Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 49643
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2017/11/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/17   

2008/4/2-6 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:49643 Activity:kinda low
4/2     Yes, Iraqis kicked Al Sadr's butt in Basra
        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/whittling_away_at_sadr.html
        \_ Now there's a dependable source.  Obviously I'm just some MSM
           reading, what's the word -- oh yeah, sheeple.
           \_ What's wrong with http://realclearpolitics.com?  They mostly re-post
              stories from MSM from all across the political spectrum.  Have
              you ever even read the site?
              \_ Have you looked at the Creator's Syndicate site?  I have no
                 idea what realclearpolitics is, but considering the link bar
                 has "Meet a Left Wing Housing Thug" I'm going to go with
                 not a reasonable source.
        \_ Does this mean that the Mission is Accomplished and we can finally
           bring our boys home? Good news, indeed.
           \_ If the entire war was about Al Sadr and Basra and Al Sadr was
              defeated and order restored, yes.  But it isn't about any of
              those things.  Is that considered a clever remark in your
              circles?
              \_ So what is the war about anyway? I thought it was about
                 some WMD and overthrowing Saddam Hussein. When are we
                 going to be able to declare victory and go home? 100 years?
                 If the war isn't about any of these things, why did you
                 even bother to tell us about it?
2017/11/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/17   

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www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/whittling_away_at_sadr.html
Austin Bay After his outlaw militiamen raised white flags and skedaddled from their latest round of combat with the Iraqi Army, radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr declared victory. He wagers that survival bandaged by bombast and swathed in sensational headlines is a short-term triumph. This time, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a contrarian press release, however, calling the Iraqi Army's anti-militia operations in southern Iraq a "success." A dispute over casualties in the firefights has ensued, as it always does. An Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman alleged that Sadr's militia had been hit hard in six days of fighting, suffering 215 dead, 155 arrested and approximately 600 wounded. The government spokesman gave no casualty figures for Iraqi security forces. No one, of course, could offer an independent confirmation, but if the numbers are accurate they provide an indirect confirmation of reports that Sadr's Mahdi Militia (Jaish al-Mahdi, hence the acronym JAM) had at least a couple thousand fighters scattered throughout southern Iraq. This is not shocking news, but a reason to launch a limited offensive when opportunity appeared. The firefights, white flags, media debate and, for that matter, the Iraqi-led anti-militia offensive itself are the visible manifestations of a slow, opaque and occasionally violent political and psychological struggle that in the long term is likely democratic Iraq's most decisive: the control, reduction and eventual elimination of Shia gangs and terrorists strongly influenced if not directly supported by Iran. Other Shia militia and gangs confront Iraq, but Sadr is the most vexing case. His father, a leading Shia cleric, was murdered -- many Iraqis believe at the order of Saddam Hussein. For four years, the US-led coalition and the Iraqi government have intermittently sparred with Sadr, sometimes in parliament, sometimes in the streets. The Iraqi government's strategy has been to bring former insurgents into the political process. Since interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi articulated that goal in mid-2004, the central government's complex array of enemies has sought to thwart that program. Saddam's old cohorts managed to convince themselves that if they spread enough money around, killed enough people and hammered the US electorate with bloody headlines the United States would leave and the Iraqi government would eventually collapse -- and they would return to power. Saddam's capture, trial and execution has all but snuffed out the old-line Baathists. Recall Maliki stoutly defended his decision to carry out the court's sentence of capital punishment. He bet with Saddam dead the tyrant's cult of personality would wither. Al-Qaida pursued the same strategy of blood for headlines. Al-Qaida in Iraq tried to ignite a sectarian war -- its now-dead emir, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, made that goal explicit in February 2004. Harry Reid (D for Defeatist) declared the war in Iraq lost. Sunni political integration is by no means complete, but al-Qaida has failed. Now the Shia-led Iraqi government focuses on its chief Shia nemesis. In August 2004, Sadr's thugs grabbed the Grand Mosque in Najaf. The United States opted to follow the political lead of Shia Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Sistani's aides told coalition officers: "Let us deal with Sadr. The Iraqi way often appears to be indecisive, until you learn to look at its counter-insurgency methods in the frame of achieving political success, instead of the frame of American presidential elections. In southern Iraq and east Baghdad, Sadr once again lost street face. Despite the predictable media umbrage, this translates into political deterioration. Think of the Iraqi anti-Sadr method as a form of suffocation, a political war waged with the blessing of Ayatollah Sistani that requires daily economic and political action, persistent police efforts and occasional military thrusts.
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realclearpolitics.com
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