Mar 30 2008

Moqtada al-Sadr Surrenders

Published by at 9:10 am under All General Discussions,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called off his militia in southern Iraq and submitted his terms for his forces to stop fighting (terms for their surrender):

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has ordered his fighters off the streets of Basra and other cities in an effort to end clashes with security forces.

He said in a statement that his movement wanted the Iraqi people to stop the bloodshed and maintain the nation’s independence and stability.

The cleric also demanded that the government apply the general amnesty law, release detainees and stop what he called illegal raids.

Moqtada Sadr also told his followers to “work with Iraqi government offices to achieve security and to file charges against those who have committed crimes”.

Sadr must be a democrat at heart for the way he tries to spin a loss into a position from which he can dictate any terms. The fact is his forces were taken a beating and he had no broad support, so he capitulated and all we are discussing how to give him some face saving for the surrender. This is a huge success for Iraq, who has now defeated both al-Qaeda and al-Sadr, the two largest threats to their nation. Now onto the October elections.

Update: If any one is wondering why al-Sadr has decided to surrender Bill Roggio has some news that can explain his actions:

With the fifth day of fighting in Baghdad, Basrah and the South completed, the Mahdi Army has suffered major losses over the past 36 hours. The Mahdi Army has not faired well over the past five days of fighting, losing an estimated two percent of its combat power, using the best case estimate for the size of the militia.

A look at the open source press reports from the US and Iraqi military and the established newspapers indicates 145 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 81 were wounded, 98 were captured, and 30 surrendered during the past 36 hours.

Since the fighting began on Tuesday 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra.

While the size of the Mahdi Army is a constant source of debate, media accounts often put the Mahdi Army at anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 fighters. With an estimated 1,000 Mahdi fighters killed, captured, wounded and surrendered, the Mahdi Army has taken an attrition rate of 1.5 to 2.5 percent over the past five days.

Maliki called the Shia terrorists “worse than al Qaeda” and vowed to remain in Basrah until the operation is completed. “Our determination is strong … those who break the law are punished, and those who draw their weapons in the face of the state are punished,” Maliki said on Iraqi state television.

Assuming the Mahdi force is exaggerated (which is not unreasonable) and whatever the number is it would be the premier forces in the fight and taking the hits (others would run and hide) I would say the decimation of Sadr’s forces is why he decided he needs to pull back before he is left with nothing. Iraq is going to be an interesting place to watch this year with both the Shiite Militia’s and al-Qaeda vanquished and defeated.

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “Moqtada al-Sadr Surrenders”

  1. lurker9876 says:

    Hopefully, for good. Sadr continues to start something, then back off. Al-Maliki needs to make sure Sadr does not rise up again in the future.

  2. rbrown8288 says:

    You scooped Drudge on this by a logshot. Interesting to see NYTimes coverage this morning. They make it look as if the Mahdi had control of the whole city, that we bombed civilians, and generally that Americans suck. Thanks for your timely coverage.


  3. the struggler says:

    Mookie should be shot on sight.Problem solved.

  4. browngreengold says:

    I agree with Struggler 100%.

    We should have put a bullet through Mookie’s skull a long time ago.

  5. WWS says:

    No one can “shoot Mookie on sight”, because Mookie has been giving orders from Iran for some time now, and he is well protected by Iranian security forces. That’s why no one can get to him personally. He’s studying (Seriously!!!) to become an Ayatollah, loyal to the Iranian supreme Ayatollah. If anyone has any doubt who supports the Mahdi army, there’s your answer.

    This is a very good outcome for Maliki, precisely because the Mahdi’s are *not* as bad as Al Qaeda (Maliki’s claim notwithstanding) What I mean by that is that when they’re losing, they’ll pull back and negotiate a cease fire rather than fight to the death and kill every civilian they can find. Because of that, the fight against the Mahdi Army does not need to be a war of extermination in the way that the war against Al Qaeda does need to be. The Mahdi’s just need to be kept in a state of permanent retreat and their problem will take care of itself.

    The Dem’s in Congress will make much of how this new violence flared up now, but this happened precisely because the war against Al Qaeda is just about over. The fight between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army was one that had to be fought sooner or later – no government on earth can allow the existence of a large, private army inside it’s borders that is in competition with it. Maliki felt strong and safe enough to start the fight now, and apparently he’s won his gamble.

  6. WWS says:

    From the NYT today: here’s a pro-Al Sadr, anti-Iraqi govm’t article which claims that this is a battle that the Iraqi government can’t possibly win.

    I wonder if the editors wish they would have waited a day or two before publishing it – they could have re-titled it “A Civil War Iraq Shouldn’t have Won, even though Somehow They Did although we Can’t Imagine How.”

