Friday, April 06, 2007

Third Anniversary of the Madhi Uprising

April 2007 marks the third anniversary of Moqtada al-Sadr's defining moment: the Shi'ite uprising of 2004. After formally establishing the Madhi Army in April, 2003, Sadr was ready in a year's time to fight the Coalition openly. After a US crackdown on his political activities early 2004, "Sadr gave an unusually heated sermon to his followers on Friday, April 2, 2004. The next day, violent protests occurred throughout the Shi'ite south that soon spilled over into a violent uprising by Mahdi Army militiamen, fully underway by April 4, 2004." Although the Madhi uprising was beaten down by June, 2004, Sadr used the political capital and game he gained thereby to enter the political arena. Here's a look back in recent history:

On June 6, 2004, Moqtada al-Sadr issued an announcement directing Mahdi Army to cease operations in Najaf and Kufa. Remnants of the militia soon ceased bearing arms and halted the attacks on U.S forces. Gradually, militamen left the area or went back to their homes. On the same day, Brigadier General Mark Hertling, a top US commander in charge of Najaf, Iraq, stated "The Moqtada militia is militarily defeated. We have killed scores of them over the last few weeks, and that is in Najaf alone. [...] The militia have been defeated, or have left." June 6 effectively marked the end of Shi-ite uprising. The total number of Mahdi Army militamen killed in the fighting across Iraq is estimated at between 1,500 and 2,000.

The return of Najaf to Iraqi security forces following the cease-fire left Sadr City as the last bastion of Mahdi Army guerillas still pursuing violent resistance. Clashes continued periodically in the district following the end of the Najaf-Kufa battles. On June 24, Mahdi Army declared an end to operations in Sadr City as well, effectively ending militia activity, at least for the time being. Sadr appeared to be planning to turn his faction into a political party, having gained a good deal of public support.

But Sadr never fully took the path of peace. His militia continued to cause trouble. The Madhi army is widely believed to be fueling sectarian violence by targeting Sunnis. In 2006, Sadr's men seized Amarah temporarily before being driven out. The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki entered into an accomodation with Sadr, whose men were by now reported to be receiving support from the Qods force of Iran. Recently, following changes in Rules of Engagement that have permitted US forces to take a more aggressive role, there are reports that Madhi Army is splitting up. Sadr himself is reported fled to Iran.

One of the US counterattacks three years ago was named Operation Smackdown. Task Force 2d Battalion, 37th Armor (TF 2-37), attached to the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) was charged with retaking Kufa. The story of that engagement is given here. There is also video on YouTube showing pretty lengthy clips from Operation Smackdown.


Blogger Reliapundit said...

had the coalition followed up on this Iraq might today be much MUCH more pacified:,3604,1068114,00.html

"Plan to arrest maverick Iraqi cleric for murder

Michael Howard in Baghdad
Wednesday October 22, 2003
The Guardian

Coalition and Iraqi officials are preparing an arrest warrant for the firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr over his alleged involvement with the brutal murder of a rival cleric last spring, sources close to the Iraqi governing council told the Guardian yesterday.

The warrant, which has yet to be finalised, cites Mr Sadr for instigating a deadly attack on Abdel Majid al-Khoei, who was stabbed to death by a mob in the Shia holy city of Najaf on April 10. "




yet the left sees him as a warmonger. par for the course: they fear bush and global warming more than a nuclear iran.

4/06/2007 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Al Reasin said...

Do I like what happened with Sadr. Not in the least. But there are political realities even in war. The Iraq government was aligned with Sadr. We pushed the Iraqis to establish a government and one to be as independent of the US as much as possible and still support the war effort. We have also stated publicly that we are in Iraq at the behest of the Iraq government. Now if the Iraq government says do not enter Sadr City, or do not serve a warrant on Sadr, what do we do. Ignore their sovereignty; publicly disobey the established and legal government’s orders. Of course we could, but then we defeat 2-3 years of efforts to get the Iraqis to stand on their own feet to help defeat the terrorist and insurgency so that we can gradually withdraw most of our forces. Now, I know President Bush would be damned either way, but one can not have it both ways. Choices have to be made. We, the Canadians and the Brits supplied the vast majority of the forces to recapture Europe, but the Free French were allowed to march into Paris as the victors; not losing face is more important in the ME than even in France

4/06/2007 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Craigicus said...

