Apr 19 2008

Sadr’s End Game – Or More Likely His End – As He Becomes Iraq’s Benedict Arnold During Their March To Independence

Published by at 5:28 pm under All General Discussions,Iran,Iraq,Sadr/Mahdi Army

Updates below – Sadr loses Basra

Anti-American and basic nutjob Moqtada al-Sadr has decided to defy the Grand Ayatollah Sistani of Iraq and not follow the rule of law. He is going to the end – his end – as he threatens all out civil war:

Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday threatened an “open war” against the Iraqi government unless it halted a crackdown by Iraqi and U.S. security forces on his followers.

The spectre of a full-scale uprising by Sadr sharply raises the stakes in his confrontation with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has threatened to ban the anti-American cleric’s movement from political life unless he disbands his militia.

A rebellion by Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia — which has tens of thousands of fighters — could abruptly end a period of lower violence at a time when U.S. forces are starting to leave Iraq.

“I’m giving the last warning and the last word to the Iraqi government — either it comes to its senses and takes the path of peace … or it will be (seen as) the same as the previous government,” Sadr said, referring to Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime, without elaborating.

Sadr’s movement accuses other Shi’ite parties of getting their militias into the Iraqi security forces, especially in southern Shi’ite Iraq where various factions are competing for influence in a region home to most of Iraq’s oil output.

Sadr is the only shiite group not supporting the Shiite run Iraqi government, and now he complains that he is the one hold out. A decision he made. Only the brain dead SurrenderMedia have missed the fact Sadr and the Mahdi Army have been in open war for almost two months now. They have lobbed a couple hundred rockets into the center of the Iraqi government, except recently when US and Iraqi forces pushed them beyond the range of their Iranian weapons. Sadr is a buffoon and he is bluffing with a busted and exposed hand.

The fact is something has Sadr and Iran spooked. Their concern has risen as US and Iraqi forces circle in on their last strongholds in Basra and Baghdad. Check out this panicked comment from the Iranians:

ran lashed out at the US military on Saturday for carrying out air strikes in Baghdad’s Sadr City, the bastion of Shiite militias Washington says are backed by Tehran-based groups.

Hasan Kazemi Qomi, Tehran’s ambassador, said his government backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s policy of hunting down “outlaws” but was against the American military’s way of executing the policy.

“No government should allow outlaws. We are encouraging the government to fight the outlaws. But we are against the way the Americans are implementing the policy by bombing and closing down Sadr City,” Qomi told reporters.

“In this way people are suffering. The wrong policy of Americans by bombing innocent people will yield bad results.”

Bad results for who I wonder? If Americans were making themselves the enemy of the people Iran would be lapping it up, ready to be the Islamic Guardian against the West. What is clear from the actions and statements of both Iran and Sadr is they are very concerned that things are going the wrong way. Why else make all these claims of a backlash against America? That is what they want?

So why the gullible and naive SurrenderMedia buys into this it is clear something else has them worried. And that something is the progress being made against the Mahdi Army’s last enclaves. Take what is happening in Basra as an example:

Iraqi government troops said they captured a stronghold of fighters loyal to anti-U.S. Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Basra on Saturday after a big show of force by U.S. warplanes and British artillery.

In the southern oil hub of Basra, thundering explosions and gunfire could be heard at dawn in the heaviest bombardment since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki launched a crackdown on Sadr’s followers late last month in the southern city.

The commander of Iraqi forces in Basra, Lieutenant-General Mohan al-Furaiji, told Reuters his troops had seized the centre of the Hayaniya neighbourhood, one of the main strongholds of Sadr’s Mehdi Army fighters.

“Our troops moved in there, and now they have reached the centre of Hayaniya. Now there are no confrontations, and anyone carrying weapons will be arrested,” he said.

“We are chasing fugitives and arresting them. We expect within the next few hours that the operation will be concluded successfully.”

They are clearly decimating Sadr’s remaining forces. What will be interesting to me is if they find Iranian Quud military personnel among the fighters, or even among the leaders. I think Iran is worried their fingerprints will be exposed if the Mahdi Army loses much more ground.

More details here. And there is also action in the areas between Basra and Baghdad:

Mehdi Army fighters clashed with Iraqi security forces in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya late Friday night and into Saturday morning, an Interior Ministry official said.

With the action in Baghdad Sadr’s forces are being pummeled. They don’t have the numbers to stave off a combined action by the US, UK and Iraqi forces. No country in the region could, let alone a ragtag militia. Sadr is out of his league. He tried delaying tactics to garner some support – but the entire rest of the Iraqi governing coalition, including the other Shiite factions, lined up with Maliki and against Sadr. The top Shiite cleric in the country, Sistani, told Sadr he must disarm his Mahdi militia, and it was his decision to either follow the rule of law or become a rebel.

Contrary to the hand wringing by the Surrendercrats and the SurrenderMedia, Sadr’s time is up. He even had to cancel his million man march because he did not have the public support. And the reason he doesn’t have the public support is he is rightfully seen as a puppet of the Persians (Iranians) who are killing Muslim Arabs. Sadr is seen as a traitor to the Arab tribes in Iraq. He is Iraq’s Benedict Arnold from their fight for independence. He sided with the enemy and now has declared war on his country’s duly elected leaders. He has become like al-Qaeda, the enemy of Arab Islam.

