Jun 15 2008

Maliki Moves Against Militants In Amarah, Iraq

Published by at 10:56 am under All General Discussions

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:

Amarah is also one of the last bastions of the Mahdi Militia and one of the only major cities run by the Sadtist political group.  It seems the actions have begun in earnest this weekend:

Maysan will be a demilitarized zone effective from Sunday and militiamen have four days to surrender their arms, according to a statement issued on Saturday by the commander of the Iraqi armed forces.

Army tanks have been patrolling the streets of the provincial capital Amarah, which is dominated politically by supporters of the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Iraqi troops have assembled at an airport to the north-east of Amarah and at a local stadium, security officers told the media.

The crackdown is the fourth offensive this year in which al-Maliki – the commander of the armed forces – has sent troops into a city to rid it of Shiite or Sunni militias.

Army helicopters dropped leaflets on the city, urging people to stay home and not interfere with the assault while the government offered monetary rewards for information on militiamen’s hideouts and weapons caches.

Amarah with a population of about 350,000 people is smaller than Basra, which was the scene of another crackdown against al-Sadr’s loyalists in March.

However, the city is strategically important as it is suspected by the US military to be a main conduit for weapons smuggling from Iran along the border across marshland.

Amarah’s location next to the Iran border, separated by marshes, makes it the perfect conduit for arms and material smuggling from Iran.  If successful this action should put a major crimp in the flow of Iranian arms and personal into Iraq, and should make it safer for US Forces and Iraqis from terrorist attack.

Update:  Some other must reads on Iraq.  First from Debra Saunders on how victory in Iraq is not news, but the blood splattered actions of Islamo Fascism are?  That excuse is not going to fly – it simply supports my long held contention Islamo Fascists kill to get headlines, and the news media obliges.  Which at best makes them puppets, and at worst willing accomplices.

Second we have Christopher Hitchens as he notes how some idiots on the right have become so anti-Bush they questions the value of defeating the Nazis in WW II.  That is what we call suicidal obsession.  Some people should just not be in the public spotlight, they tend to make absolute fools of themselves when the media shows up. 

And finally we have a Washington Post editorial that calls into question the liberal media’s biased and inaccurate views and representation of Prime Minister Maliki and his relations with Iran:

THOUGH IT was hardly noticed in Washington, Iraq’s Shiite-led government sent a powerful message to Iran and to the Middle East last week. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose coalition is often portrayed as an Iranian client, traveled to Tehran for a meeting with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The ayatollah bluntly declared that Iraq’s “most important problem” was the continuing presence of U.S. troops. He pressured Mr. Maliki to stop negotiating a package of agreements with the Bush administration that would delineate a “strategic framework” between Iraq and the United States and provide for the deployment of U.S. forces beyond the expiration of a U.N.mandate at the end of this year.

Mr. Maliki refused. He assured his Iranian hosts that Iraq would not be a launching pad for an American attack on Iran. But he pointedly told a press briefing that negotiations on the strategic partnership would continue. He repeated that commitment on Friday, even after warning that the talks had “reached a dead end.” In effect, the Iraqi prime minister was saying that his country does not want to become an Iranian satellite but an independent Arab state that would look to the United States to ensure its security.

This would seem to be an obvious U.S. gain in what, according to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as well as President Bush, is the urgent task of countering Iran’s attempt to dominate the Middle East. It means that Iraq, a country with the world’s second largest oil reserves and a strategic linchpin of the Middle East, just might emerge from the last five years of war and turmoil as an American ally, even if its relations with Iran remain warm.

So it’s hard to fathom why Democrats in Congress have joined Ayatollah Khamenei in denouncing the U.S.-Iraqi agreements even before they are written. 