Hard to say if arresting Sadr would have helped. There was a big risk of driving the masses against the US. Yes, we wouldn't need to deal with Sadr if we put him in a cell somewhere but what would we have had to deal with? Just like Ricks (and many others) who say we needed more boots on the ground. More boots would have caused resistance to grow in the US and in Iraq. What the tipping point is I can't confidently say. Neither can others but it isn't certain.

4/06/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

The problems with the Iraqi government run far deeper than its uneasy embrace of Sadrist elements. Even without Sadr, Dawa and SCIRI are Shiite Islamist parties dedicated to imposing Sharia. No wonder the Sunni will not comply! Would we if we were in there place? There can be no peace between Sunni with any self-respect and these Shiite Islamofascist parties. (Not that most of the Sunni are all that great either, eh?)

The Bush administration has not put forward any vision or program as to how they plan to square this circle, which is why the "surge", is at best, a holding pattern for a plane running low on fuel. Former US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the biggest advocate of some sort of pan-Iraqi settlement, has left in defeat, so what is the plan now?

4/06/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

During the 1940s, as Arab and Jewish militias strove for possession of the land, one of the factors which tipped the balance was the "Arab disease" in which tribal, sectarian and personal rivalries rapidly split the Arab side while the Jewish side remained fairly united.

But this compulsion to internecine strife may not be confined to the Arabs. It has been argued that the underlying reason for the First and Second World Wars was the process of multiethnic empires trying to become nation states. The empire of the Czars, Habsburgs, the Ottomans and the Europeans were patchworks of nationalities. Once the idea took hold that each needed its own nation, based on a predominant community, ethnic cleansings on the largest scales took place. "States," one statesman lamented then, "are the graves of nations." What the Soviets (the Red Czars) did is well known as they shifted entire populations around; killed whole social strata off. But the Ottoman empire collapsed in vast massacres too, the Armenians and the Greeks being the best known. Even the British Empire, when it dissolved, was marked by the Partition in the subcontinent; a region which had long been governed by a professional civil service, and Partition was bloodshed on a monumental scale. In our parent's lifetimes pogroms, deportations, death camps, and expulsions were the European disease.

As I've argued elsewhere, the two bookends of the Ottoman empire -- Yugoslavia and Iraq -- survived due to the presence of local emperors which kept things going. Tito in Yugoslavia. Saddam in Iraq. We all saw what happened in the former Yugoslavia; and we are watching what happens when a multiethnic "empire" is forced to become a nation-state in viewing the events in Iraq. After the US smashed Saddam and the Ba'ath, that empire's ruling class was liquidated, but its successor state was not only absent, but in a sense had not yet been conceived. And Paul Bremer was not born to be the Kemal Attaturk of Iraq.

But the geopolitical faultlines have shifted. In 1914 the global fracture line was in the Balkans, where the Ottoman, Tsarist and Habsburg empires touched. Today, the fault line may be in Iraq, where Sunni and Shi'ite, Arab and Persian, Muslim and Western interests all converge in an area which supplies most of the world's energy to boot.

When Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand, he was as surprised as anyone at what he touched off. Similarly, the Bush Administration probably thought regime change would be a limited event, but soon discovered that they had done more than toppled a tyrant. They had started a revolution.

For this reason, Nancy Pelosi's attempts to pull out according to her little timetable are probably doomed. The events in train have consequences which can no longer be ignored. Perhaps the moment when the revolution now underway became inevitable was September 11 and perhaps not; but I doubt that the old Middle East can be reinstated.

This realization is beginning to dawn even among the Democrats. Some are arguing that George Bush is 'not competent' to lead the world against terrorism and Islamofascism. They have discovered a current of events that cannot be ignored and concluded that therefore we need professionals like Pelosi and Murtha at the helm. But at least, the outlines of the problem are beginning to dawn on the Democrats. And that's a good thing, but its only a start.

