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31 March 2008

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Montag

It's highly significant that the U.S. was completely "out of the loop" on this. Reminds me of the story of the Holy Roman Emperor seeking to weaken the too-powerful King of Bohemia by creating a Margrave of Moravia as a counterfoil. However, after the Margrave received his crown from the Emperor he immediately went to Prague to swear fealty to the King, because that's where the real power was. The Emperor had only succeeded in strengthening the King, not weakening him.

Curious

Sadr chain of command seems to be working, with ability to negotiate. They also are able to carry a relatively large coordinated offensive.

Maliki obviously wants something, on top of keeping crumbling government and legitimacy.

at any rate, it's interesting how this last clash ends.

Also, how did mcclatchydc get this news? This is not like any other reporters that comes out of Iraq as of late. Don't tell me they have established Iranian connection. Or probably insider deep in Maliki gov?

Very well done.

incidentally. Iran really needs a legitimate news service. Or else they will lost the world public opinion skirmish.

Lawyer Smith

Let's see, peace between the ex-patriot Iraqi Shia militias trained in Iran (Badr Brigade, et. al) and the Iranian funded in-country Shia militia, (The Mahdi Army) is being brokered by the Iranians - shocker! Almost as shocking as the Palestinians electing Hamas after the PLO was taken out. Almost as shocking as a Shia majority country electing fellow Shia after the foreign backed minority Sunnis were thrown off by the very people who put them in power 40 years ago. Even more surprising that a neighboring Shia majority country, who also threw off a foreign sponsored dictator who was put in place over 40 years ago to replace the fledgling democracy there, would participate in the other country's politics - especially since it funds and trained the people fighting for power - just shocking! Even more surprising than peace not breaking out all over the place as a result of invading and occupying a foreign country - because people just love being occupied, history tells us that, especially if their former leader was a "bad guy" in the eyes of the rest of the world! Just a complete surprise, I tell you!

Mark Gaughan

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”, Sir Walter Scott

Paul

Defining moment, eh? How much of this did the "brilliant" General Petraus forsee?

Imagine the intransigence of the Shia in talking to each other? The situation in Iraq can be analyzed to death but it is clear that Sadr plays us and "W" like a fiddle. The Iraq Study Group was correct is suggesting a phased withdrawal and troop-stacking on the various borders.

The present situation calls for Odierno's immediate return to Iraq to beat the crap out of everyone just to show 'em who is boss.

How pathetic the situation; but it is one endorsed by McCain and his coterie.

This would be high comedy a la Keystone Kops if not for the killing and maiming.

When will someone in Congress have the intestinal fortitude to immediately punish the criminals in the Administration for their false representations?

robt willmann

I was wondering last night (Sunday, the 30th) who might be in Moqtada al-Sadr's "kitchen cabinet".

Now we know who some of them are, assuming the above newspaper story is true.

The commander of the Quds brigades of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, et.al.!

The McClatchy article also indicates that the trip to Iran was made by "Iraqi lawmakers".
Thus, this appears not to be just al-Sadr, but some group within the so-called Iraqi parliament. The article refers to some of them as "members of [Maliki's] own party". Moreover, it states that al-Sadr is in Qom, Iran "pursuing religious studies"; well, that's not all he's pursuing there.

In a post earlier this year or last fall, I think I remember the Colonel discussing how Iran likes to try to get its fingers in all the pies in Iraq,regardless of affiliation, and remarking that compared to these people [the Persians/Iranians], we [the Americans] are children.

This is another indication that "those people over there" can solve their own problems, if permitted to operate within their own culture.

However, the problem of the gangster foreign policy remains, and the desire by those with political authority in the U.S., Britain, and Israel to continue to occupy Iraq for the reasons I mentioned previously.

Walter Lang

Lawyer Smith

Sunnis of one ethnicity or (mixed ethnicities) always ruled Iraq with the exception of the Buyid period in the Middle Ages.

The Shia never ruled Iraq except as I say in the Buyid period.