  7. From the NYT today: here’s a pro-Al Sadr, anti-Iraqi govm’t article which claims that this is a battle that the Iraqi government can’t possibly win.

    WWS, you have that partially wrong: It’s an Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Leftist Nutbag Traitor Newspaper with the same type of article.

    Coming from the NYT, the Newspaper of Record for Treason and Sedition, that should be no surprise to anyone!

  8. Terrye says:

    Sadr is in Iran last I heard.

    This is not a civil war, anymore than taking on the Mafia would be a civil war here in the US. These militias have devolved into criminal enterprises and the local tribal leaders went to Maliki and asked him to do something about them. They were bothering the women, kidnapping people, stealing oil, and in general making a pain in the ass of themselves. No country can just ignore this. Now it goes without saying that not all these people are gone or dead or neutralized, however, I think they are getting the idea that they are not welcome.

  9. FireFireFire says:

    Iraq is a quagmire alright, for a.q. and the militias.
    And democrats!

  10. truthhard2take says:

    You bald liars will spin the war until the bitter end. Al Sadr has won
    the first round and embarrassed Bush and Cheney and the inept Iraqi short-term collaborators. I say short-term because Malicki is even more pro-Iranian than al Sadr and unless you believe the American ruling elite are prepared to do a deal with Iran that Israel won’t like, you’ve got no business believing the Iraq War can be “won.”

  11. truthhard2take says:

    Cordesman in the NYT

    There are good reasons for the central government to reassert control of Basra. It is not peaceful. It is the key to Iraq’s oil exports. Gang rule is no substitute for legitimate government. But given the timing and tactics, it is far from clear that this offensive is meant to serve the nation’s interest as opposed to those of the Islamic Supreme Council and Dawa.

    How will it affect America? If the fighting sets off a broad, lasting, violent power struggle between Shiite factions, most of the security gains of the last year could be lost and our military role broadened. There is also no guarantee that a victory by Dawa and the Islamic Supreme Council will serve the cause of political accommodation or lead to fair elections and the creation of legitimate local and provincial governments. Such an outcome, in fact, might favor a Dawa and Islamic Supreme Council “Iraqracy,” not democracy.

    I wouldn’t be so angry at Cordesman, Dale. Here he tacitly admits
    the “Iraqi government” is itself a militia-s in large part, while obliquely supporting its anti Al Sadr move and distancing himself at the same time. In other words, he’s an imperialist warmonger too, just like you, and one who throughout the war has begged for Friedman units of more time and more time to occupy all while the Iraqi majority have wanted the occupiers out.

  12. WWS says:

    The Truth of what’s happening in Iraq today (Al Sadr has LOST) really is hard to take for those who sing “God D*** America” every day, isn’t it???

    And how about the Truth that soon you will be whining about PRESIDENT McCain??? How will you take that one?

  13. truthhard2take says:

    Al Sadrites will be in Iraq and influential if not dominant, long after America is forced out.

  14. truthhard2take says:

    McCain? Well, your guru Strata says the blacks will be pissed if Obama is robbed of the nomination. They’ll be even molre pissed if Mccain’s policies result in the necessity of a draft, as will the Hispanics, both of whom have only 10-20% communal war support as it is.

    America’s Mideast policy of wars will not only founder due to economic strain and military strain but also due to ethnic polarization anyway you look at the presidential race outcome.

  15. Terrye says:

    Who the hell is this truth guy? Sounds like ken/centercanthold/ etc//

    And when you have to resort to babbling about a draft, you must be hard up. Tell you what, if Obama wins and we invade Pakistan we will definitely need a lot more soldiers…by the way wasn’t it Rengel and Murtha who were asking to bring back the draft?

  16. truthhard2take says:

    That’s why I’m leaning to Nader, although I believe Obama’s
    loyalty to the anti-war black community would pressure him to
    avoid it. If Murtha advocated it, together with his get out of Iraq position, it was because he knew it wouldn’t be necessary if we got out of Iraq and would not pass under the circumnstances.

  17. Terrye says:

    Go ahead and lean toward Nadar. Hey, I bet you miss Saddam. What was it you liked the most about him? My guess is the genocide really turned you on. Hmmmmbaby.

  18. truthhard2take says:

    The more salient point is, the Iraqi Shia majority says even though America deposed their oppressor, it has proven to be as big an oppressor, so you’re asking the wrong question of the wrong person.

  19. truthhard2take says:

    besides losing two more men today, the Americans observe the group they call “Al Qaeda” kills another important official in Mosul.