Iraq is rapidly becoming the dream ally in the Middle East.  Arab, Muslim and democratically elected it has learned to ally with the US openly and in the face of Islamist pressure.  Which is more than can be said for Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – all staunch US allies.   Anyone who thinks the world and the US would be better with Saddam still in power instead of Maliki has serious emotional issues – like their egos can’t face how badly they understood the entire Iraq issue and its huge potentials for multi-dimensional success.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Maliki Moves Against Militants In Amarah, Iraq”

  1. ivehadit says:

    “Anyone who thinks the world and the US would be better with Saddam still in power instead of Maliki has serious emotional issues – like their egos can’t face how badly they understood the entire Iraq issue and its huge potentials for multi-dimensional success.”

    Right on AJ! Zap! I really feel for those who “don’t get it”.

    Thank you George W. Bush! Thank you so very much for all you have done and endured. We owe you lifetimes of gratitude.

  2. kathie says:

    AJ did you see this that I posted to you a few days ago? It’s another big if for Israel too. Can be found at Caroline’s web site if not on FREEREPUBLIC

    A big what if…….see what you think! Found at “FREEREPUBLIC”
    Give peace with friends a chance
    06/13/2008 8:10:12 PM PDT · by Dawnsblood · 1 replies · 47+ views
    CarolineGlick.com ^ | 6/13/08 | Caroline Glick
    There’s one thing you have to admire about the Iranians – they always tell you just what they think of you. They never beat around the bush. On Tuesday, the day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki completed his three-day visit to Iran, his envoy to the Islamic Republic received a care package – delivered to his front door. When Iraqi Ambassador Muhammad Majid al-Sheikh’s driver opened the package, he discovered it was a bomb. In their best Farsi imitation of the Godfather, Iranian police spokesmen claimed that the package was not a bomb – but aquarium equipment. And in…

  3. AJStrata says:

    Kathie, yes I did.

    Tells me Maliki is bugging the crap out of the Iranians!

  4. crosspatch says:

    Practically all of the enemies of Iraq must now be completely befuddled by us and are standing around wondering what the heck has happened since the 2006 elections. I would imagine they would have been beside themselves with glee after the Democrats won Congress thinking the end of the tunnel was near. But with the surge, that light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be a train that smashed them. I can’t imagine how demoralized they must be from being at the highest of highs, only to find the fight redoubled and the people of the country turning on them.

    And now with Bush leaving office and candidates talking about withdrawal, the Iranians were probably feeling the same thing. The Shiite militias had control of many districts in Baghdad in addition to Sadr City, the entire city of Basrah, and several of the border provinces adjoining Iran. Suddenly Maliki takes control of Basrah and Sadr City and is taking control in the border provinces. Nothing is working out according to their plans.

    While our media were reporting a Sadr victory in Basrah, Iran was pushing Hezbollah into an uprising in Beirut in order to create the appearance of a larger regional victory for Shiite militias … and while that one succeeded to some extent, it was at the expense of nearly ALL of Hezbollah’s political capital with the people of Lebanon. Iran took one step forward and two steps back.

    The enemies of Iraq must be completely perplexed and are maybe understanding that we are more complex and less predictable than they thought we are.

  5. VinceP1974 says:

    crosspatch: I could just see them now.

    “Ok.. they are leaving in two months now”…. then two months pass “Damn! I thoguht they were leaving.. now they’re sending more!!”

    Then after a year

    “Ok Dick Durban said it’s over…we just have to wait a few more months”

    Then that passes ,, and we send more..

    that would be funny

    if we kept sending more and more while congress says we’re leaving.

  6. kathie says:


    Iraqi Shi’ites to Iran: Stop interfering (2million Iraqi Shi’ites, demand it)
    06/15/2008 12:04:57 PM PDT · by nuconvert · 3+ views
    Jerusalem Post ^ | Jun. 15, 2008
    Iraqi Shi’ites to Iran: Stop interfering Jun. 15, 2008 The Media Line News Agency , THE JERUSALEM POST The signatures of more than two million Iraqi Shi’ites, demanding that Iran cease its interference in Iraq, were presented on Saturday during a convention in Ashraf, northeast of Baghdad, the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. Representatives of more than 135 parties and organizations, as well as 1,000 tribal elders from Iraq’s southern and central regions, attended the conference, titled “Solidarity with the Iraqi People.” Also attending the event were representatives from the Iranian opposition group, Mujahidin Khalq. “We have gathered over two…

  7. gwood says:

    The anti-war left is running out of places to move the goal posts; recent posters on this blog have declared (let me paraphrase) “well, the American military has enabled a semblance of security with the surge, and some political progress has been made, BUT Iran is now stronger”. Where do they move them to now?

