Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tit for tat

Any connection between these two headlines? Iran behind Green Zone barrage: Petraeus and Iraq cracks down in Basra?

LA Times sources think there might be. "Officials from Maliki's government worry that Sadr's followers could have been behind mortar strikes Sunday on Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, home to the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy. They believed the attacks were probably meant to remind Iraqi and U.S. officials of the Mahdi Army's ability to affect Baghdad's stability."

One of the rumored frictions between Petraeus and former CENTCOM CINC "Fox" Fallon centered around how strongly to respond to threats from Iranian sponsored groups. And Sadr's men would fall under that category. Maj Gen Paul Vallely was quoted as saying CENTCOM may not have been done all that it could to prevent Iran from endangering American troops.

“The fact is that [Central Command] had the external responsibility to protect our troops in Iraq from the outside and under Fallon they failed to do it,” said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, a military analyst. “We have done nothing to protect our soldiers from external threats in Iraq.”





The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.

14 Comments:

Blogger Manny C said...

Here is another example of Tit for Tat vis-a-vis Saudi Oil Supply and U.S. might.

I have always been a big fan of tit-for-tat. Or rather probably the best solution to the iterated version of prisoner's dilemma. Which is what international diplomacy could boil down to. Someone wacks you one, you wack them back.

Your example being one. And my post's description of Cheney's arm wringing in Saudi Arabia being the second. Notice the oil price fall recently? Oh yeah, that could be Cheney tell the Saudis to pump more oil and build up refining capacity, or else it will untether the USAF and speed up its coal liquefaction project.

3/25/2008 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

A recent article said that what really took the wind out of Sadar’s sails was the vastly improved security situation. The fat little punk’s main power was in protecting Shia from Sunni and Al Queda attacks. When those died off, his gang of thugs became the biggest problem. And the man himself has not been seen for a year.

I rather think it more likely that, - with Iraq news appearing in U.S. news outlets at a small fraction of what it was when we were “losing” – the Iranians and their Iraqi stooges realized that their allies in the U.S. needed a boost. That analysis that showed that attacks in Iraq increased following anti-war statements in the U.S. explains it all.

3/25/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Coyotl said...

Wretchard, what in the world were you thinking when you wrote on March 2, "Ahmadinejad in Bagdad":

It has probably now been accepted in Teheran that toppling the new Iraq or subverting it to Iranian control is beyond the capability of the Qods or the Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

Accepted? Probably? Where did you conjure this from? This assertion was refuted the very day you posted it by both Rear Adm. Gregory Smith and Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno.

www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-080228-iraq-iran-story,1,4171570.story

Wretchard, do you really believe that Iran has no influence over the Iraqi Dawa party (Maliki's party) it formed and sheltered for so many years?! That SCII and its Iranian backed Badr brigades are totally free from Iranian input? There seems to be a perptual desire in the webpages of the Belmont Club to deny the manifest ideologies and alliances of the dominant Shiite Islamist parties in Iraq. Why?

3/25/2008 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kadai Sono Narabi said...

The IA is finally starting to project power without significant U.S. support; this will sink ol' Sadr quick.

His days as a power broker are numberered. To paraphrase the mercenary Toombs, "You should have taken the offer when you had the chance."

3/25/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Coyotl said...

Just yesterday Wretchard posted the following from the Daily Telegraph:

Five years on from the invasion of Iraq, the apparent success of the American surge and growing stability in Basra are providing cautious grounds for optimism. There has been a palpable change in the atmosphere in Basra since Britain formally handed over control of the province to the Iraqis last December.

What then, is the WaPo writing about when they report today that:

Violence has gripped Basra since December, when British troops handed over control of the province to the Iraqi government. A power struggle between the Mahdi Army and its main rival, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and its armed wing, the Badr Brigade, has battered the city in recent months.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/25/AR2008032500461.html?hpid=topnews

It looks like Maliki has been concerned for months about the "growing stability" in Basra! And I guess that the Daily Telgraph didn't look too deeply behind the "palpable change in the atmosphere."