4/06/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .
When Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand, he was as surprised as anyone at what he touched off. Similarly, the Bush Administration probably thought regime change would be a limited event, but soon discovered that they had done more than toppled a tyrant. They had started a revolution.

No, I don't think that the Bush administration thought this would be a limited event, but one that would spread throughout the ME, transforming authoritarian states into liberal democracies. This was based, in part, on the fallacy that Baathism had left Iraq with a secular, middle class that were closeted liberals.

Once Iraq fell, a new Iraqi-Israeli alliance would become the Axis of Good and Iran and Syria would soon topple ("Faster, please") before the economic and political might of this new alliance. The Bush/Neocon assumptions about the social and political bases of Iraq were completely wrong, and Paul Bremer was never going to gather the sort of bureaucratic (and military) power necessary to bring about peace and stability. Ataturk was not his model, but MacArthur.

Now that the Neocon project has failed, real state formation begins, which, as Wretchard hinted, is usually a long bloody affair. Just take a look at the Thirty Years War ending with the treaties of Westphalia. The worse thing the US could do now is to try to maintain a muddled status quo in which no side triumphs. It is time for the US to withdraw from most of Iraq and give war a chance.

4/06/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Romney Observes Easter

4/07/2007 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

"They have discovered a current of events that cannot be ignored and concluded that therefore we need professionals like Pelosi and Murtha at the helm."

That's tongue-in-cheek, right? You can't be serious, Wretchard. Those two are clowns. Speaker Pelosi first months as Speaker and now her trip to Syria shows beyond any doubt that she is not ready for prime time. And Murtha? Please. No one in the Democratic leadership, Senate or House, even comes close to your moniker of "professional" Pandering opportunists betting the farm on defeat in Iraq is a more apt description. If the Democrat party was serious about, or waking up to as you put it, the challenges that face the nation then someone like Senator Obama wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of even being considered a serious candidate for the Presidency. Hillary is the best that they can offer and that in itself show how bereft they are of any real leadership. They need an Andrew Jackson and the best that can offer is the wife of the former President whose only real accomplishment is that she had the good sense to marry Bill Clinton? The Republicans aren't much better, but the Democratic field is so weak that even Mitt Rommney looks like a paragon of leadership.

Recon, agreed. US forces to the border of Iraq, guarding against Iranian and Syria meddling and let the chips fall where they may. Although the Omar brothers report something interesting over at Iraq the Model:

"The al-Qaeda terrorists in Anbar continue their campaign to terrorize the population that is turning against them. This morning another attack with a chlorine gas bomb struck western Ramadi killing and injuring dozens of civilians and policemen. No wonder al-Qaeda is sending more of their suicide bombers to murder the people of Anbar; a friend of mine who visited the area just two days ago said he saw a crowd of young men near an ISF recruiting center that was "larger than anything else I had seen in Baghdad"

4/07/2007 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I think the jury is still out on whether the Middle East is transformable into something more democratic. The Bush administration probably thought such a transformation could be finessed, but it may have turned into something like a revolution, which by definition you have to fight to control.

I was struck by this article on Gaza which claims that a warlord called Mumtaz Dagmoush and his extended family of 15,000 are behind every major outrage in Gaza.

"If there is a way to describe Gaza, it is Mumtaz Dagmoush," said a veteran Israeli security official who has tracked the rise of the family. He spoke about the issue on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of his work. "It's clan, it's business, it's terrorism, it's international terrorism and it's a place where everybody has lost hope that the government is going to do anything about it."
In a report released last month, Israel's Shin Bet security agency suggested that Mumtaz Dagmoush was embracing a more radical ideology linked to international terrorist groups. Dagmoush, the agency wrote, "is recognized as working in coordination with, or under the directions of, the Hamas military organization and (global jihad) elements belonging - it would seem - to al-Qaida."

