Apr 09 2008

Sistani Turns On Sadr, Joins Maliki!

Published by at 8:40 am under All General Discussions,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

When word came out from Sadr’s people yesterday that the Shiia Council had not told Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army I was highly skeptical and lambasted sick liberals like Juan Cole and the dupes in the SurrenderMedia for almost cheering the idea Sadr will not be completely destroyed politically. I noted that only a Sadr spokesman made these claims and one of two things would happen:

We will know soon enough if CNN was duped again or not. If the Sadr spokesperson (possibly in Iran) is right the Iraqi Shiite leaders will remain silent. And if he is trying a propaganda stunt they will make a statement contradicting the news media (what an oxymoron that phrase has become).

I was betting on Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s love of his people and the fact Sadr’s forces had brought all this violence on them because his forces had scattered large weapons amongst their homes and was firing on the Green Zone – the capitol of Iraq. And I was right – Sistani has come out against Sadr and sided with Maliki, he wants the militia’s disbanded:

Meanwhile, one of Iraq’s eminent clerics, Ayatollah al-Sistani, has offered his support to the government of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in its bid to control the Mahdi Army.

A spokesman for the cleric from the city of Najaf said al-Sistani supported disarming the militias and removing them from Iraq.

Want to know how bad the news media is? This is tucked away at the very end of the article when it is really major headline news. OK, now the word of warning – I have yet to see this anywhere else. My guess is there is a confirmation process going on (and an ‘oh hell, we screwed that one up’ process as well). And it may be bad reporting.

Update: And then again it may not be bad reporting. Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal notes Sadr’s mouthpieces are sending conflicting signals on whether he even planned to ask Sistani and the other Shiite cleric leaders. That confusion in the PR game may indicate the Sadr movement is on the verge of collapsing.

Update: Here is an interesting take on why Sadr tried to gain cover under Sistani:

Al Sadr was not clever in taking this decision inasmuch as he was searching for a cover after he realized that Tehran’s government had abandoned him. This was especially confirmed when the Iranian Foreign Ministry asserted that it was supporting Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s government in Iraq in ‘Knight’s Assault’ [military operation] รขโ‚ฌโ€œ which automatically means that it is against al Sadr.

It’s clear that al Sadr now knows that Iran is against him and that it would rather have a loyal government than a militia, and thus he had little recourse but to resort to religious authorities after he was abandoned by Tehran’s politicians.

I don’t support the views of the entire article, but it does make sense the incoherence out of Sadr is that of a trapped animal flailing away trying to get out of a trap.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Sistani Turns On Sadr, Joins Maliki!”

  1. WWS says:

    This dissonance leads me to think that these various spokesmen aren’t able to keep in contact with Sadr and aren’t getting any clear directions – not surprising since he’s tucked away safely inside Iran, hundreds of miles away from all the acti0n. Without direction, everyone in his “army” is simply doing and saying whatever feels right to them. That’s how an organization dies.

    And the news reports miss the fact that Maliki has Sadr boxed in no matter which way he goes. If he doesn’t disband the Mahdi Army, he and his supporters will be banned from the elections in October and will lose any political power they have. (they currently have 5 seats in the Iraqi parliament, I believe) And the inability to pull off the “million man march” indicates that even if he does manage to stay in the political game, his support is gone.

    The leftoids who decry any “violence” don’t understand that organizations like this always die in a spasm of violence – it’s their nature. Going through a period like this is the only way to be rid of them.

  2. 75 says:

    Damn…that would mean that Truthhard and Norm were wrong again? I’m…shocked…hard to believe, given all the excellent assessments we get from them every 5 minutes.

  3. kathie says:

    al Sistani has always supported the division of church and state matters. Sadr would give his right hand for his support but through the barrel of a gun will never work for al Sistani.

  4. norm says:

    75…what exactly was i wrong about? please tell me.

  5. 75 says:

    Norm, you’ve been wrong with every posting. Please don’t force me to go over each one. Let’s just suffice to say you are a nut and nuts are wrong.

  6. truthhard2take says:

    Let me guess which views of the article Strata doesn’t “support.”
    The truthful characterization of the next Iraqi government as
    loyal to Iran,naturally.

  7. truthhard2take says:

    I only found Norm wrong once. He implied briefly days ago that he
    bought into Strata’s foolishness about al Sadr’s influence being
    insignificant in the new Iraq. In ensuing posts, he didn’t seem to continue this line of error.

  8. 75 says:

    Truthy, you and Norm share the same brain. It’s only natural that you would agree with him.

  9. truthhard2take says:


    Besides being wrong on all specifics he is wrong to assume that Maliki can decide whether al Sadr is banned from running or not.

    Of course, banning him in any event will only cause worse civil war, because increasing numbers of Iraqis consider Maliki an ineffectual collaborator and little more. By the way WWS Petraeus admitted the
    Maliki thrust was “disappointing.” The least this sycophant could have done.

  10. 75 says:

    Truthy sure cites Petraeus frequently for someone who considers him treasonous. Just one more flaw we can add to his growing list of shortcomings.

  11. crosspatch says:

    I love this article:


    Apparently the British are deploying a tactic they perfected in medieval days during their crusades and searches for Holy relics and have begun to taunt the Sadrists by running away.

    I hear that we have given then provisions of wood from which to build a great wooden badger. About that hand grenade …

  12. 75 says:

    “the holy hand grenade of Antioch”… if memory serves.