May 29 2008
Mookie Sadr Clearly Surrendered To Maliki, Sued For Peace, Left His Mahdi Forces To Be Disbanded, Rounded Up
What is totally laughable about the events in Iraq over the last few weeks is this lowly blogger, working another day job while living in Northern Virginia outside DC, and by simply reading articles and reports available over the internet, was able to get a better handle on what was transpiring in Iraq than the legions of news media reporters whose job it was to understand and communicate these events. How is it this came to be? How badly biased or prejudiced or allied to terrorist causes does one have to be to see pending defeat in what has clearly been the final steps towards all out success in Iraq?
People need to recall the BS spewing from the liberal media, who were simply propaganda puppets for those opposed to the US invasion of Iraq and wanted to try and turn serious losses into a media victory. Here is what the NY Times said in an article I noted back on March 31st when Sadr first surrendered Basra to Maliki and the Iraqi forces:
The negotiations with Mr. Sadr were seen as a serious blow for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who had vowed that he would see the Basra campaign through to a military victory and who has been harshly criticized even within his own coalition for the stalled assault.
Last week, Iraqâ€™s defense minister, Abdul Kadir al-Obeidi, conceded that the governmentâ€™s military efforts in Basra have met with far more resistance than was expected. Many Iraqi politicians say that Mr. Malikiâ€™s political capital has been severely depleted by the Basra campaign and that he is in the curious position of having to turn to Mr. Sadr, a longtime rival, for a way out.
And it was a chance for Mr. Sadr to flaunt his power, commanding both armed force and political strength that can forcefully challenge the other dominant Shiite parties, including Mr. Malikiâ€™s Dawa movement and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. In the statement, Mr. Sadr told militia members â€œto end all military actions in Basra and in all the provincesâ€ and â€œto cooperate with the government to achieve security.â€
In hindsight these conclusions are laughable. Sadr had to surrender Basra – the second largest city in Iraq and gateway to the world because of its ports – and this was a show of strength? Talk about gulping the Kool-Aid.
The very next day I asked the obvious question any ‘observer’ would have asked if they were trying to understand the situation (instead of forming and promulgating propaganda for those who wanted to hide the situation from the world). Instead of being led around the nose by anti-American spokesmen, like the news media was, I simply asked why – if Sadr had won such a great victory – there was no cheering in the streets, not grass roots celebration of the defeat of Maliki?
Not two weeks later did the Surrendermedia hype a minor setback in Sadr City where one platoon of Iraqi Soldiers left their post on one small street – trying to exaggerate this into an all-out failure of Iraqi forces. It was a pathetic effort, and it exposed how deeply the liberal media was praying for the terrorists to save themselves and prove America’s efforts wrong. It was has to be the all time low point for Western and US journalism in modern history – to manufacture a fantasy of failure like this.
The difference between what this lowly blogger was doing and what the media was doing boils down to observing verses simply being a conduit of propaganda. Now only two months later (the time many predicted it would take to accomplish the destruction of the Mahdi Army) we have a totally different view. Today we see that Sadr’s forces where brutal and the Iraqis who lived under their oppression are happy they are gone. Now, there is celebration in the streets because the Islamo Fascists that the media thought could win where actually Islamo Fascist thugs the people wanted to be rid of (see here, here,, here and here for examples).
The AP, one of those news outlets in the tank for the Sadrists and Mahdi Army, has an interesting article out highlighting the troubles the Mahdi Army are now experiencing since Mookie Sadr and the Sadrists surrendered Sadr City and sued for peace. It is quite interesting:
An angry Shiite militia commander complained Wednesday that “we were duped” into accepting a cease-fire in Sadr City â€” remarks that point to a potentially damaging rift within the movement of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
A split among al-Sadr’s followers â€” between those favoring a more militant path and others seeking compromise with Iraq’s government â€” could threaten the relative calm in Baghdad and re-ignite Shiite-on-Shiite violence across Iraq’s oil-rich south.
Again, the presumption from the AP is that these thugs can whip up support for more bloodshed in a war weary country. Those favoring the more militant path could also be turned on by those fed up with the fighting and turned into government forces. The fact the AP carries the threat to the Iraqi community so well for those militants is disturbing to say the least. But there is more:
The group had gathered in al-Sadr’s main Baghdad office to discuss how to respond to what they consider cease-fire “violations” by Iraqi troops, such as arrests and house searches.