It's an amazing example of the power of the clan and sectarian system, that after billions in foreign aid, years of technical assistance and diplomacy that something as primitive as a clan climbs to to top of the heap. The problems in the Middle East are so hideously intractable. The West has tried to negotiate, intervene, isolate, and ignore the Palestinian terror issue by turns, only to be hauled back each time it tried to leave. What will happen in Iraq?

4/07/2007 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Saddam like Tito understood what was necessary to keep their tribal areas constituted to be a nation state. Their brutal methods were unsavory to outside critics who did not understand the internal dynamics of both countries.

The US intervened in the unwinding of Yugoslavia to the benefit of an external Muslim country, Albania, that is home to some of the worst criminal elements in Europe. Most of the heroin in Europe passes through Albanian hands.

The Albanians in Kosovo have almost completed their ethnic cleansing of Christians from Kosovo. The Serbs in Kosovo will have to leave their country because of Nato enforced democracy. Two million Iraqis have left Iraq because of the US plan to make Iraq a democracy.

Much of the disruption in the Middle East has followed the Russian occupation and their defeat in Afghanistan. Look at photos of Kabul Afghanistan in the seventies and it was a more secular state than today. The same is true in Iraq and now Albania. Who armed and encouraged the revolutionaries in Afghanistan and emboldened them to defeat an infidel nation? The US did that. We thought it was a wonderful thing that deeply religious Muslims were killing secular Russians.

Who and what group made their bones in Afghanistan because of that?

AQ and the Saudi clerics along with the Islamists in Pakistan.

Who went on to practice their trade in support of the Muslim communities in Yugoslavia? Who came out of that 2-0?

AQ and the Saudi clerics along with the Islamists in Pakistan.

Now, how can anyone argue that to date, that Iran has not benefited from our Iraq adventure?

Saddam cursed the Persians as he was being hanged. He knew.

4/07/2007 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"It's an amazing example of the power of the clan and sectarian system, that after billions in foreign aid...."

Yes, and note that the Middle East and Africa are not unique in that respect. We see the same thing in Korea, where blood is thicker than water, and those most endangered by one of the last Stalinist states are the quickest to excuse their crazy cousins to the North, who are just misunderstood and vitimized by foreigners.

And we see it in the U.S,, where "tribes" in major cities and within ethnic groups jockey for advantage, and where Jim Webb was elected Senator by claiming that the Scotch Irish tribe has been underappreciated.

And it is not just waves of foreign aid that have broken fruitlessly against that rocky shore. I am convinced that one reason for the opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom is that some fear that we will put two and two together and launch a "surge" against the domestic forces of tribalism.

4/07/2007 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"AQ and the Saudi clerics along with the Islamists in Pakistan."

You forgot Zawahiri the genocidal dwarf and his madcap band of Egyptians.

4/07/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Shiites attacking Shiites:

American troops swept into the troubled, predominantly Shiite city of Diwaniyah before dawn on Friday, killing three militia fighters and capturing 27 in the first day of the assault, the military said. The attack - named "Operation Black Eagle" - targeted gunmen loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Fighting continued Saturday.

Dozens of people have been killed in Diwaniyah during the past weeks and the attacks have been blamed by residents on the Mahdi Army, al-Sadr's militia.

Many women, accused by the hard-line and fundamentalist militiamen of violating their interpretation of Islamic morality, are among the dead. Police, residents who work for coalition forces at a nearby Polish army base, journalists and the wealthy, who have been kidnapped for ransom and then killed also have been targeted.

Saturday's airstrike grew out of a tip from residents who told Iraqi military officials that militiamen were operating in the area, the U.S. military said in a statement.

4/07/2007 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

"It's an amazing example of the power of the clan and sectarian system, that after billions in foreign aid...."

The power of the clan and sectarian system is based on instinct.

All species are preprogrammed to propagate their genetic encoding. The survival of my genetic encoding is more important to me than the survival of your genetic encoding.

Intermarriage if the only way to overcome the biological instinctual nature of the clan/sectaran systems.

The Royals of the 1600 hundreds understood a peace treaty wasn't a peace treaty until they exchanged daughters.

