Thursday, April 20, 2006



Jaafari steps down -- And it looks like Sistani pushed him. Will a unity government emerge? Will an Iraqi government lay down a specific policy on militias? Stay tuned.

Healing Iraq has a long description of the recent clashes in the Baghdadi district of Adhamiya. It basically confirms the account of that fight published on this blog some days ago, but adds crucial new details about who were involved and the dynamics behind the fight.

The Adhamiya battle in a nutshell: Iraqi security forces from the Interior ministry (some believe to be accompanied by militiamen) attempted to enter Adhamiya from the Raghiba Khatoun area around 1 am, Monday. Adhamiya residents and its dozens of watch teams responded with heavy fire and thwarted the perceived attack. ...

Electric power returned at 3 am and the area calmed down for a few minutes. American helicopters were circling the area, and National Guards backed by an American force soon arrived at the scene and engaged with what it thought to be an insurgent force attacking the Adhamiya police station. The residents continued to return fire and the random exchange lasted until 12 pm. By then, both sides had realised their mistake. Adhamiya elders and local clerics rushed to clear the misunderstanding with the National Guard. National Guards set up checkpoints and helped restore security. The district was cordoned, residents stayed indoors and stores remained closed, even at Raghiba Khatoun, which is usely oblivous to whatever happens in other parts of Adhamiya.

The key elements confirmed are: attack on the police station, reaction by the populace in response to the arrival of Interior Ministry troops. But here's the interesting detail.

There had been a previous understanding for a few months between the 2 parties that, as long as Interior ministry forces do not enter Adhamiya, National Guards were free to patrol and maintain checkpoints in the area. National Guards in return, turned a blind eye to the many neighbourhood watch teams and even the 'Mujahideen' as long as they don't target them. National Guards were considered allies and during the Samarra events they stepped back in the shadows and watched as vigilant units took over and patrolled Adhamiya at nighttime. There was at least one incident, a couple of weeks ago, when a National Guard commander warned the 'Mujahideen' that Interior ministry forces had entered the area, and turned over his weapons to residents so they could defend themselves.

And then Zeyad extensively quotes a Washington Post report which repeatedly emphasizes the presence of Iranians in Adhamiya in accounts from residents. Zeyad includes it to illustrate 'what the residents are saying'. The gist of these statements, whether true or urban legend, is that some residents perceive the Interior Ministry troops to be composed of Iranians or Sadrists. Moreover, the fight in Adhamiya is viewed within the context of the negotiations to form a unity government. That is to say in a Shi'ite-Sunni context.

"About 40 4wd and pickup vehicles from the Interior ministry tried to enter the area Monday. They had black-clad Badr (or Mahdi) militiamen with them. Some were dressed in police uniform"

"They were all Iranians."

"The resistance captured 13 (or 14) Iranians Monday at Omar bin Abdul Aziz Street."

"They took the Iranians to a hidden location because they will return to look for them."

"What's this bullshit about Iranians?" an old lady of Iranian descent on our street.

"The attack Monday was punishment for Adhamiya because they opposed Ja'fari's nomination as PM."

"The electricity outage is punishment for the district because it fought back."

"While National Guards were shooting at stores and local generators, they were shouting: 'Let the Accord front compensate you.'"

"They were shouting: 'Let Adnan Al-Dulaimi compensate you.'"

"The National Guards are such treacherous bastards. They turned against Adhamiya."

"They want to turn Adhamiya into another Fallujah or Tala'far. This attack has been planned for months."

"There were fliers distributed a week ago warning Adhamiya residents that they will all be dragged in the streets soon."

"They came from Sadr city."

"They came from Iran."

"The firefight was started by a few troublemakers from Fallujah."

"The Americans did nothing to settle the firefight."


If you read the account carefully, Baghdad is like a specimen preserved in a bottle of formalin, waiting for the last trumpet to sound. That trumpet would be a political settlement which would allow the government to move decisively against one side or the other. Any American overt actions against one side or the other will be perceived, in this state of suspended animosity, as partisan. Act against the Sunnis -- you are favoring the Shi'ites. Act against the Shi'ites and -- you are taking sides again, not just vis a vis the Sunnis, but vis a vis Sistani and Sadr, for example. And for residents of Adhamiya at least, the proxy war with Iran has already begun. Interestingly enough, all the scenarios which envision toppling the Teheran involve a proxy war. Iraq has always been compared by liberals to Vietnam. But it's fair to ask: whose Vietnam?

