Jun 14 2008

Sadrists and Iranians Losing Support And Ground In Iraq

A couple of weeks ago Iraqi (Arab) Shiite-cleric-in-hiding (in Iraq with his Persian Shiite hosts) Moqtada al-Sadr called for weekly protests against the American “occupation”.  This was Sadr’s last gasp as Sadr City fell under Iraqi control and the Mahdi Militia were beaten back in their main stronghold in Sadr City.  This was only a month after the Mahdi Militia and Sadr lost control of the southern Iraq city of Basra.  I had stated that these calls for protests would probably die off, just like all of Sadr’s calls for action from Iraqis.

I reiterated my prediction a few days later (here) as the crowd sizes were nowhere near previous protests seen by Sadr’s followers.  It was an indication to me that Sadr’s Persian armed, trained and funded thugs were losing him support among Arab Iraqis.  Bill Roggio posted some US DoD images over the last three weeks showing the ever-wilting support for Sadr and the Sadrisrts.  The crowd sized went from small to wimpy in a very short time:


The crowd sizes go from 10,000 to 3,000 to 1500. And since these are ‘protests’ after Friday prayers you would assume they would be able to sustain them better. But clearly Sadr’s support is not all it the media tries to pretend it is.

Now Sadr and his Iranian backers face another defeat – the loss of their logistics and smuggling hub between Iraq and Iran. Iraqi and US forces have begun the purge of Amarah, the capitol city of Maysan Province which sits along the Iran-Iraq border:

Iraqi security forces, backed by the US military, have started an operation against the Mahdi Army in the southern border province of Maysan. Amarah, the provincial capital of Maysan, is thought to be one of the locations senior Mahdi Army leader retreated to after Iraqi forces moved into Sadr City last month. Amarah is also a forward command and control hub for Iranian operations in southern Iraq.

Iraqi security forces established checkpoints along the entrances to the province, and have closed down the border crossing to Iran at Al Sheeb, Voices of Iraqreported. Iraqi forces are also patrolling inside Amarah. “Joint patrol vehicles have also been deployed in downtown Amarah city, particularly in the areas of Hitteen, Al Urouba, Maghraba and Al Batira Street,” a security source told Voices of Iraq.

The final preparations for operation started late last week as Iraqi forces began amassing at the airport north of Amarah, and set up positions along the major roads leading into the province. Units from Basrah and Baghdad were moved into Maysan to conduct the operation.

Maysan province is a strategic link for the Ramazan Corps, the Iranian military command set up by Qods Force to direct operations inside Iraq. Amarah serves as the Qods Force / Ramazan Corps forward command and control center inside Iraq as well as one of the major distribution points for weapons in southern Iraq.

Word has it all the big fish ran to Iran.  So be it.  But one thing is clear, Iran’s puppet in Iraq has been disarmed.  (which is different from someone like Iraq Prime Minister Maliki, who can talk to Iran but retains his alliance with the US despite Iran’s whining and threats).  I suspect the Sadrists are going to do very poorly in the up coming elections.

And I think for Iraq on a whole we will see the fruits of an amazing transformation taking place right now in that country.  In fact, for those not wedded to defeat in Iraq, the signs are quite clear and numerous:

Senior Brookings Fellows Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack gave a report today and entertained questions at a Brookings briefing on Iraq. It was the single most illuminating presentation I have witnessed on the status of Iraq and the potential way forward. Neither man can be accused of shilling for either the administration or John McCain for numerous reasons: both have been strong critics of the war and O’Hanlon opposed the war at the onset and still believes on balance it has not made us safer. I understand from Brookings that the entire transcript will be posted, but I offer some highlights below.