The mongolian hordes understood a conquest wasn't a conquest until they had impregnated the other sides daughters.

While many diplomats and government officials will take credit for solving the "Northern Ireland' the 30 years of the 'troubles' the rates on intermarriage rose.

While "balkinization" and "two state" solutions as short term solutions to keeping warring clans separated...only intermarriage provides the biological imperative to actually stop warring.

4/07/2007 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I also don't think the Bushies ever though topping Saddam would be a limited event with a neat and tidy wrap-up. I think they knew going into it that it would be extremely messy, and long-term, but made the bottom-line decision that things weren't working in the Middle East the way they were, so change it. Bush calculated that we'd be able to deal with the changes, whatever they turned out to be -- to outrun the avalanche.

Various instigators of going into Iraq have been saying since the get-go four years ago that it would be "a long hard slog". And it has been.

But we've also been told that the old policy of dealing with the thugs in power in the name of peace and stability wasn't working. Everywhere democracy has ever been introduced, it has ended up being the preferred method of running things, and I think that Bush counted on that historical fact. That if we threw out the current sitting thugs-in-residence and introduced the concept of democracy, that eventually the people of the various countries of the Middle East would more or less see it our way, and come over to us from the Dark Side.

As far as I can see, this is more or less working. Instability *has* been introduced throughout the Middle East, and even Saudi Arabia is introducing reforms that involve voting. No matter how much blood is shed in Iraq, I don't see that country ever going back to a president-for-life dictatorship. Ditto Lebanon.

Egypt's Mubarek is working on creading his own Presidency-for-life and there is every indication that *his* country is also a volcano preparing to erupt with dis-satisfaction. Bahrain, Dubai and the other smaller Gulf states are working furiously to modify their behavior to make themselves more attractive to Western business interests. "60 Minutes" goes into Dubai and does a story on mistreated 3rd world workers who are doing the actual physical labor for their building boom, and within two months, the resident Royal issues proclamations to rebuild their housing and to limit their work shifts.

The Middle East has been criticizing both America and Israel for years now ... but I don't see us doing away with elections or putting women in abayas or closing down Gitmo because of their criticism. And I *do* seem the Middle East slowly lurching towards change -- as a result of our example, as a result of our criticism and their resulting embarrassment, and as a result of the introduction of democracy into Iraq.

4/07/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I think this thread is an excellent example in how much Belmont commentators and Richard have learned in the last 4 years.

There were people who were pretty much on mark about the consequences of Reagan's love of his Holy Mujahadeen Freedom Fighters and the neocon idiots who saw a Twin Iraq-Israel secular democratic alliance bathing the ME in the glow of progressivism, progress, and modernity.
With the latter a "cakewalk" with the lowered price of oil paying for the whole "liberation" of Iraq.

There were people on mark. But they weren't listened to.

I think some commentators are right about the hysteria. It isn't just about incompetent Bushies. It is about the fear of the Left that so many of their cherished postmodern theories about multiculti being the greatest think in a "globalized coca-cola ad type commercial, the supreme majesty and moral authority of the UN, and the primacy of international law/elite bureaucrats/Davos types in guiding the planet appear to be heading for Catastrophe.

For now, they can hysterically blame Bush for it. But Bush will be gone soon and the wreckage of all the unrealistic asylum laws, given 193 nations equal votes at the UN, rampant tribalism disguised as "good" multiculti, all the focus on "international law truly heeded by less than a dozen nations - will be apparant.

By ethnic cleansing.
By barbarism in face of law Euroweenies are powerless to stop and the US stands by.
By failure of the global elites and their liquidation in many countries.

Dark days ahead.
The progressive fantasy will end in another WWI, I'm afraid.
Hence, the desperation.

It is just a shame that we no longer hold the policy-makers behind this responsible. We kick them up to plumb jobs at the World Bank and think tanks and corporate boards where they get millions.

By all rights, Michael Ledeen, Doug Feith, DeVillipan, George Soros, Teddy Kennedy, Amahdinejad, Richard Perle, George Bush II and their fellow sort belong in a cold, distant Gulag. As does half the ACLU and half the "noble purple fingered" population of Iraq.

4/07/2007 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...

Various instigators of going into Iraq have been saying since the get-go four years ago that it would be "a long hard slog". And it has been.

Really? Funny, that's not what I remember Donald Rumsfeld saying at the start of the War:

"I can't say if the use of force would last five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that," Rumsfeld said. "It won't be a World War III."

He rejected Saddam's claims that Iraq has no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs.

"We know that Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons, and we know he has an active program for development of nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said.

How soon we forget Nahncee. To remember better we could also hunt up statements from "House of Cards" Cheney, Wolfowitz or "Cakewalk" Adelman, but I think the point is clear. This was suppossed to have been quick and the planning, or lack there of, emphasizes the point further.

4/07/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

Soldier's Dad:

Early English anthropologist Edward Tylor had an aphorism for what you describe (the role of exogamy vis a vis martial/marital affairs):

"Marry out, or be killed out."

Actually, that was his (succinct) explanation for the incest taboo.

4/07/2007 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I guess, Reocon, it's helpful if you can first know it before you forget it. In your case, that's difficult since you evidently know absolutely nothing ... so how can you determine what anyone else has forgotten?

October 23, 2003: CNN "Rumsfeld predicts 'long, hard slog' in Iraq"

Canberra House, Australia: October, 2003
Q Mr. President, the Defense Secretary has written a memorandum saying there have been mixed results in the war on terror, that it's going to be a long, hard slog, and no bold steps have been taken yet. Do you agree with that characterization?

PRESIDENT BUSH: What I agree with is that the war on terror is going to be tough work, and it's going to take a while.

April 2004, Portland Independent Media Center: "2nd year of "long hard slog"

Were you asleep, Reocon, when these statements were being made, or has your Bush Derangement Syndrome so completely sent you over the edge that your reality is just one long hallucination now?

Or I guess another option is just that you're really really really stupid.

4/07/2007 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Reliapundit said...


4/07/2007 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, nahncee, I do not know about reocon and his sleeping habits, but I was awake when Mr Bush said this, on 39 Jan 02:
We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. (Applause.) And all nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security.

We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. (Applause.)

Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch -- yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.

We can't stop short. If we stop now -- leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked -- our sense of security would be false and temporary. History has called America and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom's fight.

Since then the War on Terror is no longer a Federal budget item nor expense catagory.

aQ training bases and camps flourish in Pakistan, while we sit be in Afghanistan, watching.

By Mr Bush's own admission the Golden Mosque bombing stopped US short in Iraq. Leading US to slow failure there in Iraq, due to the sectarian violence in the year since that Mosque attack.

The Koreans have detonated a nuclear device, while they were still on the Axis of Evil team.

For every quote there is a counter, prior. Back to '99 and Mr Bush and Ms Rice dismissing the use of the US Army & Military as a police force in a nation building process. They were not trained for that, they said. They were right.

4/07/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"Bush Derangement Syndrone" is probably the single most absurd non siquitur coined by the blind for the factually deaf. Pick a world map. Pin it to a wall. Pick up two highlighters, one yellow and one pink.

Stare at the map very carefully. Get your bearings.

With the yellow pen, shade the countries where American influence, prestige or security has been improved by GWB. That step should not take long.

Start pinking the rest.

4/08/2007 03:03:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

If we had killed al Sadr too early, it would have just given power back to Saddam's Baathists. It wasn't until very recently, when al Sadr's group matched the Baathist toture by torture, death by death, that the Sunni insurgents started realizing that they wouldn't automatically take over Iraq again once coalition forces left.

4/08/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...
October 23, 2003: CNN "Rumsfeld predicts 'long, hard slog' in Iraq"

Nahncee, Nahncee, my dear deeply confused Nahncee: just when do you think the war STARTED? Read, very carefully, YOUR OWN words: Various instigators of going into Iraq have been saying since the get-go four years ago that it would be "a long hard slog". And it has been.