I suppose you are referring to the urban mythology that claims the US created Baath dominance in Iraq. There is no evidence for that. Does that mean it must be true? That would be Egyptian reasoning, as in the Princess Diana fable. It would also be on a par with the myth of the US having backed Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Is that another one of your things? pl

robt willmann

I forgot to inquire whether the photograph included with the post above is of Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Iran Quds Brigade. I am assuming that it is.

If so, he certainly has "the look", doesn't he? Meaning, he hasn't fallen off any turnip truck lately.

anna missed

It's interesting if not ironic, that as a result of our occupation policies - that have essentially created a failed state in Iraq - we have provided the perfect circumstances for the massive growth of a constituency of the likes of Muqtada al-Sadr. Our top down political policies have created economic meltdown, professional and capital flight, rampant corruption, and epidemic poverty and unemployment. Is it such a surprise that the bottom up social and political policies of Sadr are custom made to fill the enormous void left in the wake. It was only a matter of time before his constituency would exceed that of the official government, and I guess, in spite of all the bravado and crowing of the last week in Washington and Baghdad, all now must admit that we have arrived at that point. And evidently, there's not a damn thing Washington and Baghdad can do about it. They have become rendered - as irrelevant.

rj

As I understood the McClatchy article, the Iraqi parliamentarians did not go to Qom with Maliki's blessings. If so Maliki is very weak and evidently so. In any acutally functioning parliamentary system, such a PM would soon be out. With his puppet-hood on such display, our stock is dropping fast. The administration and its apologists cannot even maintain the fiction of political reconciliation now. And Maliki's Basra debacle also put the lie to the last remaining rationale for Bush's policy -- that we are training an army that will take over for us. I don't doubt that our forces will move into Basra and may hopefull restore order. But Sadr's "no collaboration with the occupiers" is likely to become the dominant political position for Iraqis. I wish I knew more history, so I could find an example of another country that played it's cards so badly it ended up in the mess were in now. It would make me feel maybe just a bit better.

arbogast

"out of the loop"?

If I were leading Iran, here is what I would do.

1) Do not provoke the US into attacking my soil.

2) Keep the US in Iraq as long as possible.

You say, "Huh? No. 2 doesn't make sense. Iran doesn't want the US in Iraq."

Oh no? Of course it does. Repeat: of course it does.

The US has committed wholesale slaughter against the Sunni minority in Iraq. Something that Iran desperately wanted to do.

The US is being weakened every day it stays in Iraq. Something that Iran...

All of which makes the following entirely germane:

Rubin: Iran Saves the Surge
Has anyone noticed that Iran is saving the Bush administration's surge in Iraq?

Iran was integral in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to halt attacks by his militia on Iraqi security forces, an Iraqi lawmaker said Monday.

All of which is noted in the post.

As long as the US is not bombing Iran, Iran is thrilled to have the US in Iraq.

And perhaps even if the US does bomb Iran, Iran is thrilled. Iran knows better than the readers of this blog that there will be no invasion by the US or Israel.

So...so...

Well, if I were Bush and Cheney, I would be thinking about going nuclear. They must be tempted. Very tempted.

You see, if they go nuclear, then they might, just might be able to declare a state of emergency in the US and cancel the election.

And, coincidentally, if I were Barack Obama, I would have someone taste my food.

Mo

"Something that Iran desperately wanted to do."

Arbogast, I have read many of your comments on here over the years and you are a poster I hold with some esteem. But that statement, if it is yours, is at best, propganda on a fox news level of ignorance and at worst repugnant. The Iranians, and the Shia in general, have never shown the kind of hostility towards the Sunnis engendered in that statement.