BTW and off-topic, but for all you media watchers Patterico just won his long-running feud with commentator Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times by proving that Hiltzik has been sending himself supportive emails under pseudonyms. Patterico did this by establishing that Mikekoshi, Nofanofcablecos and Hiltzik's emails all originated from the same IP address. Mikekoshi and Nofanofcablecos were great defenders of Hiltzik, of course. Imagine that. Not that I care, except that for years I've relied on the newspapers to tell me the truth and to set out the facts. But it just goes to show that caveat emptor is not just another phrase for 'the caviar can is empty'.

Update: Hiltzik has confessed, but defends his actions as being part of the great literary tradition of commenting under other names. Yep. Imagine that.


Blogger enscout said...

If the new National government does nothing else, it must establish and never relinquish authority to secure the country.

This sounds like well-equipped and well funded (large) gangs of marauding, unauthorized militia taking law into their own hands.

It is a result of that dangerous mix that results when religious organizations strive for political power. And that, unfortunately, is the hallmark of Islam.

4/20/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

"The Americans did nothing to settle the firefight."

Fascinating comments, all, but this one takes the cake.

4/20/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That IP address is just Placebo.

4/20/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would I spoof?

4/20/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt: Another quote from Times' Editor-emeritus Carroll's great throw-down:
What we're seeing is a difference between journalism and pseudo-journalism, between journalism and propaganda. The former seeks earnestly to serve the public. The latter seeks to manipulate it.
The propaganda technique that has invaded journalism is of a particular breed. It springs not from journalistic roots but from modern politics — specifically, that woeful subset known as attack politics.
In attack politics, the idea is to "define" one's rival in the eyes of the public. This means repeating derogatory information so often that the rival's reputation is ruined. Sometimes the information is true; sometimes it is misleading; sometimes it is simply false. A citizen who enters politics these days must face the prospect of being "defined" by smear artists equipped with computers, polls and attack ads.

4/20/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...


"Interestingly enough, all the scenarios which envision toppling the Teheran involve a proxy war using. Iraq has always been compared by liberals to Vietnam. But it's fair to ask: whose Vietnam?"

This is not your father's, or to some of you, you’re grandfather's, Viet Nam. With great regret to my fellow narcissists from the sixties, Viet Nam was a tactical exercise in Cold War politics. Iran is strategic. It never affected US security whether we won or loss in Viet Nam. Iran is not the Soviet Union. Most Iranians do not believe in what the current government professes. Iran has no allies in The Middle East except for the crazies in Gaza and Lebanon and our newly empowered Shiites. The mullahs are in a hurry because they see their power to be a wasting asset. In a bizarre way, it is similar to the other charter member of the
"Axis of Evil", North Korea. Can America return to being smart? Does anyone remember that the Soviets had 50,000 tactical and strategic nukes and we still finessed them? Stop the panic about when and if they get one bomb or ten. Hold your fire.

4/20/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


It could be Iran's Vietnam. There have been reports that for some time now the Mullahs have been coveting Southern Iraq. Michael Yon argues that the "civil war" between Sunnis and Shi'as was running even in Saddam's day. Indeed, Iraq and Iran fought a conventional war in the 1980s which cost near a million lives, by some counts. History in Iraq did not start with OIF.

4/20/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bigley capture claim investigated:

The Foreign Office has said it is working closely with authorities in Iraq to try to find his body. DNA tests have failed to find a match.

US and Iraqi authorities are also actively trying to track down his killers.

Capture Claim

4/20/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

aristide, as long as US Troops are ther, in Iraq, and these troubles continue, it will be our fault, in the minds of the residents, and International Law.
We are responsible.
We are the Superpower, we have the tanks & p;anes, yet we allow these thugs to run free,
Even when terrorists are captured by US and released by Iraqi Justice, the man on the street will blame US. Until we hand over Responsibility for the Country, which means leaving, the man in the street he'll be right.

4/20/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Gees Wretchard are you a closet Don Imussian? he suggests apologizing to Saddam for wasting Eeezy and Queezy and letting him take it back. A little, "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid," Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderios de LaClos.( Revenge, is best served cold.)

