and Worse in Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If you listen to Harry Reid. Otherwise:
Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his dreaded Shiite militia on Wednesday to stop attacks on US-led forces as part of a six-month suspension of the militant group's activities.

The order came after fierce firefights left at least in 52 people dead in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala on Tuesday in violence witnesses said involved policemen and suspected fighters from Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

Sadr aides have denied any involvement in the fighting that sent hundreds of thousands of pilgrims fleeing from Karbala and led Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to slap an indefinite curfew on the city.

"I direct the Mahdi Army to suspend all its activities for six months until it is restructured in a way that helps honour the principles for which it is formed," Sadr said in a statement issued by his office in the city of Najaf.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Shaibani, a Sadr aide who led a bloody rebellion against US forces in Najaf in 2004, said the suspension included a ban on any attacks on US-led forces.

"The suspension means that the Mahdi Army will stop all armed activities against the occupiers or any other groups," he told AFP. "The aim is to reorganise the militia but not to dismantle it. It is also an effort to root out the rogue elements."
OK, I have a tough time buying into the "rogue element" bit. Seems a little to pat too me. And I'll believe this 6 month suspension of hostilities against US led forces when I see it.

But if true, and in light of the agreement among the various faction leaders in the central government concerning the reconciliation process this weekend, it is going to be hard to spin Iraq as not making progress in the upcoming month.

But I can guarantee you some will try. Just watch.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
al-Sadr wants the US out. He knows that if there is relative peace in six months, the US will start to leave — his militia will be in tact, and reorganized, ready to have an impact on Iraq moving forward. It’s in his rational interest not to see the situation deteriorate now, his brand of populism has become mainstream among the Shi’ites, and he wants to come to power legally, not through his militia. (One could make a comparison to Hitler and the SA, though I don’t think Sadr is a Hitler — his focus is Iraq, not expansion).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his dreaded Shiite militia on Wednesday to stop attacks on US-led forces as part of a six-month suspension of the militant group’s activities."

Sounds suspiciously like a unit that is drained and in bad need of RNR.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Erb: "though I don’t think Sadr is a Hitler — his focus is Iraq, not expansion"

Did you tell you so? Name one such slimeball that ever stayed in his house.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
It strikes me there is an awful lot of wishful thinking going on around the al-Sadr story. It is important to note, that while Americans like to think of al-Sadr as "the enemy", the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Iraqi government, and a majority of the majority Shia in Iraq do not think of him as "the enemy."

Perhaps it is useful to recall that when the statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down in 2003 in the middle of what we now call "Sadr City", it was the supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr that we cheered dragging Hussein’s head through the street. They were the exact oppressed religious sect we went there to liberate. When Saddam’s portrait was defaced, it was a poster of Sadr that went up in in its place. More recently we learned from Michael Totten, that the Mahdi Army is in the process of becoming the Iraqi Army.

So al-Sadr has announced that he will re-assert control of rogue factions of this army. There may or may not be rogue groups that al-Sadr must deal with. Whether they were rogue or under orders, this move cannot be seen as good for us, unless we want al-Sadr to run the place. Al-Sadr moves the Mahdi Army like pieces on a political chess board, in a chess game that we seem completely oblivious we are playing. He has been consistently under-estimated by Americans and the American press. We are doing it again now.

As near as I can tell, we are not targeting him or his army, perhaps by mutual agreement. His supporters were part of the government we are supporting, which they left on his instruction, and may be back. The Iraqi government we defend and al-Sadr are working together. What we are doing militarily, is killing his enemies in Iraq while he sits on the sideline and his followers join the Iraqi Army. Youknow, that Iraqi army which is supposed to stand up so we can stand down.

I think we are being played. When it is all said and done, I’m guessing he is the face of our victory in Iraq.
 
Written By: mw
URL: http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/
Sadr is a Shia player, but not the biggest Shia one. His brand of populism is mainstream if you mean like how Falwell or Farrahkan is mainstream in the USA - a certain percentage of yahoos following you does not make you mainstream. (A better and more scary example might be Ian Paisely in Northern Ireland.)

