Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sad R City

Bill Roggio has more details on the targets of the American assault on Sadr city. It was aimed squarely at an Iranian Qods-backed bombing cell. "A joint Iraqi and US force conducted a raid inside Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 30 members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups cells and capturing 12."

The strike force was targeting a "cell of a Special Groups terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq into Iran for terrorist training," according to the Multinational Forces Iraq press release.

"The targeted individual in last night’s raid acts as a proxy between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and the Iraqi EFP network," and "assists with the facilitation of weapons and EFP shipments into Iraq as well as the transfer of militant extremists to Iran for training."



Bill Roggio says the latest attack is part of a wider campaign to roll up the Iranian networks operating in Iraq.

The raid in Baghdad was driven by intelligence gained over the past several months. Multinational Forces Iraq stated that today's raid is the latest in "a series of coordinated operations efforts that began with the raid in al Amarah in June." The June operation in Amarah targeted the Qazali Network, which is now referred to as being part of the Special Groups network, along with the Sheibani Network and elements of the rogue Mahdi Army. Over 20 members of the Qazali network were killed, six wounded, and one captured in the Amarah raid.

One of the unanswered questions is how far deep the attacks into the Iranian terrorist conveyor belt goes. MNF-I doesn't actually need to cross the Iranian border to perform a lethal interdiction. Possibly the most damaging form of attack is an intelligence penetration of the Iranian training centers across the border and identifying the members of the EFP cells even before they returned to Iraq.

32 Comments:

Blogger Terry said...

Ooo-rahhh...

8/09/2007 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

No wonder Maliki is pissed off. Not only are we picking on his little buddy Sadr, but we're going after his backdoor funding source and potential hidey-hole if he has to leave Baghdad suddenly. The Mad Mullahs will NOT be pleased with his performance if he continues to allow Americans to rampage around killing Iranian terrorists and bomb-makers at will.

8/09/2007 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

"One of the unanswered questions is how far deep the attacks into the Iranian terrorist conveyor belt goes."

Tehran, the presidential palace.

8/09/2007 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger John J. Coupal said...

As long as the world continues to learn of Iran's creating terror in Iraq, we're on track.

Information is a major tactic in this War.

8/10/2007 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/10/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

8/10/2007 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

What we are seeing out of the Surge is a hint that success is possible -- including the least likely form of success, the kind many even on the right wrote off: a democratic sea change in Iraqi society. Watching the local communities and tribes start to bring about the reality they want, leading rather than following the central government, is inspiring.

Sourced from a Blackfive interview with US General Bergner. I think the biggest mistake post-combat was putting a suit, tie and briefcase guy in charge of the operation. Had the US done nothing early on other than put kinetics on the really bad guys I suspect the Iraqi tribal leaders would have patched together a functioning framework themselves - as they are doing now.

I'm guessing that the impetus for this local initiative is coming from Petraeus. This guy is looking more impressive as a creative thinker with each day. There's no way the Washington or Baghdad politicos can keep up with somebody like Petraeus who gets big things done before they even learn the plan, which can mean only in the long run that the politicians will run him down and banish him as quickly as they can.

8/10/2007 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

I agree, peterboston. the democrats are really going to be backed into a corner if the surge continues to be successful. is it your opinion that the democrats would continue their opposition to the war, even if we have turned the corner, just to consolidate their power? the next few months are going to be interesting.

8/10/2007 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The Democrats will have always a sad story to tell. If we carry General Bergner's observations to an optimsistic conclusion - that local tribal and municipal leaders successfully maintain security zones in the hinterlands - the Dems will argue that the Iraqi central government is a mess and that although the Surge achieved some good results it failed in the center.

Since it is very unlikely that the Iraqi executive and all the Iraqi legislative factions will agree on everything by mid-September the agrument cannot be dismissed out of hand.

It seems clear enough to me anyway that the Democrats' fortunes, as they preceive it, are married to defining Iraq as a failure regardless of the facts on the ground. The MSM will be more than happy to carry their water so it would take a very visible sign of success in Iraq to overcome their momentum. Something like a Zawahiri tape admitting defeat. AQ is media savvy and a flurry of suicide bombings in September is a lot more likely.

8/10/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Peterboston: Yes, the Dems are indeed wedded to the idea of defining OIF as a defeat. Just as they were wedded to calling Reaganomics a demonstrated failure (they did so BEFORE Ronald Reagan even took office) and promoted the idea that "Yes, the U.S. is now winning the Cold War but that does not matter now that we have such huge, crushing deficit" when Reagan left office. Even after the undeniable triumph of Desert Storm they claimed it was all a failure.

The really scary part is that they are willing to give the Bin Ladens and Zawahiries a basis for claiming victory just so that the Reids and Pelosis can claim defeat.

Also, relative to the impact on the Qods forces back in Iran - don't forget that the U.S Ambassador to Iraq very clearly stated that if the Qods continue to intervene in Iraq those forces "WILL NOT BE SAFE IN IRAN." I can hardly wait for that one to be implemented.

8/10/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

pakistan and iran remind of cambodia in vietnam. only we would never, ever invade them, like we did cambodia. would we if we were not in afghanistan? doubtful. the msm would blow-up if we entered either one of those countries in a big way

8/10/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

NahnCee said...
No wonder Maliki is pissed off. Not only are we picking on his little buddy Sadr, but we're going after his backdoor funding source and potential hidey-hole if he has to leave Baghdad suddenly.

And yet NahnCee we're sending our soldiers to fight and die to support Maliki's gov't . . . in the vain attempt that he'll find a political settlement with Sunni insurgents (like the 1920s Brigade) that have killed hundreds of American troops. Does anyone still believe that we're fighting to spread democracy in the MidEast if this is the result? BCers? Wretchard?

8/10/2007 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I suppose you can phrase your question to get any result you want. are we sending our soldiers to fight and die to support Maliki's gov't is a good start toward an obvious desired result.

Removing Saddam and establishing a presence in the heart of the ME are worthy strategic objectives. The closer the Iraqis get to a representative government the better, but anything other than a central government run by AQ or the mullahs is an acceptable outcome. Maliki is more accommodating to Iran, and more reliant on Shia militias than many would like him to be but no reasonable argument can be made that he is an outright tool of the mullahs. We drew some bad cards with Maliki but we can still play the hand.

Being critical of our presence in Iraq begs the question of "then what?" Where better, unless you advocate a withdrawal of all US forces from the region.

8/10/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The thought occurs that if we can declare victory in Iraq -- we're winning, we've won -- isn't that an equally good reason to get the hell out of there?

My answer to the question "then what" is strongly suggest the Iraqi's have another election, letting them know that after they've elected who-ever next time, they'd better get it right, because we're leaving.

They've done the election thing now, they should understand what being represented means, they should understand what happens when you let militia's and death squads run wild, and they REALLY need to understand that we're not going to be there for ever and ever, just because their young men need the passing-into-maturity experience of shooting at their very own American soldiers.

We've put the training wheels on the bicycle, we've run along behind the wobbley first turns at riding said bike, and in my opinion, the time is here to give them one final push and let them solo. If they then decide to steer their brand spanking new state over a cliff and end up in a bloody heap ... why is that our problem?

8/10/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

Maliki visits Iran--walks hand in hand with its leader, Muki the Mullah and his Sadr bad boys get weapons to kill Iraqis and unlucky Americans from Iran: Do I have this right? (I don't care if Moookii is a mullah, iman, or whatever for those who cross every t and dot every i)

I knew years ago we got really stupid with this guy Sadr and his boys when we decided not to bomb nor invade that cemetery chasing his bad boys, nor using a sniper to take that fat pig out!

Wonder if Bush, Pelosi, or Reid have visited with some of the American families those Shiite scums have killed and wounded for life?

"I feel your pain" may be the best or the only thoughts these idiots, real clowns I think, might be able to come up with:

I want our military to bring back the heads of some of those Sadr bad boys, especially that fat leader.

As for this "religion of peace" and those who refuse to define this "war on terror" as a mass movement enveloped within the muslim world and Isalm: I've got this to say.

Send your sons and daughters now to fight this fight before they get killed driving to the local Burger King trying out their new fad: "Fire in the hole."

