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

 
Feb 23 may be a key day in Iraq
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, February 07, 2008

That's the day on which the cease fire ordered by Moqtada al Sadr is due to expire. Per the Arab Times, al Sadr has been getting pressure from some quarters of his organization not to renew the cease fire:
Influential members within the movement loyal to Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have told him they do not want his Mehdi Army militia to extend a ceasefire when it expires this month, Sadr’s spokesman said on Monday. The US military says the Shi’ite cleric’s announcement on Aug. 29 to freeze the activities of the feared Mehdi Army for six months has been vital to cutting violence. A return to hostilities could seriously jeopardise those security gains. Sadr has been gauging the mood among senior figures and five main committees had reported back with their views on the truce, Sadr’s spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi, one of the cleric’s senior officials in the southern holy city of Najaf, told Reuters.

Ubaidi said one of those committees, made up of Sadrist legislators in Baghdad, had recommended not renewing the ceasefire, citing problems with the authorities in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad.

“The parliament committee said they don’t want the ceasefire to remain. They want it lifted because of oppressive acts by security forces in Diwaniya,” he said without elaborating.
Recent statements from Sadr’s camp have indicated growing unhappiness that followers were being targeted by Iraqi forces.
According to Ubaidi, one of two things will happen on Feb. 23:
He said Sadr would issue a statement around Feb 23 if he had agreed to extend the ceasefire, declared following clashes between his supporters and police during a pilgrimage in the southern city of Kerbala. Silence would mean it was over.
Obviously you have to hope he extends the ceasefire, but should he choose not too, his followers are going to find themselves confronted with an entirely new security situation, a population which has and is attempting to return to some level of normalcy and a much improved Iraqi army. I would also guess, and it is certainly nothing more than conjecture on my part, that al Sadr would become an instant target for a whole range of groups who would be quite thrilled if he was sent to check out the supply of virgins remaining in heaven. I'd also bet he understands that. With his past disappearing acts (he doesn't hit me as a particularly courageous guy) and his runs to Iran, I'd figure if Feb.23 is a day of silence, he'll be practicing it somewhere across the border.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Silence would mean it was over
Then his "army" starts to die as they take actions.

And he becomes target #1.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Doom...False Hope...Neo-Cons Be Ashamed...Many Blog Entries....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And he becomes target #1.

number one with a bullet


:)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Oh guys and your wishful thinking. You don’t seem to know what’s been happening in Iraq. Power is with the various Shi’ite militias and Sunni tribes, not the central government. The Kurds control their region. Iran has tremendous influence. Political reconciliation hasn’t taken place, corruption remains high, and al Sadr is certainly a major player. The surge hasn’t solved the problems. It bought time, but that time hasn’t been used to create true stability in Iraq.

Of course, Afghanistan is falling apart, and the problems there are much more important. NATO troops there are losing ground to the Taliban, and are unable to secure the country. The central government led by President Karzai, chosen and supported by the US, controls little outside of Kabul. War lords or the taliban control much of the country, and the Taliban’s reach is widening. Opium production is at record levels, as Afghanistan finances the building of militias and taliban forces, leaving the people as fearful as ever of violence, and making it difficult to earn a living. This is precisely the ground on which al qaeda can reconstitute itself. Sure, al qaeda also sends Saudis and Syrians into Iraq to make havoc for the US, but that war is for them simply an effort to keep us distracted, and assure that they can rebuild their terror infrastructure in Afghanistan. Now it will be more hidden — they’ll be more careful — but they also know that given the cost of Iraq and the state of the US economy, there is little we can do to counter their efforts. In Canada and Europe, NATO countries with forces in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly sour on the idea of expanding their efforts. They doubt the mission will succeed, and their publics are sick of that war.

So as we focus on Iraq — and I suspect we’ll be seeing the news from Iraq less promising as 2008 goes on — plots and training may be taking place in Afghanistan that could hit the US economy much harder than 9-11, at a far more vulnerable time. If so, people will look back and scratch their heads and wonder why it is we picked a fight in Iraq when the job in Afghanistan was no where near complete. People will wonder why nobody was even talking about Afghanistan and the Taliban’s increasing strength during the 2008 election. The Iraq war may have given al qaeda the break it needed to reconstitute itself, and it may have given the Taliban another shot at controlling Afghanistan. Yet no one seems to notice or care.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott - how is it you repeat the same gloom and doom mantra for Iraq every time it comes up? I mean, I could have copied a response from one of your posts 18 months ago and you’d sound the same.