    I know, the COST.

    The problem with talking about the financial aspects of this war lies in the fact that soon, Iraqi oil is going to (almost) single-handedly bust the oil bubble. By the end of the year, Iraq extraction, now at roughly 2.4 million barrels per day, will move up 500,000 to 2.9 million per day. The Saudis have announced they too will increase their production by the same amount. A crude price reduction of say, 30 or 40 dollars per barrel will represent a huge pay-back for the billions spent on Iraq. Both of these announcements occurred Friday, it will be interesting to see what effect it will have on the oil markets tomorrow.

  8. WWS says:

    Gwood, I hope Iraqi production can increase that much – the Iraqi’s have no working equipment left of their own, and I have not read anywhere that actual contracts had been signed with the foreign companies that are going to be required before any production is actually increased. Maybe in the Kurdish areas, but even that is being fought about in the Iraqi parliament. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I think it is more reasonable to expect a serious increase in oil output from Iraq in the 3 – 5 year timeframe, at which point they should be able to double their current production.

    Vince – per your previous comment in this thread – that’ll teach ’em to trust anything our Congress says! LOL!

  9. crosspatch says:

    I recently read an article where they had signed a couple of contracts for technical support, the kind of thing they need to get the existing fields more productive.

    The extraction and service contracts should add 1.5 million bpd to output once they were in place, Shahristani added.

    Combined with the additional flows from the technical support contracts, Iraq’s output would hopefully rise to 4.5 million bpd in five years, he said. Of this total, 3.5 million bpd would be exported and the rest kept for domestic use.

    Shahristani said technical support contracts did not entitle companies to any share in production.

    “The benefit is that they will show interest in co-operating with Iraq and supporting us technically. They will have knowledge of the parameters of the fields and then they can … make us an offer which is better than others,” he said.

    The service and extraction contracts are also seen as a stop-gap until a crucial oil law is passed, and will not provide the long-term involvement big oil companies crave.

    That was back in March but there are some newer articles on the subject. I believe Iraq wants to let contracts by the end of June.

  10. crosspatch says:

    Here’s an article from the Iraqi press. Iraq plans to increase their production to eclipse Iran as the world’s number 2 oil exporter.

  11. dave m says:

    I read that Debra Saunders article. Amazing they let her write for
    the SF Chron. Anyways, about this almost total blackout of the success
    story in Iraq, there is a solution.

    Let President Bush declare victory. That’ll put the cat among the pigeons
    and the talking heads of our elitist media will gag for words, but
    the cat will then be well and truly amongst the pigeons and the
    American people who still want to think for themselves, (not including
    Daly Kos folk) will figure it out.

    The President was in London yesterday. The BBC* couldn’t figure it out.
    They had a split screen showing the President and the bigger portion
    showing protesters outside the entrance to the street leading to
    Parliament and No. 10. Only there were so few they barely filled the street. There were more police than protesters. Embarrassing TV.
    I think there were about 1500, organizers were hoping for tens of thousands.

    You’ll not get these people to voluntarily report the good news of Iraq.
    Man oh man, did you get the excitement when some Taleban blew
    up a prison in Kandahar and the inmates escaped? Within hours
    UN “leader” Ban-ki Moon was calling for the international community (sic)
    to negotiate with the Taleban. “The time has come” said Mr. Moon.

    I wonder what Churchill thought about the British Army trapped at Dunkirk.

    President Bush – Declare victory Sir.