4/20/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Remember that snip I had where the Iraqi was saying just that, 'Rat?
...can't remember where that was from.

4/20/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why not send Imus and the Satellite Radio Guy?

4/20/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Forget Imus, send Bernard......

4/20/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Demons Out!

4/20/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I have a hard time getting a handle on who is actually fighting who from Zeyad'a post (some of it sound's like a friendly fire incident and other parts sound like a well planned purging of Adhamiya).

Now if the Iranian's are waging a proxy war, which it certainly look's from Wretchard's comments, then I would suggest moving the battle into their boarders and see how hot the kitchen can get for them. Certainly, two can play at the "proxy war" game.

4/20/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Our host referenced a piece a few weeks ago, doug, dateline:Mosul.

The local official was meeting with a young US Officer. The Local was adament he could not be the "Man" since the "Bad Guys" had been released, and we could not provide Security.
The Officer tried to explain the "Evil Doers" had been released by Iraqi Officials. The man from Mosul would have none of that BS.
We got the guns, tanks and power, it's all on US.
He' right.

4/20/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

little late in the game to start, we've all been at this for close to five years now.

Wink & Nod projectionists always had the Iranians as the Evil Doers main support, we all have known.
Everybody KNEW who the Enemy was, all along.
Or so I've been told.
If that's been so, why are we not well out of the blocks on an Iranian Insurgency?

4/20/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bush: The Decider-In-Chief:

I don’t think The Decider-in-Chief takes responsibility for tough things in a grown-up, manly way that sets a good example.

And that's not really fair either. You can’t be "The Decider" just for the good stuff.

Dick this guy high? Bush only makes decisions for the good stuff?

The Decider

4/20/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Can I be blunt? Is not the US Presidency the highest political office in the country? If politics is the canvas is not the mouth the brush? Can an American politician that cannot articulate a coherent thought in a clear sentence with concise English be up to his game? Is not the American Presidency a politcal office? Can a good hunter be a bad shot? Can a good carpenter be weak in the hammer department? Or are we Republican victims of the soft prejudice of low expectations.?

4/20/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

The dynamics of both the substrate here (sectarian hatred) and the catalysts in effect (communications, access to truth/perspective online, pressure toward equality of men/women, and American/Israeli preparations for pre-emptive attack) are all changing the scenario itself!

Interesting times...

4/20/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

misunderestimated again.

4/20/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Thank you DR, I am sure we are unrecognizing political genius wrapped in syntax, encrypted with miscognizance.

4/20/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/20/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Suspending the Blog Is Good Enough — Patterico @ 9:08 pm

I think Hiltzik has conducted himself in a classless manner throughout this affair, right up through his dishonest and insulting defense of himself this morning. And Hugh Hewitt makes a good case that Hiltzik has technically violated the paper’s code of ethics.

But you know what?
That code of ethics is a joke.
I bet there’s hardly a reporter or columnist at the L.A. Times who has always lived up to it.

4/20/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Peggy Noonan has a better plea than Dick Morris made over Bush's dysfunctional 2nd term. He must have voices - beyond his inner circle where he allows no dissent - and he must end his self-indulgent sense of loyalty to the top cat is all that matters.

When a Reagan lead speechwriter goes on like that, you know that the inept Bushies are in deep doo-doo.

Alas for Noonan, it's like her advising Jimmah Cahter to grow a sack. Some things just won't happen.

With Iraqis who returned from abroad now fleeing, annual cost going from 48 to 92 billion since 2003...I can't seem to think the bozos that gave us the botched Iraq postwar can be trusted to do a war on Iran and manage the aftermath.

Despite the last neocons and Sharanskyites out there....I think the nation wishes to see how Iraq is either the "noble purple-fingered heroes" getting their act together or by getting a blood-soaked but necessary civil war done with....before anyone, aside from Zionist allied politicians ....wishes to embroil us in Iran. Bush has lost trust - even now with more and more Republicans.

And the direction the country seems to be going in is to cut Bushies out of further foreign policy commitments and wait for a hopefully more competent national leadership... The sentiment is "lets wait on involving ourselves in more major wars accompanied by more tax cuts for the wealthy until that is devated in Congress and resolved in the 2006, 2008 elections.

4/20/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder if he sends himself flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Comment by Jackie

4/20/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard, and all, I'm interested in your views on the following.
'Rat wrote:
"Except for a narrow segment of extremists, they do not view themselves as enemies of the United States, but rather as the exact opposite: at a time when Americans are unpopular in all other Muslim countries, *most* Iranians become distinctly more friendly when they learn that a visitor is American. "
--- the previous thread was a comment about this being true for the City folk/cosmopolitans, but not the peasant country folk who follow the Mullahs.

New Republic link also gives the impression there are more than a few angry and VERY COMMITTED foes.

4/20/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

General: Russian military won't intervene in Iran:

His comments on Wednesday came as the Iran issue continued to overshadow talks in Moscow among leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations.

Tehran also sent a high-ranking delegation to Moscow for talks amid renewed efforts to resolve the mounting international crisis.

Russian General

4/20/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

That Al-Jaafari update is a very optimistic sounding piece. A new person picked by the end of the day Saturday.

4/20/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Famed test pilot killed in plane crash Scott Crossfield, first man to fly twice the speed of sound, dies in Georgia wreck.
RANGER, Ga. — Scott Crossfield, the hotshot test pilot and aircraft designer who in 1953 became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound, was killed in the crash of his small plane, authorities said Thursday. He was 84.

In one of his test flights, Crossfield reached about three times the speed of sound on Nov. 15, 1960, in an X-15 launched from a B-52 bomber. The plane reached an altitude of 81,000 feet.

"I am an aeronautical engineer, an aerodynamicist and a designer," he told Aviation Week & Space Technology. "My flying was only primarily because I felt that it was essential to designing and building better airplanes for pilots to fly."

4/21/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Attacks on Vital Iraqi Infrastructure Down

Washington -- Attacks against Iraq's vital infrastructure have decreased by 60 percent over the past three months, the spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq said April 13.

Army Major General Rick Lynch, who briefed reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Baghdad, said the decrease is directly due to the presence of 250,000 trained and equipped Iraqi security forces operating all across the country, conducting important missions.

To emphasize the effect of this increased Iraq-wide security presence, Lynch gave examples of recent operations in three different regions.

4/21/2006 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


So, Silence Dogood strikes again.

4/21/2006 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

sam, 10:52 PM


North Korea has threatened to nuke Japan. It also purposefully conducts rocketry testing to intimidate the Japanese.

Iranian leadership has for years openly professed the desire to annihilate the Zionist entity as soon as nuclear weapons come to hand. Interestingly enough, what is little remarked and probably viewed as a collateral benefit by the Arab world would be the simultaneous elimination of the Palestinian problem as well. Slick move by the Iranians.

Who has the Zionist entity threatened with nuclear attack? Does the Zionist entity even possess nuclear weapons? Silence is a virtue.

The Russian is erecting a straw man which will be heralded as thought provoking only by the thoughtless.

4/21/2006 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

doug, 1:44 AM


Last month Georgia lost another aviation pioneer with the death of General Scott.

4/21/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Snarfo said...

I was speaking with expat Iranians last night and they confirmed that general view, that the great majority of Iranians LIKE America, freedom of speech, honesty, freedom of religion...

And HATE, Distrust, revile and chafe under the bizarre, insider-rewarding government that they have now, and especially their "I AM THE Bab'ul Bab, the Gate through Whom will come the Gate of God!" President, Ahmadi-nejhad! Halos and all...

especially since so MANY Iranians know of the historical fact that The Bab already CAME (May 23, 1844-July 9, 1850) even if they don't BELIEVE in Him!

4/21/2006 04:29:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

"Jail toilets face away from Mecca"

Granted, this comes from the BBC; still, I wonder if this cutting edge insight has found its way into the American command?

Hearts and minds, people. Hearts and minds.

4/21/2006 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...


4/21/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Since the world is a sphere, Mecca itself faces away from Mecca.

4/21/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 5:24 AM


Is that true if you're looking between your legs? Am I getting into imaginary mathematics here? How many occultations can dance on the head of a pin? I must stop, now.

4/21/2006 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

So, militias and foes find areas that they believe to be 'safe' and are given a 'blind eye' by the Iraqi National Guard. And then complain bitterly that they have found themselves in an area that can be cordoned off and searched.

First the Sadr militias.

Now the Ahamiya mujahadeen, which appear to have many Iranians involved.

It is almost like there was a 'plan' or something to clear other areas of Iraq while leaving a few places deliberately alone to attract those that ran to fight another day.

It is now 'another day'. But not the one they expected.

And far off-board we hear the rumblings from the Kurds in northern Iran and good words of solidarity there from their brothers across the border.

Jaafari steps down, and so goeth the idea of a hard core, unified Shia majority with a militant form of expression as the Shia factionate even more.

And just what have the US Special Forces which have been the spearhead of attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq disappeared to? What are they doing? One doubts they are just sitting in the States kicking back and having a cold one.

Not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. ACT I never ends fully resolved before ACT II opens, that is so the resolution can set the stage for the middle of that act.

I somehow doubt that all of this is just pure luck and happenstance. Warfare of a different type is being practiced, even if the actual practicioners are not doing the active fighting, just there to *support* and *give logistical aid*. NetWar that exploits every network, be it social, political, economic, military, transport, communications... all is fed into the hopper and ground up to be turned into something different.

If you look at one piece, you will be puzzled. If you look at all the pieces, you will see that something different is going on. Terrorism is late 20th century warfare. NetWar is 21st century combat as practiced by those who know it. And all of those folks happen to wear stars and bars.

Just a few more asymmetrical defense and counter-attack tools will solidify the new 21st century system of warfare.

4/21/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

What happens when a sense of decency (the PC sort) makes no sense? But I repeat myself.


Only in Israel would you have Arabs in the Knesset. Can you see Jews in the governments of Hamas, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or any Arab government?

3 Arab MKs met with Hamas leaders, and one of the MKs now demands to visit the nuclear reactor in Dimona.

I would have said, only in America.

4/21/2006 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

A Jacksonian,

Great site. Thanks.

4/21/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

allen - My thanks! I do what little I can these latter days.... and do have strange views on things.

But then we head into strange times, so perhaps having such is not unwarranted.

4/21/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, hope they represent the vast majority.
If they only knew,
I am the great Baboo.
Ah well.

4/21/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Desert Rat says:


little late in the game to start, we've all been at this for close to five years now... Wink & Nod projectionists always had the Iranians as the Evil Doers main support, we all have known

I am sorry to have to disagree with you. The Iran/Iraq/ME conflict is more complicated.

Wretchard has noted that Iran's incursions into Iraq could become a "Vietnam" or them (and it could be). There is a huge amount of petrodollars at stake and all the players know it.

In my prior post, I indicated the time is now and you have stated "it'a too late." I am sure others in the past have made that statement.

For example, "Col. Lansdale was too late in the Philippines." He was not. Further, I would not be surprised to find us operating in Iran now.

Sure, I would like to see more tangible evidence but, we just don't know (By that I mean we don't know via the MSM).

I will note that Syria has said it will hide Iran's nukes. And, I have always stated that Syria was been a haven for Saddam's men and weapons.

Further, I have noted it would be wise to cut that connection. This would most likely involve military action. It has not happened.

Why? From the open research I can find, 'Foggy Bottom' has prevented that. Apparently, there is some "unpublished" positive relationship between Syria and the European block which seems to stop American intervention in Syria.

With that background, I suspect the same 'Foggy Bottom' factor may exist with Iran - but I don't see it. Sure, that 'Foggy Bottom' factor play a role in the "Iran problem." Or, it could simply mean that the US is giving a head fake to Iran and will bomb them when the time is right. We just don't know.

I believe it is unacceptable to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons. Hence, I strongly recommend action against Iran (In theory Iran could simply load gun style nuke in obscure shipping container and deliver it to any major American port - or use it as a mine to bottle up shipping lanes in the ME). That's Not a Good Thing.

Could partisan politics be holding up the neutralization of Iran? Could other countries be holding up the neutralization of Iran? Could things be going on behind the scene be holding up neutralizing Iran (Including certain ground penetrating weapons production). Sure they could.

My point is to bring the war to Iran's door step keeping them busy - other than allowing Iran to bring the war to Iraq and keeping us busy.

[sorry about the typos and such but Ledger must keep busy with work and such]

4/22/2006 04:31:00 AM  

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