Dude -
You don’t seem to know what’s been happening in Iraq.
- mayhap it’s you?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Erb recycled so many Leftward antiwar tropes in his comment that, while he appears to know nothing about Iraq or Afghanistan, or political theory for that matter, he might be eligible for a recycling commendation from the Environmental Defense Fund.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Hilarious. McQ actually believes that there is some meaningful difference between Sadr’s militia and the Iraqi army. If he really believes that Maliki is going to send the Iraqi army after Sadr’s minions, I want some of what he’s smoking. What is the army going to do? Arrest themselves? JAM = Iraqi army. Where in the hell does he think the Iraqi army soldiers come from? Pluto?

We have been in Iraq for almost 5 years. Sadr was supposed to have been arrested 3 years ago. Remember? He was wanted for murder. So why hasn’t he been arrested yet?

Sadr is still a big player. Even McQ admits as much - it’s why he believes 2/23 is a big day. The fact that this murderer is still such a big player speaks volumes about the failure of the American mission in Iraq. He should have been arrested years ago. But for some reason the Bush administration either doesn’t have the guts or the means to do so. To the contrary, Sadr’s associates were allowed to become part of the very government Americans are dying to defend.

Sadr’s people have killed Americans. Americans are defending Sadr’s people. And the wingnuts believe that we achieved victory in Iraq. Sick and twisted.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mk you are a breath of fresh air compared to professor nut job. Doesn’t say much for your particulate count though.

For erbermiester miester erber (translates to "East German who holds sour grape") can I sum up your narrative. blah blah blah Iraq. OH that is becoming successful! then blah blah blah Afghanistan. I truly feel sorry for the the depth of misinformation your poor children are receiving. I can truly say that a public school elementary education will be a step up from what they learn at home. How sad is that!!
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://marginal.maine.edu/idiot/erb/blog.htm
Oh guys and your wishful thinking. You don’t seem to know what’s been happening in Iraq. From my college campus here in Maine, I can see it all, and of course much better than the limited viewpoint of people like Yon and Totten, who after all only get to see a small portion of Iraq that our military allows them to see. My all-seeing eye is a much better tool to see what’s going on there. Power is with the various Shi’ite militias and Sunni tribes, not the central government. The Kurds control their region. Iran has tremendous influence. Power is with the various Shi’ite militias and Sunni tribes, not the central government. The Kurds control their region. Iran has tremendous influence.Power is with the various Shi’ite militias and Sunni tribes, not the central government. The Kurds control their region. Iran has tremendous influence. Oh, sorry, I got stuck in a loop there for a moment.

Political reconciliation hasn’t taken place, corruption remains high, and al Sadr is certainly a major player. The surge hasn’t solved the problems. It bought time, but that time hasn’t been used to create true stability in Iraq. I don’t care what Yon and Totten and those guys say about the good things they’re seeing. It’s all an illusion. It has to be...

Of course, Afghanistan is falling apart, and the problems there are much more important. NATO troops there are losing ground to the Taliban, at least to those Taliban that aren’t getting vaporized in bomb runs every week, and are unable to secure the country. The central government led by President Karzai, chosen and supported by the US, controls little outside of Kabul. The fact that Afghanistan has been that way for 2000 years is beside the point. We’ve given them a whole five years to build a pluralistic, democratic society, and they’ve failed. War lords or the taliban control much of the country, and the Taliban’s reach is widening. Opium production is at record levels, as Afghanistan finances the building of militias and taliban forces, leaving the people as fearful as ever of violence, and making it difficult to earn a living. The fact that their economic growth rate is averaging eight percent per year, one of the highest in the world, is completely beside the point.