If you find this thinking highly distorted, I remind you of kids who want to fight, but before they do they argue about the rules: No biting, no hitting low, no kicking, and no crying.

War should have different rules. I suggest our rules of engagement have been more kid like than war like...ask any lawyer!

8/10/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Iraq is much more than about Iraq.

I'm not a Thomas Barnett disciple but I do think he has branded some terms and phrases that are intuitively useful in describing the world. The Core and the Gap describe the 2/3 of the world that has integrated into the global economy and the 1/3 (primarily Muslim) that remain in the Dark Ages.

If the USA does nothing at all to affect the outcome the chaos created by the Gap will overwhelm the relative peace and prosperity enjoyed by the Core. The GWOT is very much a part of beating back the chaos. The thought experiment of an apocalyptic Islam destroying oil production facilities across the Gulf fits that scenario although global economic chaos could result from much less dramatic disruptions.

So the battle in Iraq may be better described as keeping Iraq out of the Gap if the more ambitious objective of bringing it into the Core is not immediately in the cards. In that sense if we concede Iraq to the Islamists then we contribute to the ability of the chaos makers and make it much more difficult and costly to achive a more desirable outcome in the future.

8/10/2007 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All this Iranian rhetoric, what a jingoistic joke. Here is the reality of US economic subsidies to Iran. $220 Million USD in 2007, and $870,000,000 in the pipeline for 2008.

As Iran's Atomic Energy Organization moves toward its announced goal of operating 50,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges in Natanz, the World Bank is funding nine government projects in Iran totaling $1.35 billion -- one of which operates in Isfahan, where Iran's nuclear program is headquartered.

While the World Bank is part of the U.N. family, the bank's board is disconnected from the policies of key U.N. agencies -- especially the Security Council and the IAEA.
The United States remains the top investor in the World Bank, contributing $950 million in 2006 and $940 million this year.
In June the House of Representatives approved another $950 million. Meanwhile, the bank will disburse $220 million to Iran this year, with more than $870 million in the pipeline for 2008, 2009 and 2010.
...
One has to wonder why a country that exports 2.6 million barrels of oil a day needs World Bank development assistance. Iran's oil export revenue nearly doubled between 2003 and 2005, from $23.7 billion to $46.6 billion. That number grew to $50 billion last year. Iran's real gross domestic product grew 4.8 percent in 2004 and 5.6 percent in 2005.
Why does Iran need World Bank aid?

Does makes me wonder, why does the US subsidize Iranian projects through the World Bank?

Because the Federals are corrupt to the core, Administration actions not matching their rhetoric. Not even close.

While Iranian munitions kill US troops, we finance their deployment, because monies are fungible, hermanos.

That's the truth, the rest is the spin of provocateurs, keeping the "liitle people" in the US agitated and afraid.

But the US is subsidizing the Iranians to the tune of $220 million USD this year, no doubt about it. $870,000,000 next year.

We should withdraw all funding from the World Bank, until those deals are scrapped or complete.
Or the war drum rhetoric should stop, here at the Club as well as at the White House.

But then few here support the US and it's actual foreign policies, prefering jingoistic rhetoric instead.

8/10/2007 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

Hey PeterBoston...that sounds great, unless your son or daughter is walking around those danger zones with bad guys trying to kill them.

Leaders do that, lead. I argue that our political leaders have constrained our military efforts for reasons that are, in my opinion, flawed.

I agree on your big picture, but as a leader, I won't stand for poor performance...I fire those who don't deliver (reasonable expectations, etc.).

Our political leaders have failed on numerous fronts, both externally and internally. I am especially irritated at how our government has left behind the American public in this struggle. We should be the greatest supporters of our war efforts.

Take that idiot Murtha for an example. Since when do ex marines get away with such verbal abuse toward our military? Don't even get me started.

I am on your side, just looking at a different part of this ugly puzzle. Keep up the fine postings, but keep the lease shorter on these clowns.

8/10/2007 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If the USA does nothing at all to affect the outcome the chaos created by the Gap will overwhelm the relative peace and prosperity enjoyed by the Core.

If we quarantine Muslims into their own states and don't allow them to come into the Core for medical reasons, nor for education and certainly not for tourism nor any other reason, then how can they hurt us?

Where is it written that Arabs and Muslims have an inherent god-given birthright to come to the United States (or any other Western country)?

If sovereignty means a country has a right not to be invaded in war, doesn't it also mean that a country has a right to keep ANY one out that it deems to be undesirable for ANY reason? Especially if we've already declared a sorta/kinda war?

Can anyone tell me what, exactly, we gain by allowing Arabs and Muslims to immigrate here or to visit? What are they adding to the stew of our societies that we don't already have, except the poison of Islamic hatreds?

8/10/2007 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

nahncee-here in minneapolis we have the largest somalian immigrant population in the country. guess who is primarily responsible for that? lutheran social services. and for that we get airport cabbies that want to deny you service if you carry alcohol, are blind and have a guide dog, or are gay. if we are that stupid as to allow christian groups to bring in a group of people that really would rather have sharia law than the bill of rights, maybe we will deserve what we get

8/10/2007 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Curtis said...

Nahncee, I think the quickest way out of Iraq is behaving and talking like we want to be there for 50 more years, rather than 5 more months. Constantly talking about leaving does nothing but push the Shia to the Iranian bosom (read recently an interview where a Shia said "we know Iran isn't going anywhere") and the Sunnis to the Syrian or Saudi benefactor. It's a paradox, to be sure, but if we could ever change the rhetoric to we are going to stay here 100 years until you guys get it right we will be out of there in a year.

8/10/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

PeterBoston said...
I suppose you can phrase your question to get any result you want. are we sending our soldiers to fight and die to support Maliki's gov't is a good start toward an obvious desired result.

It's not a question, PeterBoston -- it's a statement. If not to fight and die to support a Shiite Islamist gov't run by the man who once operated Dawa's Jihad Office in Syria, then what Iraqi government do you think we are trying to support? Seems you have some current events to catch up on.

The closer the Iraqis get to a representative government the better, but anything other than a central government run by AQ or the mullahs is an acceptable outcome.

The closer they get? Come now, Peter, are you saying that Maliki was not legitimately elected? That Iraqis did not vote along ethnic lines and put the Shiite Islamist United Iraqi Alliance in power? You seemed to have missed vital parts of '05-06.

Maliki is more accommodating to Iran, and more reliant on Shia militias than many would like him to be but no reasonable argument can be made that he is an outright tool of the mullahs.

Let's see: Dawa was founded and based in Iran in the early 80s and dedicated to spreading the Khomeneist revolution in Iraq. It was declared an adjunct of Iran and a terrorist organization by the REAGAN administration. Maliki ran Dawa's Jihad Office in Damascus in the mid-80s, has been very chummy with Ahmadinejad, and has stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has a constructive, long-term role to play in Iraq. Yes, yes, it is entirely reasonable to assume that he is a steadfast friend to America and a proponent of a secular, democratic Iraq. I'd like to know how much sapce you see between being "reliant" and being a "tool."

Tell me, PeterBoston, how has it come to pass that the definition our "success" in Iraq rests on such a man?

8/11/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Maliki is not the most desirable PM we could have seen but Maliki is not the government of Iraq either. As you have deftly pointed out there were national elections. Ineffective and dysfunctional as it may be Iraq does have an elected coalition government with a ministerial portfolio representative of the different factions. Whether or not this bunch can ever get its act together or not remains to be seen but their very existence is dispositive of your premise that Maliki=Iraq=Iran.

If you are indeed so expert at channeling Maliki's innermost thoughts why not offer your services to Gen. Patreus? The good General seems to be doing a fairly effective job of degrading Maliki's underground power base on his own, but somebody with your knowledge would take it to the finish line.

8/11/2007 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

PeterBoston said
. . .Maliki is not the government of Iraq either . . .Ineffective and dysfunctional as it may be Iraq does have an elected coalition government with a ministerial portfolio representative of the different factions.

A quick troll through a news search engine should reveal to you what remains of Maliki's ministerial portfolio after this summer's defections. (Then again, was it really in our interest to have an alliance between the UIA and Mutlak's neo-Baathists Peter? What do you think, if you think of these things at all?)

Whether or not this bunch can ever get its act together or not remains to be seen but their very existence is dispositive of your premise that Maliki=Iraq=Iran.

Since I seem to be informing you for the first time of the disintegration of much of Maliki's portfolio, maybe you can do a little research then revisit the question as to the integrity of the central government under Maliki. You might also want to research Stephen Hadley's report on America's dearest ally which came out some months ago.

If you are indeed so expert at channeling Maliki's innermost thoughts why not offer your services to Gen. Patreus?

If Petraeus doesn't know the true nature of Maliki by now then he is unfit for his post.

The good General seems to be doing a fairly effective job of degrading Maliki's underground power base on his own, but somebody with your knowledge would take it to the finish line.

So, what you are saying is that Petraeus is degrading Maliki's "underground power base" while trying to simultaneously build up his above ground power base by establishing an effective Iraqi military loyal to the central government. Capital! Is not the Iraqi Prime Minister the Commander in Chief? We don't trust Maliki with his barely covert para-state apparatus, but we do with legitimate state power? You appear rather confused Mr. Boston, and thus an easy dupe for Islamism.

Let us be honest with each other. Maliki is scum and not worth a single American life. Simply look to his past history within Dawa, an openly Khomeneist party for which you now give tacit support. Can we not agree that it is not in America's interests to prop up this villain or any of the his related Shiite Islamist cohorts (SIIC, Sadr/Mahdi, Fadhila, etc.)?

8/11/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

recon

Your discussion style is pretty much that of an adolescent ass. Instead of quibbling about the surly waiters or the menu how about the priority of preventing the restaurant from becoming a munitions factory?

8/11/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

I've been reading the ongoing posts of Peterboston and Reocon.

I imagine myself propped up on the island of that aircraft carrier from which President Bush landed and made his "mission accomplished" comments...some years ago. I imagine what his game plan was.

Where are we now? Seems far away from what one would imagine as a reasonable game plan.

Then, as I read your posts, I wonder if either of you have had real military experience, combat type experience, bullets in the air, bombs landing, buddies dying...you know what I am talking about: Valley of the shadow of death experiences.

Seems to me if you had such life altering experiences you might take a different tack in your posts, perhaps some of your thoughts.

The good Princeton General is working a game opposite from those who came before him. If he had the troops, this grass roots revolution he is attempting would be quicker and more successful. Do you hear the rumblings of a "draft" and note it is not coming from the lips of Congressman Rangel?

Do you think there are no PR reps on Maliki's team who are oblivious to American culture; who would have advised him not to walk hand in hand with Iran's "noble" leader?

Visit some American soldier's funereal, or a VA hospital where a man's head is caved in due to an IED.

Our problem is our elected leadership. Our war has shifted to this group of clowns. You can nuance all the ideas that come to your minds, but when the dust settles, it will be boots on the ground with a set of rules for engagement that demand victory, total victory. Lawyers will be writing simple wills, not demanding detainee's rights in every court they can find or create!

Kinda like Nick Berg's dad blaming our government for his failure, as a father, in teaching his son how to behave in strange lands; how to avoid strange, hostile societies; how to drop arrogant, and ignorant behaviors, beliefs and attitudes; to live life not on the edge but to realize freedom requires responsibilities for defending such a right.

While there may be many ways one can lose his or her head, none of them are desirable.

We need unity in purpose. Thanks for your posts; they agitate in many ways. I do think we are on the same team, just fighting from a multitude of positions.

8/11/2007 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

I imagine myself propped up on the island of that aircraft carrier from which President Bush landed and made his "mission accomplished" comments...

It was the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln who put up that banner not the White House. In his speech W said the opposite: that the task ahead was far from over and would take years.

(Sorry but the "Mission Accomplished" trope irks me every time I see it.)

8/12/2007 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Rosen said...

Alan:

"It was the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln who put up that banner not the White House. In his speech W said the opposite: that the task ahead was far from over and would take years."

Don't confuse us with the facts!

8/13/2007 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

PeterBoston said...