O’Hanlon explained that the last three months has been the “spring of the blossoming of Iraqi security forces” and Iraq is on an “impressive trajectory” although we have not yet “reached a stable end point.” He stressed that the 80% reduction in civilian violence was much better than he thought possible. He went through a detailed review of Basra, conceding that Maliki’s actions took the Americans by surprise and that in the first week things went poorly. However, by the second week two brigades were deployed from Al Anbar ( a testimony to massive improvements in Iraq security force logistics) and the mission was successful, allowing the Iraqi army and national police force to now control the streets of Basra.

Pollack echoed these observations, saying that “The headline was the emergence of Iraqi security forces.” He explained that the fundamental shift from Americans leading with Iraqis in support to Iraqis leading not just “hold” but “clear” operations is now “well underway.” He observes that sectarian divisions within the military are receding as mixed Sunni and Shia units have been successful in Basra and Mosul operations. He sees vast improvement in military leadership which “is one of the main reasons for improvement” in the security situation. He credits the military success with allowing for a “fundamental rearrangement” of Iraqi politics, observing that Maliki is now “flying high” with new found respect from Sunnis. The big picture take away, he says, it that having achieved remarkable success with major issues we now can begin to address “second and third order problems” such as insuring that military forces “stay in their lane” and do not subvert civilian leadership.

The Iraqis made a bad choice initially – the Sunnis allying with al-Qaeda’s Islamo Fascist thugs and the Shiite allying with the Mahdi Militia Islamo Fascist thugs.  But once they began to see what kind of future these religious radicals envisioned, the Iraqis fixed their mistakes and sided with Iraq and the US.  Most people don’t even know that the Iraqi forces fighting the Mahdi Militia in Sadr City were Sadr City Shiites (gee, wonder how the liberal news media missed that one!).

When the Sadr City Shiites were fighting to clear out the Mahdi Militia – like their Sunni brethren from the Awakening movement did to al-Qaeda – people should have known a victorious end was at hand for Iraq.  Muslims will not turn on fellow Muslims easily, especially if that includes fighting with and for those nasty Christian Americans.  If you appreciate how bad it must get for the Iraqis to turn on these radical Muslims, you can appreciate this is a one-way decision, there is no going back.  And it is going to be a fight to the finish, only one side will be left standing in the Muslim Street.

It is going to be an amazing summer I think.  And those demented liberals who guaranteed defeat are as credible as  $3 bill.


5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Sadrists and Iranians Losing Support And Ground In Iraq”

  1. Dorf77 says:

    It is going to be an amazing summer I think……

    amUsing summer

    And those demented liberals who guaranteed defeat are as credible as $3 bill Nah $4.29 Dollar Bill….

  2. crosspatch says:

    AJ, I found this linked in a comment over at Roggio’s site. I would consider it major. It has been a while since I read Talisman Gate blog, maybe I will put it back on my “morning coffee” list.

    Muqtada al-Sadr throws down his arms at Maliki’s feat in the last act of his months-old saga of surrender; he officially disbands the Mahdi Army to everyone’s disbelief, including mine, yet the Washington Post chooses to interpret his submission as a reactivation of his militia.

    But Mr. Paley, the cub reporter with no grounding in Iraqi affairs whose prior wilted laurels were earned reporting on education issues back in the U.S. (…he had to retract some of his reporting, it seems); this hapless wanna-be that’s been dispatched to cover really confusing and convoluted political terrain in the WaPo’s infinite staffing wisdom; has seemingly internalized every high note of the Sadrist chime: no matter what the story may be, Muqtada always wins.

    So if Sadr would appear in a YouTube video snuffing himself in a dank apartment somewhere in Qum, the WaPo would run ‘Radical Cleric Sheds Earthly Body, Gains Celestial Powers’ across its masthead.

    Good stuff.

  3. […] would like to point folks to a comment by reader Crosspatch on how badly the liberal media has been duped by Sadr and his followers: AJ, I found this linked […]

  4. […] As I noted yesterday Prime Minister Maliki has moved against militant forces, who likely are part of the Iranian arms smuggling efforts into Iraq, in the Maysan Province capitol City of Amarah: […]

  5. […] 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 […]