Apr 25 2008

Sadr Crumbles As Basra Breathes Freedom

Published by at 7:19 am under All General Discussions,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

Welcome Real Clear Politics Readers!

When the Sadr-Maliki story first broke during the initial push into Basra I noted something was distinctly missing from the news about Maliki’s failed efforts and Sadr’s grand victory – there was no dancing in the streets in response to the news stories? There were no cheers for Sadr, no celebrations by the Iraqi people. If this was the Muslim Street rising up to throw off the occupiers from the West – where were the throngs of people taking to the streets?

 

 

It struck me as very odd that the only spontaneous cheer to rise up from the initial operations in Basra was from the newsrooms of the SurrenderMedia! Not even the Surrendercrats in Congress preparing the testimonies of Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus showed much interest in the so-called ‘failure’ in Basra. That is probably because they knew what was happening from their briefings on military actions from the Pentagon that they get regularly, and they knew better than to get too excited – this was possibly not the second coming of Vietnam the far left has been praying would arrive since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Whatever the case for their reserved positions, the fact is today we do finally see a spontaneous and celebratory response in the Muslim street – and it is not because Mookie Sadr is taking on the occupiers from the West. It is because the Iraqis have liberated Basra and the people are free to express themselves. And what they are expressing is a lot of defiance to Sadr and his Madi Militia of Islamo Fascist thugs:

Young women are daring to wear jeans, soldiers listen to pop music on their mobile phones and bands are performing at wedding parties again.

All across Iraq’s second city life is improving, a month after Iraqi troops began a surprise crackdown on the black-clad gangs who were allowed to flourish under the British military. The gunmen’s reign had enforced a strict set of religious codes.

Yet after three years of being terrified of kidnap, rape and murder – a fate that befell scores of other women – Nadyia Ahmed, 22, is among those enjoying a sense of normality, happy for the first time to attend her science course at Basra University. “I now have the university life that I heard of at high school before the war and always dreamt about,” she told The Times. “It was a nightmare because of these militiamen. I only attended class three days a week but now I look forward to going every day.”

“All these men in black [who imposed the laws] just vanished from the university after this operation,” said Ms Ahmed. “Things have completely changed over the past week.”

In a sign of the good mood, celebratory gunfire erupted around Basra two nights ago and text messages were pinged from one mobile phone to another after an alleged senior militia leader was arrested.

There are smiles and celebrations all around Basra now. The news media can try and manufacture false impressions, but the people reflect the real deal and they are happy to be rid of the extremists. This is not surprising since there have been other signs Sadr does not have the following too many thought he had. Recently he was not even able to pull off a large protest as a show of strength against Maliki’s actions for the news media – it had to be cancelled before it exposed his weak following.

The news media’s spontaneous cheering from the first false impressions at Basra are also quite telling. It seems they have wanted something to go seriously badly for so long in Iraq that they have allowed themselves to treat an unstable and waffling young radical cleric with a lot more seriousness than he ever deserved. Just yesterday the SurrenderMedia trumpeted the news Sadr was about to throw his pursuit of political power to the wind and lead a Shiite uprising that would carve off the southern half of Iraq as the new part of Iran. It was like a liberal dream come true!

But it was just a dream, probably spun from Sadr or some liberal ‘sources’ in western governments. Today we wake up to the news Sadr has wilted again and decided that the current ‘cease fire’ still stands:

Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr pulled back from confrontation with the government on Friday, asking his followers to continue to observe a shaky ceasefire and not to do battle with government troops.

“You are the best who committed and were patient with the decision to cease fire, and were the most obedient to your leader,” said a statement from Sadr, read out by a cleric during Friday prayers at a major mosque in Sadr’s eastern Baghdad stronghold, the Sadr City slum.

“I wish you would continue your patience and your belief.”

I can’t believe the SurrenderMedia can report this propaganda with a straight face and zero context. There have been over 700 rockets fired at the government in the past two months – there is no ceasefire. And in fact if you look at the fighting it is clear the Mahdi are getting their clocks cleaned.

My opinion is Sadr called of the war because he is giving the best he has got now, and to ‘escalate’ requires be able to rally forces and produce a big punch against America for the media to broadcast as more failure. But he doesn’t have one to give. His forces are fighting for their lives all over Iraq. The people of Iraq clearly are not behind him since their celebrations erupt only once his goons have been pushed out of the way.

Sadr is finished and the Muslim Street in the South of Iraq is cheering the demise of his forces. As with al-Qaeda’s downfall in the Sunni areas the people of Iraq are done with oppressive little tin-dictators. They want a life of freedom and peace. They are not looking for the next Saddam Hussein to take over their lives.

Iraq is becoming the shining example of new possibilities in the heart of Islam. And the Muslims are making those choices themselves once they taste the darkness of Islamo Fascism up close and personal.

Update: Ed Morrissey has some good thoughts on this news as well – check him out.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Sadr Crumbles As Basra Breathes Freedom”

  1. WWS says:

    It is astounding to see just how bad the MSM’s coverage of this has been – that article you referenced from yesterday, about how Sadr was going to set up his own state within a state since he was “really mad now!!!” was a prime example and one of the most ridiculous. Yeah, BEFORE Maliki’s operation, that was pretty close to the status quo – that chance is gone now thanks to the Iraqi Army.

    Here’s a statement from the other article you referenced that really made me snicker: “But in Friday’s announcement he said he was referring only to battles with the Americans, not with Iraqi troops.”

    He knows, as EVERYONE knows, that American ground troops aren’t fighting the Mahdi’s. They’re providing air cover and support to the Iraqi troops, who are doing all the fighting. (and the Iraqi’s NEED to be doing it, since that’s the only real way to turn a bunch of recruits into real soldiers) So there are no Americans available for the Mahdi’s to shoot at, unless they want to shoot at the predator drones that are taking out their mortar teams.

    You are exactly right about this farce of a “cease-fire” – the Mahdi’s are fighting with everything they have and the IA is going after them without relenting. I can almost hear Sadr saying “oh yeah? You better quit, you better, or I’ll hit your fist with my eye again! Then I’ll turn around and pummel your steel-toed boot with my backside!”

    With all this desperate defeatism, the MSM has completely missed (or deliberately lied?) about the fact that the IA has finally become a real Army, able to conduct operations on it’s own with minimal support (they don’t have much in the way of air assets yet) and able to WIN on its own.

    Here’s what scares the MSM and the left the most – this single change means the war in Iraq, for all practices, is over. The Sunni bloc has come back to Parliament, the militias are integrated into the military, the Mahdi’s are destroyed, and the country is finally unified behind someone willing to lead it. That’s what victory looks like!

    Now, does this mean that there will be no more terrorist attacks? Of course not, because getting rid of an asymmetric threat like that is going to be a “long tail” phenomena. (for those who don’t recognize the term, that’s an economic and mathematical term that is well worth researching, since it explains much of the modern world) Simply put, there will be a few people willing to do this kind of thing for a long, long time – but the number of incidents and number of people involved will gradually tail off, and these incidents will no longer have the power to influence the national direction.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this war is over. And since the MSM and the left have *never* thought this was possible, they can’t and won’t believe it’s happening now. Which means that triumphant elections in October will come as a total surpise to them, as will the cessation of most hostilites this summer.

    And the democrats, who bet on defeat, will be scrambling to explain what happened when they can’t understand it themselves.

  2. missy1 says:

    Terrific post and response AJ and WWS! All good news for me as my little soldier goes back and forth to Iraq. I appreciate the dedication you put into this blog AJ as well as the serious posters that contribute, it’s helped me through some trying times when I’m grasping for information.

    And, yes, you do eat chickens for lunch!

  3. gwood says:

    My younger brother is a liberal, and we have been at loggerheads over Iraq since the beginning of the war. He lives about a three hour drive away, so I only see him three or four times a year, and each time he would bring up Iraq, the mainstream media version of course.

    I always defended the decision to go and many times told him he and his lefty brethren had picked the wrong team to root for, that in the end there would be statues of George Bush in Iraq, and streets named after Donald Rumsfeld.

    I went to see him last week and he never brought up Iraq. I enjoyed every minute of watching him squirm, because he knew that I knew that events had proven him wrong. I never brought it up either, the day will come, so he will have to dread it for a while longer.

    Once it sinks in that the Iraq war has been won, the MSM will do the same thing, just try not to talk about it.

    Great post AJ, and WWS too!

  4. [...] The Persian tried to take over the Shiite Arab lands of Southern Iraq. And that makes Sadr Iraq’s version of Benedict Arnold – which is why the Arab Shiite street is greeting his demise with celebration and relief. [...]