What part of "since the get go" do you not understand? I provided an overly-optimistic Rumsfeldian quote from November 2002 and you respond with another of his AFTER the start of the Sunni insurgency (October, 03)! Clearly not the "get go" but the dumsbtruck aftermath when the DoD began to realize that all their assumptions are wrong. Sloppy. Foolish.

So tell me Nahncee, when did the war start for you? And please, expound a bit more on how really, realy stupid I am for being able to tell time.

4/08/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

When the war started? Any one of the following acts of war will do. Were you asleep during all of them, too?

June 1968, assasination of Robert F. Kennedy by Sirhan Sirhan

Summer 1972 -- Munich Summer Olympics which I'll include here because it was a blatant act of terrorism and the West (excepting Israel) never lifted a finger in retribution.

November 1979, Iranian "students" take over American embassy and held Americans hostage for 444 days

April 1983, bombing of American barracks in Beirut

October 1985, hijacking of Achille Lauro and subsequent murder of Americans

December 1988, bombing of PanAm flight over Lockerbie Scotland

February 1993, first bombing of World Trade Center

October 2000, bombing of the Cole

But it took September 11, 2001 to really jolt at least 51% of us into wide awake alertness. Surely you weren't asleep that whole first week of 24/7 coverage of that little event.

And for people who like to play with markers, I really don't give a flying ANYthing if the rest of the world doesn't love us any more -- because did they ever? The message that has been given and received is "if you blow us up, VERY bad things will happen to you in return." Unless you're hunkered down in a cave somewhere and have nothing left to lose, that's a valuable message to understand.

Because the message that was given last week is "it's OK to kidnap and torment Great Britain" because unlike Americans, they will not fight back." But Great Britain probably doesn't matter, does it, because you can't play stupid little marker games as easily with *it*.

4/08/2007 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

2164th just articulated the Democrats' foreign policy--Let's do whatever it takes to be loved by everyone else in the world. Popularity among thug Eastern states and rotting Western states...What high ideals.

Being unpopular in the ME in particular leads me to believe that we are doing something right.

4/08/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Chris, this is the way it is. I would rather play poker with George the younger than be his backer in the game.

4/08/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger redball6 said...

Gentlemen respectfully the only clear path is to fight on and fight through this period, the Islamic world has been here -fascism on several prior occassions in past centuries, times were different, even the religion in certain practices was different- the desire was always the same. Perhaps this time we-the west and the far east will bring them into the modern world. Achievement of this worthy goal requires we fight on, in the final analysis if you know your history these historical currents take time to shift or reverse and there are always eddies associated with these changes.

Yet at the end of the day its economics more than combat that will bring about our mutual objectives, as for now civil war or no civil war we must fight on. Slowly ever so slowly even Europe is realizing this. So take heart, Hate the christians, hate the jews, hate Bush, or Rove or Pelosi, Clinton hate em all or anyone, the only alternative is to fight on.


4/08/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

The real eye opener for me from the Iraqi mess has been the power of tribes. They represent a baseline political force that we can grow beyond but never really leave behind.

The insight is that the progressive notion that the US of A is one political and legal entity with no cultural, ethnic, racial, or religious foundation is a fantasy.

Here in the US we see the willful suppression of internal mechanisms for maintaining internal cohesiveness. Multiculturalism and bilingual education all work to break us apart.

Are the Iraqi Sunni and Shites as close to each other culturally as Mexican illegals and American rednecks?

4/09/2007 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

All these comments about what we could’a should’a have done in April 2003, and no one remembers what else happened the first week of that month???

Hint, it was a little west of Baghdad, and arguably a much bigger than Sadr’s army.

Also, there was no Iraqi Government, just an Iraqi governing council, going nuts and threatening to walk out and scuttle our June turn-over date. We were under election pressure from Democrats for results, and we were caught flat footed, with equipment readiness ratios at an all time low (I am told).

This is not an excuse, just a ridiculous thing to leave out to the equation regarding what we could and should have done.

4/10/2007 09:07:00 AM  

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