Montag

rj,
Yes, the British Occupation of South Carolina during the American Revolution. When the British won the Siege of Charleston on May 12, 1780 they had such prestige that the rebels simply went home, hoping to live in peace under the Occupation. But NOOOOOOOO! Two British actions ruined it for themselves--"Tarleton's Quarter" at Waxhaw Creek on May 29 and the victorious General Clinton's Parthian shot as he left for New York, a procalamation declaring anyone who didn't actively support the Occupation to be a Rebel. These two arrogant actions poured gasoline upon the dying embers of the resistance. By the time the war ended the British would hold Charleston and not much else. When Bush said, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," you could almost hear the rattle of British bones in their graves all over the Carolinas.

whynot

this country is just a history lesson in the making at this moment in time. it's just one giant folly after another and the population keeps whistling through the graveyard.

people will say, "remember the united states of america? such a robust, progressive, and dynamic people. then they went insane with a mighty fury and engorged themselves. such a shame."

this supertanker of ours needs to be righted with rapidity.

greg

John McCain says he was "surprised" by the attack on Basra and claims it was done without notice to the U.S... But our troops are embedded with the Iraqis and McCain met with AlMaliki the day before ... Sounds like McCain isn't being a "straight-talker" on this.

arbogast

I withdraw the comment about Iran desperately wanting to slaughter the Sunni minority in Iraq.

It is a matter of record that the Sunni minority in Iraq included Sadam Hussein who did attempt to slaughter Shiites.

There has been animosity between the two groups.

arbogast

If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, make sure your shleppers are really, really good.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/staff/warren_strobel/story/32337.html

I am beginning to believe that the performance of Hezbollah south of the Litani will be regarded as the "defining moment" of Middle East hostilities.

If you can make air superiority and armored columns irrelevant, you've accomplished a great deal.

I know nothing of either air superiority or armored columns. Am I talking through my hat?

Will

building on Montag's comment about the British vs. the Colonials circa 1776. Andrew Exum of Abou Muqawama COIN blog
http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/

ponders in a column in The Guardian newspaper whether using modern COIN doctrine the Redcoats could have prevailed?

WILL


Will

building on Montag's comment about the British vs. the Colonials circa 1776. Andrew Exum of Abou Muqawama COIN blog
http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/

ponders in a column in The Guardian newspaper whether using modern COIN doctrine the Redcoats could have prevailed?

WILL


Montag

Will,
Actually, the Redcoats WERE using COIN strategy. They came up with "Clear, Hold and Build"--in which Regular British soldiers would drive the Rebels from an area (clear), set up a local Loyalist government under British security (hold) and have them maintain their own security by raising local Loyalist militia troops (build). The trouble was that this resulted in the Loyalists committing atrocities agains the Rebels and vice versa, to the point that the Loyalist areas became chaotic. The British were reluctant to rein in the Loyalist officers because if they did they might quit! The British also tried to buy the Rebel leaders over to their side, which didn't work, and then assassinate them. Oh, they didn't miss a trick, including counterfeiting Continental currency, which was within the rules of war only because the Thirteen Colonies weren't a legitimate nation yet.

Will

RE COIN and 1776 & all that

i've forgotten and/or too lazy to relearn how to do to HTML links here but google
exum guardian 1776
and exum's comment will come up No. 1 in the search.

here's a neat morsel

"US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Paul Montanus [who has written a paper on the subject] notes with incredulity that while the British army garrisoned over 15,000 troops to defend New York City, only 8,500 men were left to execute counterinsurgency operations in the south. "

mmmh- sounds like Basra doesn't it. Bag?dad loaded w/ troops while the oil-rich and gateway to the Gulf South neglected or left to Regina?

Exum goes on to note five other fatal factors, some of whom Montag identifies.

Will

x
المقاومة
x
is of course Muqawama- the Resistance or Insurgency.

And Abu Muqawama is the self described father or Master of COIN commentary.

Would have been also a good description for our own
Abou Sic Semper Tyrannicidis.

i know i can do better if i sleep on it.

Will

i'm thinking along the line of
abou human intelligence

as a title for our patron

abou mukhtabbar insaan

No

x
google translate suggests the following for intelligence (althak)
الذكا
x
i like hukima
used in the Bible for wisdom and in Arabic for doctor, judge, wisdom, government

"abu houkima banu adam"

"banu adam" is the standard phrase for human=
Adam's tribe

Will

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