This is precisely the ground on which al qaeda can reconstitute itself. I’m telling you, that al qaeda is like the terminator in the second movie, because you can blast it into a million bits but somehow it keeps reconstituting itself as strong as ever. Sure, al qaeda also sends Saudis and Syrians into Iraq to make havoc for the US, but that war is for them simply an effort to keep us distracted, and assure that they can rebuild their terror infrastructure in Afghanistan. Now it will be more hidden — they’ll be more careful, and in fact it may be so well hidden that it practically doesn’t exist for practical purposes — but they also know that given the cost of Iraq and the state of the US economy, there is little we can do to counter their efforts. And vaporizing them doesn’t count, because they’re like zombies that just keep coming at you no matter how many you kill. In Canada and Europe, NATO countries with forces in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly sour on the idea of expanding their efforts, mostly because those countries are run by wise leftists who know that giving up a conflict is the best way to win. They doubt the mission will succeed, and their publics are sick of that war. Heck, their publics don’t even want to fight Islamic fanaticism in their own countries, so it’s not surprising that they won’t fight it anywhere else.

So as we focus on Iraq — and I suspect we’ll be seeing the news from Iraq less promising as 2008 goes on — plots and training may be taking place in Afghanistan that could hit the US economy much harder than 9-11, at a far more vulnerable time. Why this time is far more vulnerable since 9-11 was right after an economic contraction, I’m not really sure, but whatever time they strike will be by definition the worst possible time. I really don’t understand why we have not yet had a major terror strike since 9-11, but I’m absolutely sure the fact that we reacted with military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq has nothing to do with it. I just can’t see any possible connection between our striking back and vaporizing terrorist leaders and fighting terrorist forces with the lack of terror attacks.

If there is an attack, people will look back and scratch their heads and wonder why it is we picked a fight in Iraq when the job in Afghanistan was no where near complete. We should have concentrated on losing in Afghanistan first before we even though of trying something else. People will wonder why nobody was even talking about Afghanistan and the Taliban’s increasing strength during the 2008 election. Only wise anti-military leftists like me seem to notice all our problems in Afghanistan. I just don’t understand how the voting population can be apathetic about Afghanistan. I guess it’s the superficial signs of progress and the continued propoganda from people that have actually been there that do it, but we smart and peace-oriented leftists can see right through that kind of stuff.

The Iraq war may have given al qaeda the break it needed to reconstitute itself, and it may have given the Taliban another shot at controlling Afghanistan. Yet no one seems to notice or care. And we need to make them notice and care. We need to get out of the Middle East immediately. Before things get any better, er, I mean any worse.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
The fact that this murderer is still such a big player speaks volumes about the failure of the American mission in Iraq. He should have been arrested years ago. But for some reason the Bush administration either doesn’t have the guts or the means to do so. To the contrary, Sadr’s associates were allowed to become part of the very government Americans are dying to defend.
Wow. Sounds like we’re in pretty close agreement on this one, mk.

However, we couldn’t simply send in Joe Friday to arrest al Sadr. It would have meant a military operation. It’s likely some of his associates would have died defending him.

Now, I thought the folks on your side believe such actions and results inevitably lead to more violence. So arresting al Sadr, in that mindset, would have meant more violence, at least in the short term.

So, if I understand, you’re in favor of causing more violence to do the right thing in Iraq, then? Or if not, what am I missing about your recommendations on al Sadr?
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Just a quick note:

The troop "surge" has less to do with the relative calm in Iraq than the two factors of

1: the wholesale buying off of much of the rank and file of the "sunni" resistance movements via the Awakening / CLC programs ... essentially bribing recalcitrant Iraqis not to kill US troops and

2: Al Sadr’s ceasefire.

The Shia and Sunni Iraqis, while divided by sect, overwhelmingly agree that America should leave Iraq. Polls put up to 60% of Iraqis supporting armed attacks on US troops.

If Sadr lifts the ceasefire and the Sunna decide to break with the whole CLC program, and work together, we could see large swathes of Iraq become no-go areas to the US again.

There is simply no getting around the fact that the US is greatly disliked in Iraq, and that for as long as America has its troops there, Iraqis will continue to fight it.

Is it not perhaps time to consider a withdrawal, and perhaps time to leave Iraqis in charge of their own country?
 
Written By: Bruno
URL: http://

 
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