Sistani, the SICRI, Dawa, and the Badr alliance is much bigger. The Badr Brigades actually fought on the side of Iran, but now have been integrated into the army. They may not view Sadr as "the enemy" except, you know, when his forces kill their leaders and bomb their offices.

Sadr has done the cease-fire thing previously and for different reasons. Its also the pilgrimage season and it might look shabby to blow up the Americans and government forces who are protecting the pilgrimage. Maybe he needs to re-group. Maybe he figures AQ getting killed off means he should let us at them for a while. Maybe he thinks he can win electorally. Maybe he had a dream. Who knows.

I do know we have been taking down some the "rogue elements" and Sadr fled to Iran for a while. Let’s see if the cease fire holds. If it does, it means Sadr is more or less in control of his units. If it doesn’t it either means he is not really in control or that he was lying.

I can also think of a really good reason he wants a ceasefire now: he realizes that US forces are going to stay longer than he thought, that the government is getting stronger, and once AQ has been taken care of, he’s probably next on the list. But even if its a case where he thinks that we are leaving in a hurry, I say fine. Because if violence tamps down in Iraq, we won’t be leaving in any more of a hurry than we are "leaving" Kosovo or Bosnia. I guess he can win election and tell us to leave. But I doubt that will happen, either.







 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Boris Erb writes:
al-Sadr wants the US out. He knows that if there is relative peace in six months, the US will start to leave
Oh, so if we achieve peace in Iraq, it will be because al-Sadr has outsmarted the U.S.

Your Tokyo Rose, I mean Baghdad Erb, credentials are in order, Boris.

Cue voice of Boris as Asian Kitten:

"You silly American soldier, don’t you know you cannot defeat great imperial force of [insert name of sponsor of great imperial force here]. You poor silly boy. We Erb, I mean great imperial powers of [choose one] North Korea/Iran/al Qaeda/Libya/Hezbollah/Iraqi Sunni insurgents will destroy you. You cannot fight us. You are weak. We have destroyed your support at home. You are own worst enemy. Give up now, silly boy."

It is a tribute (or maybe really a failing) of the United States, Boris, that mobs of patriots don’t...oh, never mind.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Sadr is a Shia player, but not the biggest Shia one. His brand of populism is mainstream if you mean like how Falwell or Farrahkan is mainstream in the USA - a certain percentage of yahoos following you does not make you mainstream. (A better and more scary example might be Ian Paisely in Northern Ireland.)
Yeah, Falwell in the early eighties. Moreover Sadr’s popularity has an economic side, his appeal is strongest in places of urban poverty.

I can also think of a really good reason he wants a ceasefire now: he realizes that US forces are going to stay longer than he thought, that the government is getting stronger,
Huh? The government is getting stronger?!!?? I have absolutely no clue as to how you could make that claim.

and once AQ has been taken care of, he’s probably next on the list.


Probably not. Not only does he have connections, but he has a lot of popular support — something al qaeda does not have. Al Qaeda in Iraq is a bunch of foreigners nobody likes. Sadr is a populist with a strong and popular militia (there are definitely rival Shi’ia militias, but that doesn’t exactly give one cause to celebrate).
But even if its a case where he thinks that we are leaving in a hurry, I say fine. Because if violence tamps down in Iraq, we won’t be leaving in any more of a hurry than we are "leaving" Kosovo or Bosnia. I guess he can win election and tell us to leave. But I doubt that will happen, either.
What level of American presence do you think the American citizens and the Iraqis will tolerate? 50,000? And if the internal Iraq on Iraq violence continues and there is no Sunni-Shi’ite reconciliation — with a chance of increased and escalating violence — it’s questionable how much good a smaller American presence would do in such a case. Perhaps that can happen, but we’ll need a lot more progress on the political front.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider