Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sadr Changes Venue

Bill Roggio notes that Elvis has just left the building. Oops. Make that Moqtada al Sadr has just lit out for Iran. Maybe for reasons of health, in connection with which this cinematic exchange comes to mind:


Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.

Commentary

Of course, unless Sadr plans to stay in Teheran permanently, he must eventually find a way to return to Iraq on his own terms, either reconciling with the US or driving them or waiting them out. That he chose to go suggests he cannot drive them out -- much to the disappointment of those who claim he already controls Iraq. At least not without the assistance of the Ayatollahs. Can he wait them out? That depends, but not so much on Sadr as upon American domestic politics. He may come back yet.

30 Comments:

Blogger kilmer4 said...

I think the shrewdest Iranian/al sadr policy would be to do nothing. sit on their hands for a year. Get off the event horizon/skyline of US policy makers and troops so they turn back to the now exhausted bathist/al queda sunnis, take out them out and go home.

When the battle is over -- the US withdraws over the horizon. Al sadr can come back and declare victory for himself and iran.

what the hey.

2/13/2007 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger reoconnot said...

al Sadr flees to Iran. Can reocon be far behind?

2/13/2007 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Smart man. I was pretty sure that he would see the light. Bush rattled the saber and Al-Sadr took the hint.

What I don't understand is why he would scoot to Iran. It seems like he's out of the political picture now. I think he would've had more power, and likely led Iraq later if he had stuck around and joined the political process.

2/13/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Mookie sniffed the winds and lit out for his Masters' safe haven. What ever happened to the "they'd never come get me" bravado? Sounds like he is afraid of getting the Zarqawi treatment.

Just like the rest of them...hiding!!!

2/13/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

al Sadr most likely is a coward, but that is not why he is in Iran. He knows that the U.S. will not kill him (on purpose) and he has already taken care of business in Iraq (he has told all of his followers to hide their weapons, be good and cooperate with the US and IA forces) now he is taking care of business in Iran.

He is making sure of his backing, reassuring the Iranians that things are on schedule and will remain so, even with this temporary "surge".

Like I said, he may be a coward, but he is far from stupid and he has a plan and has the backing to make sure that he is either the next leader of Iraq or will have the next leader in his pocket.

Anyway, there is nothing cowardly about running away to fight another day in the Islamic or Arab society, in fact the Qur'an advises it as a good battle tactic.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

2/13/2007 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gene Felder said...

Moqtada al-Sadr Fears for His Life
I like this story. I guess it was right.

See Friday January 19, 2007 article in The Guardian by Mark Oliver "Sadr fears for life in security crackdown" http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1994458,00.html

■ “Moqtada al-Sadr has moved his family to a secure location because of fears he will become the target of a security sweep of Baghdad”
■ “In an interview with Mr Sadr, published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica today, the cleric said 400 of his men had already been arrested.”
■ “I even have had a will drawn up” he was quoted as saying.
■ “The Bush administration is putting pressure on the Shia-dominated government of the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to stop Shia death squads.”
■ “A senior figure close to Mr Sadr was shot dead by a US soldier during a raid in the Shia holy city of Najaf last month.”

2/13/2007 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

During the Iran/Iraw War Iran badly miscalculated the support their coreligeonists would give them when they invaded southern Iraq. Nationalism trumped sectarian issues.

Here's hoping Sadr made a similar mistake. Taking aid from Iran to fight 'Crusaders' is one thing, looking like too much of a Persian stooge by hiding behind them might be something else altogether.

2/13/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger reoconnot said...

papa ray

Nice spin but if it's not safe for him now it certainly won't be safe for him if the surge is successful.

2/13/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

"What I don't understand is why he would scoot to Iran."

Because he is their employee and they told him to scoot. The Iranians are waiting until their stooges in the US Congress force the withdrawal of US troops.

2/13/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger D. B. Light said...

Gene Felder's post tells you a lot about what this all means. In recent weeks we have seen the collapse of much of the Sunni insurgency, the existence of which was the rationale for al-Sadr's militia in the first place, Maliki's withdrawal of protection from the Mahdi Army, the assassination of several of its major figures, and a warning to al-Sadr to get out of town. What seems to be happening is that senior Shiite leaders are reasserting control. It is they, not the American surge that Mookie fears. Shiite spokesmen have long been telling us that as soon as the Sunni insurgency ends, the militias will be disbanded. It seems they meant it.

2/14/2007 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Sadr fleeing to Iran could really be used by a smarter, more imaginative American Administration. Unfortunately, we have the Bushies and neos we have been dealt, not the people we wished for.

Sadr may just be going to Iran for safety and ability to direct the Mahdi Army in an upcoming Battle of Baghdad - from sanctuary without a Shiite rival pointing out a good GPS point for a 2,000 lb bomb to hit.

It would be a good time to point out Sadr's flight menaces other Shiite factions. It proves Sadr and the Mahdi Army are not real Arabs but Persian stooges. It would be a good time to point out that Sadr's revered father would not have cut and run to a country that killed 300,000 Shiite Iraqis in most people's memory. And say that the trust should be with the National Iraq Army, not a Militia whose leader ditches his Shiite brothers at the first moment when it looks like a crackdown is coming.

That would be smart.

That is why I'm not holding my breath with the Bushies and neos.

2/14/2007 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Really Cedarford! Which one? The one that gave us the Mullahs or the one that danced a jig over the hundreds of thousands of starved to death NoKo’s while spending hundreds of millions on a deal that was suppose to stop the starvation but was never honored from the beginning? Your “smarter” Administrations gave us these situations and they made the US look like paper tigers and even worse as idiots…the US needs a Teddy Roosevelt, not you’re “Loser” Administrations!

2/14/2007 02:47:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I don't think the USA will invade Iran.

I don't think the Iraqi army would be up to the task any time soon.

There might be cause however, to bomb Iran nuclear facilities. See below.

The big job right now is stopping the flow of money & arms from Saudi Arabia/Syria/Jordan & Iran into Iraq so as to create a working enviornment around which oil agreements can be made to share revenues with the Iraqi Sunnis and enable oil from the pipelines to flow uninterrupted.


If they don't get a working peace before the US pulls out then a region wide war is in the offing with the central front being the boundary lines between the Sunni & Shia dominant provinces in Iraq.

Because the USA is now slowly strangling Iran for cash--a regional wide war is not one that Iran can afford. Which is another reason they are working hard at getting the bomb.

However, given the agreement just signed with the North Koreans -- and disparaged by Bolten as a bad signal to Iran -- its clear that the US will not bomb the Iranians. The Agreement signed with the North Koreans basically acceded to their offer that has been on the table for awhile.

2/14/2007 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

These are the type of events that we should expect to happen when our politicians argue about war making policy for weeks on end. what happened to the good old sneak attack and or feint?

2/14/2007 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

It seems to me, that if Sadr's location in Iran isn't kept very secret indeed, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for an Israeli plane to carry an extra 2000lb bomb with his name on it, to leave behind when they attack Iran's nuclear capability. I'm pretty convinced they will do so at some point.

2/14/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Which one?"

Let's see...there's the failed Divinity School, Ivy League dropout Senator's son blowhard or the prep school, Ivy League, "Got-my-3-scratches-lemme-outta-here" practiced cut-n'-run gigolo blowhard. Lotsa respect on the World stage in either of those cases...as long as they were giving away our candy store. Fergahdssakes, at least the son of a travelin' salesman n' a racetrack anesthetist, henpecked Ivy League lawyer blowhard had enough senseto get his whistle cleaned while he was selling us back into servitude to the Euros and/or Chinese!!!

2/14/2007 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Pickleking said...

Isn't this the same Muqtada al-Sadr that Newsweek recently proclaimed the Most Powerful Man in Iraq? LOL

2/14/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Senor al-Sadr has just shifted locales on the battlefield, he "redeployed", just like the US National Guard did when threatened on the AZ border.

He is neither dead nor eliminated from the Game. Waiting out the Surge, out of Mr Maliki's AO, no longer a matter of US concern or conversation.

As Mr Maliki told Mr Bush, al-Sadr is "under control". al-Sadr is and always has been "On the Team". The Shia/Iranian DAWA, SCIRI team. The team the US backs, in Iraq.

Now the US has to strike at the Six Tribes of aQ, and start providing Security to the Shia of Baghdad.

Be careful what you ask for' Because now the Iraqi have delivered on standing down the Militias.
Can the US provide short & medium term Security to the people there?

As shown during the Iraqi Elections, we have in the past.
As exampled by Ogden, UT, I tend to doubt it. I think the nature of the Enemy has shifted, since those Elections.
The dissenting view of the NIE, most likely accurate.

2/14/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

With 95 to 5 in favor of the Sunnis, I think it's safe to say that if the 6 AQ tribes disappear altogether, they will not be missed.

2/14/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

hopefully nasrallah will join him in iran...

2/14/2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Griswel said...

Sadr flees to Iran, making the Sunni a bit safer in Iraq, and Sunni bombs go off in Iran. It reminds me of the day the Sunnis got a couple key posts in Iraq the day we learned Zarkawi's exact GPS location.

Iran didn't have to invade Iraq to make things worse, we don't have to invade Iran to make thing worse.

All we need now is an accident or two in Iranian nuke labs and I'll be happy.

2/14/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Yashmak said...
It seems to me, that if Sadr's location in Iran isn't kept very secret indeed, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for an Israeli plane to carry an extra 2000lb bomb with his name on it, to leave behind when they attack Iran's nuclear capability. I'm pretty convinced they will do so at some point.


Your thinking is very inept. Israel lacks the range and conventional power to defang Iran. That leaves either nuclear or full US complicity with the Zionists in helping them refuel in Iraq - something no formal US ally (and Israel is not a formal ally) will accept.

And Israel should have long ago come to grips with the fact that "targeted assassinations" have utterly failed against Hamas, Fatah, and Hez. It's just "whack-a-mole". There is an endless supply of militants willing to take over from dispatched "head evildoers". Even if they are still stupid, why would they kill a Mullah who is not an actual threat to the state of Israel. (Trust me, though, if Israel was dumb enough to assassinate the guy and inflame 100s of thousands of Shiites against Israel instead of America, it would be welcomed by America as an act of folly be Israel that helps us. Just like if Israel was dumb enough to bomb Chavez...)

2/14/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

I see we still have regulars here, desperately looking for the worst in any new event.

2/14/2007 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarford,

You're very mistaken. The technicals regards Iran are doable. Even I, as a laymen, already figured this out. The only question that remains is diplomatic.

2/14/2007 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger JohnnyT. said...

I agree with Joe Buzz, telegraphing our positions and intentions,hemming and hawwing over should we or shouldn't we seems so counterproductive to successfully fighting and winning a war. A War that is supposed to be a battle for our very survival. Let's get it done to win, removing whomever we must from the equation makes so much sense it probably won't get done.

2/14/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Mətušélaḥ said...The technicals regards Iran are doable. Even I, as a laymen, already figured this out.

Excellent! Now if you will impart your wisdom to Boeing and General Dynamics on how to double the range of F-15s and F-16s without refueling, you will be a rich man.

If you have figured out how those warplanes lacking refueling tankers Israel doesn't have can fly that far, then as a layman that has figured it out - you have also mastered the matter of how to penetrate US airspace over Iraq without the US becoming fully complicit with the Zionists by refusing to shoot the invading Jews down.

If you have figured that out, then you should be made even richer by Israel itself, for a layman has figured out how to take out the strength of a foe 800 miles away when the IAF failed against Hez targets in their backyard with 1/30th the targets that Iran has. Your knowing, as a layman, how to similarly defeat Hez instead of Iran ought to be worth millions to IAF generals.

If you are saying that little Israel doesn't have the conventional capacity to destroy Iran's nuclear program, I'd agree with you. Only Russia, Pakistan and the USA ...perhaps, just barely Turkey in a war for survival - have the ability to defang Iran using conventional military means.

Or a combined Sunni force....

Now, if you are arguing instead that you as a layman have figured out that Israel can defeat Iran with nuclear weapons, I'd agree with you there. And cheer until the global oil embargo against the Israeli killers of millions that the US cannot break ends the existence of Israel and it's refugees start the 2nd Diaspora. A process that Israels remaining nuke weapons couldn't stop - because the 1st nation that believes Zionists would destroy the Gulf Oil&Gas fields as a threat to break the embargo would drop several large thermonuclear devices on Israeli bases.

No, sorry, Israel is revealed as a country barely able to engage Iran's proxy Hez force conventionally. It only exists these days because of Jewish clout and US patronage.

2/14/2007 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarford,

I've already made mention of which tactics can and probably will be used. They don't involve a nuclear strike.

Unfortunately for you, the only thing you're good at is that copy & paste of jihadi propaganda. No originality and no creative spark. That is why your postings are so anal, and why you can't think beyond your square box.

I tell you again, the only question that remains regards Iran is diplomatic.

2/15/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger matt said...

He's sitting by a huge calendar with March 2008 date circled with a fat magic market, waiting till the time to come home.

2/15/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Hayek said...

C4 don't let your anti-semitism affect your judgment of Israeli capabilities in defending itself.If you think Israel fought an unlimited non-nuclear war with the Hezballah,you are sadly mistaken.If the Hez are stupid enough to start this again,they will see the difference.

2/15/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

reoconnot said...
al Sadr flees to Iran. Can reocon be far behind?

Ah, Junior, were have you been hiding? I've come to miss your lack of insight and muddled points. As you can see from the other commentators, there is skepticism a-plenty as to how much of a true defeat this is for Sadr. But I've another question for you that will require you, perhaps, to do a little homework and thought.

You may not remember this far back, but there was a coalitional reason why the Bushies preferred Maliki over Jaafari to run the pro-hezbollah, pro-Iranian, Shiite Islamist gov't that won elections. Maliki was closer to Sadr, while Jaafari was seen as over-reliant on SCIRI. Sadr used to have a real anti-Iranian vehemence in his rhetoric and the US hoped that this would allow Maliki to contest SCIRI with it overt Iranian influence. Now that Sadr's fled to Iran (temporarily I suspect) what force, what political base is going to step into the vaccuum? Think about it carefully.

2/16/2007 10:04:00 AM  

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