3/25/2008 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

It was Fallon inability to play the perception game, handicapping US efforts in the area. Some folks just can't carry it off, some can. But the question remains what are US intentions re the Sadr side of the street, the Iranian side of the river and what has the continued jockeying for power in Basra have to do with the Admiral's resignation?

It would appear that the Admiral could not through force of personality project the might of US Navy power in such a way that impressed the parties involved. Without a voice that is heard, lessons of objectivity are sometime the preferred method of getting someones attention. But till recently it was not in our or Iraq's interest to resort to such lessons.

The Provincial election laws which have reportedly been signed off on are more likely to be the impetus for the renewed ruckus. They would give to local officials the power to just say no to Sadar, and the radical shi'a that have have been a thorn in Basra's side since 2003. Remember the video stores and other shops selling wares that are now a distant memory. the people are rejecting the Sadrist religious regimen, just as AlQ was told to leave too. Unless some dramatic and diplomatic occurs and I mean very dramatic, do not look for Basra to cool much. The palpable change of atmosphere is the frustration of the government and the local population with both Badr and Sadr.

At least that is how I interpret the situation, and I am resigned to the knowledge that I am probably wrong.

3/25/2008 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible
--Voltaire

3/25/2008 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Governments require an absolute monopoly on force. As far as Basra goes, it was just time. AQI is pretty much wrapped up. Things have to happen fast while the Americans are still in town.

Everybody knew we should have shot Sadr from the first news story that ever appeared on him. Many decisions can be rationalized in hindsight, but I've always been puzzled over that one.

3/26/2008 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Something for Iraq’s Sunnis to live for"

3/26/2008 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Cutting off Afghanistan"

3/26/2008 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iran, Not al-Sadr, Leading Shi'a Attacks In Iraq

3/26/2008 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

were getting closer to that 1000th cut.

"The shelling of the ‘Green Zone’ (or International Zone) in Baghdad in coordination with attacks throughout southern Iraq from Basra to Baghdad are not a reaction to an al-Sadr decision any more than they are the effects of his military leadership and command. They are the fruits of Iranian labor.

The rockets used in the Green Zone attacks “were Iranian-provided, Iranian-made rockets,” General Petraeus said.

Can we dismiss this from the most successful US commander in Iraq since the conflict began? Further, is it wise to also dismiss the trend of Iranian command changes across the board to operational ground commanders? And, is it wise to forget that Muqtada al-Sadr announced his seclusion and withdrawal from command (at the behest of his Iranian masters)?

In order to minimize or dismiss Iran’s guiding hand in the fighting in Iraq, one must do all of these things. And this is completely illogical. Completely.

Yet, so desperate some seem to avoid any conflict with Iran, they ignore that fact that Iran has already chosen the conflict, whether we like it or not.

It is an ‘Inconvenient Truth.’"

3/26/2008 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

coyotl - the best you can do to buffer your delusions is to quote the thoroughly honesty and fact-impugned newspaper media of the United States? You have the nerve to accuse Wretchard of being wrong because some lefty liberal progressive media rag made up a bunch more lies and backed them up with a few more forged documents?

Do you have any idea just how gullible that makes you sound, and just how jealous your attacks of Wretchard sound? Obviously you're an adult because you do read newspapers, but really -- you sound like a playground pontificator quoting from the kindergarten newsletter.

Full of sound and fury, and signifying - literally - nothing.

3/26/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Coyotl said...

NahnCee said...
coyotl - the best you can do to buffer your delusions is to quote the thoroughly honesty and fact-impugned newspaper media of the United States? You have the nerve to accuse Wretchard of being wrong because some lefty liberal progressive media rag made up a bunch more lies and backed them up with a few more forged documents?

So Nahncee, you think that ALL the many newspapers that reported that Rear Adm. Smith, Lt. Gen. Odierno and Gen. Petraeus publically stated their fear of Iranian backed "special groups" are lying? Mmmmhhm.

And that the Daily Telegraph's report, that Wretchard posted, which claimed earlier this month that all is peaceful and stable in Basra are right? Do you still read newspapers, Nahncee?

Yes, Nahncee, let us talk about "gullibility." I don't think I can help you, Madam.

3/26/2008 12:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger