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al-Sadr’s followers refuse to disband militia in Iraq

April 20th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) - Followers of hardline cleric Muqtada al-Sadr raised the stakes Sunday in the showdown with Iraq’s government, refusing to disband their militia as the U.S. military reported an “uptick” of fighting in the Iraqi capital.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, assured visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he will not back down in his confrontation with Shiite militias, even as mortar shells fired from Shiite areas struck the U.S.-protected Green Zone.

In a sign of that resolve, Iraqi soldiers took control Sunday of the last stronghold of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in the southern city of Basra, where an Iraqi offensive last month triggered the current wave of Shiite fighting.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite, has demanded that al-Sadr disband his Mahdi Army, the country’s biggest Shiite militia, or his followers will not be allowed to run in provincial elections this fall.

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al-Sadr’s followers refuse to disband militia in Iraq

I am going to say this in language so simple that even a raghead loving, bleeding heart, liberal Canadian crybaby with a NO AUTHORITY nothing little blog can understand every word, and have NO problem figuring out the EXACT meaning of every word, al-Sadr and his bunch of moonbats are the major reason for, and the primary perpetrators of the insurgency in Iraq…

Kill them, kill as many of them as is humanly possible, they have been given every opportunity to become a part of a working Iraqi government but all they have done is continue to mount guerrilla type operations against our military and the Iraqi forces…

KILL THEM, crush them like the useless infestation they are, because all they are is a waste of good oxygen, this world would be much better off with them gone, and the violence in Iraq would be substantially lessened by their demise…

How hard can that be to comprehend?? You would think that IF our president seriously wanted to attain Victory in Iraq, as he and his Bush Bot supporters have claimed, he’d figure this out for himself…

Maybe not… :?

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Al-Sadr Pulls Fighters Off Iraq Streets

March 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Sunday that he was pulling his fighters off the streets nationwide and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and free them from prison.

The Iraqi government quickly welcomed al-Sadr’s apparent move to resolve a widening conflict with his movement, sparked Tuesday by operations against his backers in the oil-rich southern city of Basra.

Al-Sadr’s nine-point statement was issued by his headquarters in the holy city of Najaf and broadcast through loudspeakers on Shiite mosques. It said the first point was: “taking gunmen off the streets in Basra and elsewhere.”

He also demanded that the Iraqi government stop “haphazard raids” and release security detainees who haven’t been charged, two issues cited by his movement as reasons for fighting the government.

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Al-Sadr Pulls Fighters Off Iraq Streets

al-Sadr blinked. And you can bet it wasn’t from fear of the Iraqi army or police, it was because of the raids being conducted by U.S. aircraft, ground support being provided by the U.S. military and artillery barrages being provided by British forces, had it not been for those 3 factors, Iraqi forces, such as they are, would be locked in a bloody struggle right now, or, should I say, more of a struggle than they already are?

This is the question I asked in a post on Tuesday, “Will al-Sadr and his cohorts blink 1st? Will al-Maliki have to return the balls he appears to have found once this is over? Is there going to be a massive push into Sadr City and Basra to oust these radical vermin?”, al-Maliki and al-Sadr both rattle their sabres and now I wonder, is al-Sadr truly a man of his word, will he be capable of controlling the actions of his Mahdi army thugs?

We shall see I suppose, time will tell, but I am reasonably sure this will not be the last we hear from al-Sadr and his Mahdi army, they will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Iraqi government as they try to establish a working democracy in Iraq.

I also wonder, has al-Maliki got the balls to actually pull this off? Does he have the power to stop his police from surrendering to the Mahdi army and turning their weapons over to them? “We can’t fight our brothers in the Mahdi Army, so we came here to submit our weapons,” one policeman said on condition of anonymity for security reasons.”, Shiite Leader Al-Sadr Defies Iraq Gov’t

I am, quite frankly, a bit surprised that al-Maliki is still alive, given the preferred methods of removal from office incorporated by the Iraqi insurgents, maybe the man has more to him than has been seen so far, maybe it’s because American forces and some really sharp private security forces have protected him that well.

Or maybe the puppeteer is pulling the right strings.

All I know for certain is this, I am very tired of hearing that even more American troops have died for this cause, I am tired of hearing how many BILLIONS of our tax dollars are being poured into a nation that will, in all likelihood, never return a penny of that cost to us, I am tired of hearing how we are fighting to help establish a true democracy in an Islamic nation, a nation consumed by a religion that will never allow democracy to live, they can’t allow it to live and remain an Islamic nation, Islam and democracy are in direct opposition to each other.

And another thing I am tired of is this, I am tired of being told that this Debacle in Iraq is making us safer here in the USA.

If our shores, ports and borders were actually secure, if our immigration laws, as well as the issuance of travel and student visas were well regulated and policed, there would be no way that any of the insurgents in Iraq could possibly make their way into this nation and do us harm.

As retired U.S. Navy Commander Jeff Huber of Pen and Sword said a while back, and I loosely quote, “How are they going to threaten us if our borders are secure? Attack us with their air force? Sail their navy over here with an invasion force? An air force and navy they don’t have?”

Cmdr. Huber has also points out some of the same facts that I have, on numerous occasions, we don’t have to worry about an invasion by radical Islamic terrorists and/or insurgents that would come here from Iraq or other places, they’re already here, they are living right here in the USA, right now, and it’s only a matter of time until they strike the American people.

I am only guessing with this statement, but I am of the opinion, so far, the reason we haven’t seen terrorist attacks in the USA is because of the ARMED citizenry of America, the radical insurgent factions of Islam, those that would conduct terrorist attacks on our shores, are FULLY aware that if they were do so, something like HALF of the population of this nation would rise in anger and strike out against ALL Muslims in America, with NO concern as to whether they were striking radical terrorists or innocent bystanders, it would simply be the fact that they were Muslims, and that my friends is a cold hard truth.

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Shiite Leader Al-Sadr Defies Iraq Gov’t

March 29th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) - Anti-American Shiite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers Saturday to defy government orders to surrender their weapons, as U.S. jets struck Shiite extremists near Basra to bolster a faltering Iraqi offensive against gunmen in the city.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged he may have miscalculated by failing to foresee the strong backlash that his offensive, which began Tuesday, provoked in areas of Baghdad and other cities where Shiite militias wield power.

So, al-Maliki thinks he may have miscalculated the strong backlash by the insurgents? I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but, I told you so, the Iraqis have NO idea of what to do or how to do it, even after over 5 years of American and British leadership and training, if the Americans and the Brits don’t win this battle against the Mahdi Army, the Iraqi forces will get their asses handed to them on a platter.

And that’s the way this Debacle in Iraq will continue to go for as long as ANY kind of insurgency can be maintained, we’ll do the biggest part of the fighting and dying and the Iraqis will keep on doing what Iraqis do best, just enough to get by.

Despite the mounting crisis, al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, vowed to remain in Basra until government forces wrest control from militias, including al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. He called the fight for control of Basra “a decisive and final battle.”

British ground troops, who controlled the city until handing it over to the Iraqis last December, also joined the battle for Basra, firing artillery Saturday for the first time in support of Iraqi forces.

2 days ago I made a blog post that asked, “Would that push be led, in force, by the Iraqis, of is this another U.S. mission that will bear a striking resemblance to missions in Vietnam, missions where U.S. troops fought and died to take positions and then turned them over to ARVN troops only to see them give it back to the NVA/VC and then U.S. troops have to go back, fight and die once again, all to re-take that very same useless position, and do it over and over, all within a very short period of time?”, al-Maliki and al-Sadr both rattle their sabres and I am even more convinced that this is exactly the scenario we will be seeing as the Debacle in Iraq heats up once again, and as of right now it’s the Brits that are having to save the Iraqis in Basra, after they, the Brits, had secured Basra and then turned it over to the Iraqis, and the Iraqis failed to hold a secure position.

I don’t know about my younger readers, but to me, and many of the older readers, those of us that can and do remember Vietnam, in vivid, full color memories, what we are seeing right now is exactly the same drive and determination to win from the Iraqi Army as we saw from the ARVN troops during that war, we’d take it, hand it over to the ARVN’s and they would promptly hand it right back to the NVA and/or VC, and in the process, surrendering weapons and munitions to those that would turn them on American troops.

Oh, but the Bush Bots say that just can’t be happening in Iraq, Bush and the American military are loved by all in Iraq, and to the Bots I say, loud and clear, BULL SHIT! The Iraqis are Muslims, they are loyal to their religion, their sects, and even that has warring factions, the Iraqis, for the most part, don’t give a damn for us or what Bush claims to be doing for their benefit.

The growing turmoil threatens to undermine White House efforts to convince a skeptical Congress and the American public that the Iraqis are making progress toward managing their own security without the presence of U.S. troops.With the Shiite militiamen defiant, a group of police in the Mahdi Army’s Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City abandoned their posts and handed over their weapons to al-Sadr’s local office. Police forces in Baghdad are believed to be heavily influenced or infiltrated by Mahdi militiamen.