Some in the audience, however, took issue with the views of the commander, whose name was not made public for security reasons.
“You can be the winner without a military victory,” said Falah Hassan Shanshal, a prominent Sadrist and one of two lawmakers who attended the meeting in Sadr City, home to about 2.5 million Shiites.
“We had to bow before the storm because it was uprooting everything and everyone standing in its path,” he said.
This political leader is on very thin ice right now. If this upset commander goes on the rampage, that leader needs to turn him in or risk being charged as an accomplice to sedition. What I find interesting is the admission that the Mahdi Army was being decimated by the Iraqi forces in the South and the coalition forces in Sadr City.
What is happening is Sadr is losing control of the wild animals he let run amok among the Shiites for so long. The Islamo Fascists want to get back to their brutal atrocities on their fellow Muslims, they want to get back in control and return to being the oppressors:
But signs of opposition have been growing within the militia ranks. Last week, two Mahdi Army commanders said militiamen were divided over whether the cease-fire was in their interest.
They said some believed too many lives had been lost to quit the fight and allow their “enemies” to take control of Sadr City, the militia’s largest stronghold.
The two commanders, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said some militia leaders had fled to Iran or southern Iraq to avoid arrest.
And we see the tie-back to Iran again. Now why would some militia leaders flee to Iran – where they going back home? As for Sadr, he is begging his followers to honor the peace agreement. While Iraqi and US forces continue to ‘discover’ (from intelligence tips no doubt) Mahdi Army weapons caches, basically disarming the group. And, they are rounding up key Mahdi Army leaders and trouble makers.
US and Iraqi forces believe they have put a major dent in the manpower of the Special Groups over the past year. “In partnership with Iraqi Security Forces, Multinational Division Baghdad has detained 418 AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq] and 450 SG [Special Groups] operatives,” said Lieutenant Colonel Steven Stover, the chief Public Affairs Officer for Multinational Division Baghdad, in an e-mail to The Long War Journal.
No wonder the Mahdi Army commander was complaining. Sadr and the Sadrists surrendered to Maliki and gave Iraqi forces the green light to take control of Mahdi Army areas, disarm them and arrest key individuals. The Sadrists had to move on the Mahdi Army because they are facing an election bloodbath this fall where the Iraqi Shiites KNOW the Sadrist were the ones giving political cover and credibility to the Mahdi Army thugs (along with a compliant, complacent or accomplice news media). The Sadrist are going to pay dearly at the polls as it is. The more the fighting went on, the worse it was going to be for them.
The war in Iraq is finally coming to an end. al-Qaeda is vanquished (or being vanquished) from their last toe-hold in Iraq and the Shiite Mahdi Militia is basically gone as a fighting force. There will be dead enders – always have been. Their are still violent Nazi-Skin Heads in Europe. The Last Japanese soldiers held out for years and decades, refusing to surrender. al-Qaeda will still try to blow up people to make the news headlines. Shiite radicals will still attack their moderate kin. But these will be isolated events that cannot and will not move the trajectory path Iraq is on right now. Once momentum builds up towards a direction, like it is happening now in Iraq, it takes extremely large events to move it even slightly.
Look at American lives since 9-11. For the most part we have had minor inconveniences, a recoverable economic hit (right after 9-11), challenges – but nothing major. 9-11 did not divert this country very much at all. We have had to fight wars, but we have done so in the past. We had to fund wars, but we have been able to execute these wars with almost no impact or sacrifice on Americans. Definitely nothing approaching what happened in WW II.
Iraq is also now on a trajectory and gaining momentum. al-Qaeda and the Mahdi are too small, to impotent to change that path anymore. And Iraq forces are taking on these challenges in the lead, with Americans and coalition partners in support roles. We will have won this war before the fall elections. We will be bringing our conquering heros home, to wave at all those fools who said we could not win, that we are evil, that this was another Vietnam. Our heros will wave at them with pride from their successes.
How will they respond? If recent history is any example for many it will be pathetic and built on a lot of denial.