Jun 20 2008
Anti-American Shiite Cleric Moqtada Sadr’s political movement is running out of gas. Every friday he has called for protests against a long term alliance between Iraq and America (the details of which are being negotiated – as is expected in peaceful debate). When he first called for these protests four weeks ago the crowds numbered in the thousands. Last week Bill Roggio noted aerial surveillance photos of Sadr’s ever shrinking protests over a three week period.
Today the news reports note the crowds are now in the hundreds. Sadr and his Sadrists movement our about to become a footnote to history.
The last Sadrist enclave in the city of Amarah, Maysan Province (along the Iran border and a suspected weapons smuggling route from Iran) is now being purged of traitors to Arab Iraq.
Another five aides of Iraq’s hardline Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr were detained overnight in a crackdown on militiamen in the southern oil region of Maysan, sparking fresh tension on Friday between Baghdad and the cleric’s supporters.
“Five officials from the provincial council who represent the Sadr movement have been arrested for aiding the militia,” Maysan police spokesman Mehdi al-Asadi told AFP.
He said four policemen were also arrested in the operation which was launched on Thursday in Maysan and its capital of Amara.
Officials had on Thursday announced that the mayor of Amara, Rafa Abdul Jabbar, a member of the Sadr movement, and 15 wanted suspects were arrested in the first hours of Operation Basha’ar al-Salam (Promise of Peace).
The operation which was continuing on Friday involves Iraqi police and soldiers, backed by US troops, carrying out house to house searches.
US commanders say Maysan has become a major centre for arms smuggling into Iraq from overwhelmingly Shiite Iran just over the border.
Those who worked for Persian Iran to destabilize Iraq and kill Arab Muslims will be facing justice soon. And given the bad blood between Arabs and Persians I would not want to be in their position right now. Maliki and the Iraqi government has stood up and taken control of its destiny, now that it has lead successful operations in Basra, Sadr City, Mosul and Amarah.
We really have achieved a victory in Iraq. But it can still be reversed, so time for celebration is not quite at hand (we don’t want another Berlin Wall and cold war with Iran). All we need is a little more patience and the sacrifices made by all those who died in this war will have been honored. Impatience is no reason to lose our victory now, not after all we have been through.
Update: Much more on the Amarah Operation at the Long War Journal:
The Mahdi Army took heavy casualties while opposing the Iraqi security forces in Basrah [in]
andthe South and US and Iraqi forces in Sadr City during operations to secure the areas in March, April, and May. More than 1,000 Mahdi Army fighters were killed in Sadr City alone, and another 415 were killed in Basrah. Several hundred were killed during fighting in the southern cities of Najaf, Karbala, Hillah, Diwaniyah, Amarah, Samawah, and Nasiriyah.
Of course, the far left liberals still tout all this as a huge success for Sadr and the enemies of America and Iraq. Those wacky liberals!