Instead of quibbling about the surly waiters or the menu how about the priority of preventing the restaurant from becoming a munitions factory?

It is an odd and inelegant metaphor you deploy, Boston, but I will stretch its thin tissue out for the sake of argument: The restaurant is ALREADY a munitions factory. The "restraurant manager" used to work in a bomb factory (Iran); loves his old job (holding hands in a lovefest with Ahmadinejad); and reeks of deception and cordite. In Maliki I see a man completely unworthy of his job and our trust. You aren't thrilled with him but deem the villain sufficient for America's tasks, for to really question his (self-evident) aims would be to jeopardize your misplaced faith in the current mutation of our mission.

Boston, you've not not answered any of the questions I posed which is very telling. My critique is deeper than just Maliki; I contend that none of the Shiite Islamist parties or their leaders are trustworthy. (Reuel Marc Gerecht has been silent for awhile now, and for good reason!) Nor are there any leading Sunni parties and politicians -- ranging from the corrupt neo-Baathist Ayad Allawi to Mashadani or Saleh Mutlak -- that we can rely on.

Therein lies a central problem that you and other advocates of this current phase of OIF are attempting to ignore. If you believe otherwise, that there is some new force, an emerging political base or coalition which is both trustworthy and capable of ruling Iraq, then please prove me wrong by naming them. Iraqi party, politician, who do you have faith in? Or must they remain absolutely vague in order to keep your hope alive?

8/13/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To me, the most interesting aspect of this article is the implication that:

General Patreaus seems to be operating inside the American Left's decision loop.

This war will be won or lost here in America.

8/13/2007 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

recon

The probability that you are an expert in behind the scenes Iraqi politics is zero.

8/13/2007 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

PeterBoston said...
recon

The probability that you are an expert in behind the scenes Iraqi politics is zero.


I would not claim expertise, Boston, but I do follow these things more diligently than the layman, for they are important. In addition, I am in regular conversation with pointy-headed men who can accurately claim expertise, or as close as you can come to it within the American FPI field. But come now Peter, you are attempting to draw attention away from your own ignorance, one that is evident in your lack of familiartity with the composition of present day Iraqi Shiite and Sunni Islamist party politics. This is unforgiveable for such an opinionated fellow, for the basics are not difficult to find on the internet with just a little bit of time and effort.

So why are you failing to do so faint-hearted Boston? Why can you not bring yourself to do even minimal research on the origins of Dawa, or SCIRI (SIIC), or find out who their third partner was in the United Iraqi Alliance? (UIA is the core of the current government, don't you know?) You want American troops to fight and die for the Iraqi government but shy away from examining the men and parties who compose that government. Is there any substance to your faith, or is it all spun sugar?

You are willing to trust Maliki but desparately avoid looking too critically at his close, close, oh-so-chummy relationship with Iran. You know how vital it is to bring the Sunnis into the coalitional fold, but can't bare to read up on the background and agendas of Sunni politicians and parties. You approvingly cite (8/10/07, 7:59AM) Gen. Bergner's talk of a "democratic sea change" in Iraq, one made up of "local communities and tribes" yet can not state what the aims (and names) of those communities and tribes are. What do you think the "tribal" interests are of the Sunni politician Saleh Mutlak or a Mashadani or an Abu Theeb? When local communities in Basra and Sadr City and Mosul and Kirkuk come together to "bring about the reality they want," (Gen. Bergner) what is the specific political nature of that reality?

Again, my claim -- which you apparently wish to contest -- is simple: none of the major Sunni or Shiite parties or politicians that won proportional control of the central government in '05 are worth a damn, let along a single American life. You want to assert the opposite, that there is an Iraqi government that is worth fighting for, but are too lazy or afraid to back up your all too vague assertion with easily obtainable facts. That is where the argument stands: my non-expert skepticism and your dhimmitude. Best wishes.
RC

8/13/2007 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger independentvoter said...

It does seem that Iran is trying to keep us bogged down in Iraq so that perhaps they can get their favorite militia leader in charge of the government and simultaneously prevent the US from bringing its military to bear on the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

my world political forum
-stuart

8/25/2007 06:24:00 AM  

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