Update: The NY Times is reporting that Sadr and his Mahdi Army have now lost control of Basra (which must have been a tough plate of crow for the SurrenderMedia to swallow):

Iraqi soldiers took control of the last bastions of the cleric Moktada al-Sadr’s militia in Basra on Saturday, and Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad strongly endorsed the Iraqi government’s monthlong military operation against the fighters.

By Saturday evening, Basra was calm, but only after air and artillery strikes by American and British forces cleared the way for Iraqi troops to move into the Hayaniya district and other remaining Mahdi Army militia strongholds and begin house-to house searches, Iraqi officials said. Iraqi troops were meeting with little resistance, said Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry in Baghdad.

That’s it for Sadr in Basra! He is losing and demanding the victors surrender to him. How comical. And how gullible do you have to be to still believe Sadr and the Mahdi Army will win in the end?

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Sadr’s End Game – Or More Likely His End – As He Becomes Iraq’s Benedict Arnold During Their March To Independence”

  1. kathie says:

    One other not so small point……Sadr also imposed Shria law and killed fellow Iraqi’s who did not follow. Shea in Iraq are not use to Shrea Law, as Saddam did not impost it on them. So there are many who did not like his heavy handedness. As well Arabs have a not so good thing with the Persians.

  2. Terrye says:

    I hear that Sadr is threatening an uprising if this does not stop. The guy is starting to remind me of the Black Knight in the Monty Python movie the Holy Grail.

    It is just a flesh wound.

  3. Terrye says:

    Kathie is right. The Iraqis like music and movies and hanging out with their friends. The 12th century is not a place they want to go to.

  4. WWS says:

    The loss of Basra is far more crucial than anyone in the surrendermedia understands, although Maliki gets it. (which is certainly why he chose to focus his attack there first, before taking on Sadr City) The control of Basra, and with it Iraq’s only seaport, was intensely lucrative for the Mahdi’s. Except for Iranian handouts, that city was responsible for all of the Mahdi army’s income. And in Iraq, that’s vital because the only way to keep a militia together is to pay them well. The Mahdi’s are big because Sadr was able to arrange the financing to keep them together.

    Without Basra, the revenues dry up, the militia payments dry up, and Sadr’s army of “tens of thousands” will quickly be down to hundreds or less.

    Sadr *has* to threaten war now, and maybe even try to start one. Because very soon he will have no army left at all. Of course, the way Maliki has been going after his strongholds, it’s obvious that Maliki is itching for a final showdown.

    And this, *finally*, is what any honest observer has been waiting for all this time – for Maliki to quit pretending to be a President and to start acting like one! It’s your country, man, take control of it!!! People in Iraq crave leadership from one of their own after it has been noticably lacking for so long, and they will flock to his banner after this move.

  5. crosspatch says:

    Iraqis are turning away from religious sects, militias, and killing one another. An article from MNF-Iraq says that a medical operation inside Sadr City went beyond their wildest expectations with 400 citizens taking part in a 2 hour period of time.

    This isn’t going to happen overnight but what I am starting to see is a general feeling of support for Maliki to tackle the militias … all of them.

  6. Terrye says:

    It would seem to me that if Sadr could wage open war he would not be getting his ass kicked right now. Of course he is hiding under a rock somewhere in Iran and it is not actually fighting anyone.

    I think it is also true that more and more oil companies have shown an interest in investing in Iraq and they need that investment to upgrade their oil production facilities. These foreign companies from all over the world are not going to want to invest those kind of resources if the Iraqi government can not show that they control a port like Basra.

    This is a problem in so many of these oil countries, like Nigeria, where unrest creates problems and actually inhibits oil production. The price of oil might not be so high if so much of the oil was not in unstable places.

  7. crosspatch says:

    According to The Times of London:

    The operation, which also involved RAF and American aircraft, forced the cleric’s Mahdi army militants to cede control of a district where they had fought off an Iraqi onslaught last month.

    A senior Mahdi source in Basra said British soldiers – believed to be SAS troops directing attacks – had accompanied the Iraqis as they moved into the district of Hayaniya.

    British officials said only that “liaison teams” were advising Iraqi commanders on the ground, after US criticism during Gordon Brown’s visit to Washington of earlier failures to clear militants from the city.

    Yesterday’s assault was launched five days after a kidnapped British journalist, Richard Butler, was rescued in Basra, apparently from the home of a Mahdi army officer. Butler, who was working for the American network CBS, had been held for more than two months but said he had not been mistreated.

    The oil city awoke yesterday to heavy artillery and air strikes directed at Mahdi rocket launchers. The Iraqis then moved in with relative ease.

    Witnesses said huge quantities of weapons, including hundreds of rockets and mortars, had been found abandoned. Some had been left in the street by fleeing militiamen.

    Yeah, baby! Get some!

  8. M. Simon says:

    British officials said only that “liaison teams” were advising Iraqi commanders

    That would be FAOs and FACs. The guys who call in artillery and air strikes respectively.

  9. […] on how the Mahdi Army is being whooped across Iraq, from Baghdad to Basra and posts in between (see here and here). Karl over at Protein Wisdom has caught the LA Times grasping for some news of US-Iraq […]