“We can’t fight our brothers in the Mahdi Army, so we came here to submit our weapons,” one policeman said on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

He said about 40 policemen had defected to the Mahdi Army. The figure could not be confirmed, but AP Television News footage showed about a dozen uniformed police, their faces covered with masks to shield their identity, being met by Sheik Salman al-Feraiji, al-Sadr’s chief representative in Sadr City.

When I began writing this commentary I started it off by saying “I hate to say I told you so“, but you know, I really DON’T, because I, and a few other Conservative bloggers have been trying to tell folks that this was how it was going to be, we’ve been trying to get it across to the Bush Bots for a long time, and all we got for our efforts was the label ‘TRAITOR‘ and Bush Hater, but ya know, I just can’t argue with the Bush Hater thing, at least that part IS true.

Here’s the bottom line folks, if U.S. and British forces don’t pursue this offensive through to a definitive solution, it will not happen, the Iraqis are basically a useless lot when it comes to warfighting and in my not so humble opinion, the entire nation of Iraq is not worth the death or wounding of so much as one more U.S. soldier, sailor or airman.

WHY should we have to defend these gutless backstabbers that can’t wait to get an American in their sights?? If the Iraqis can’t stand on their own, after several years of intense training, an unlimited supply of weapons, munitions and logistics, not to mention some fantastic support from American and British forces, if it can’t happen NOW, if they can’t defeat a rag-tag bunch like the Mahdi army, I have to ask, WHEN??

When will the Iraqis be capable of standing and fighting in defense of their nation? And do so without us being forced into doing the fighting for them as they continue to give up, turn weapons over TO the Mahdi army and slam the door in OUR face?

Is that a people we should be dying for?

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Shiite Leader Al-Sadr Defies Iraq Gov’t

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US Airstrike Kills at Least 4 in Baghdad

March 28th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) - A U.S. helicopter fired a Hellfire missile during fighting in a Shiite militia stronghold of Baghdad Friday, killing at least four people as deadly clashes broke out in Iraq’s oil-rich south for the fourth day.

American jets also dropped bombs overnight in Basra in the first use of U.S. air power in the southern oil port since the Iraqi government launched a crackdown against Shiite militias there earlier this week.

Defying a curfew in Baghdad, extremists also lobbed more rockets or mortars against the U.S.-protected Green Zone.

At least two rounds struck the nearby offices of Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, killing two guards and wounding four, his daughter Lubna said.

If it’s war al-Sadr and his bunch of Little Shiiteheads want, then let it be war they get, let’s see if The Bush and his puppet al-Maliki have the balls to do it right this time, because removing al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army from the face of this earth shouldn’t be that much of an effort if we seriously get with the program and do this thing as it should be done and must be done.

Ground forces called for the airstrike in Sadr City after coming under small-arms fire while clearing a main supply route at 4:10 a.m., U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Stover said.

And THAT is exactly what we should have been doing all along, when you’re the mightiest military nation on earth you use what is available and you use it to win, to hell with PCness and standoffs, KILL the enemy and save OUR troops.

He ( Lt. Col. Steve Stover) said four gunmen were killed, but Iraqi police and hospital officials said five civilians died and four others were wounded in the attack.

And by the time al-Jazeera and the assorted Muslim moonbats of the world gets done with telling this story their way, we will have bombed 3 mosques, an old folks retirement village and 2 children’s hospitals, killing a multitude of innocent Iraqi civilians.

The strikes came as tensions rose among followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr angry over a crackdown that has threatened to unravel a militia cease-fire and spark a new cycle of violence after months of relative calm in Iraq.

Here’s a simple and easy to understand solution, KILL al-Sadr and as many of his followers as you possibly can, that tends to send a message, it says, ‘we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore’.

And it also serves another purpose, it tells ALL the radical Muslims, of all nationalities and all branches of Islam, we’re serious in our War on Terror and if you mess with us again, scores of your people WILL DIE, and that my friends, is the only message, the only action and the only logic that these people understand.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has insisted the fight is targeting criminal gangs in Basra, not al-Sadr’s movement, and he has promised “no retreat.”

It’s statements like this that tend to make me wonder, isn’t al-Sadr’s bunch the “criminal gangs” that are causing all this brouhaha?? I guess al-Maliki is taking his queue from The Bush and going for PCness by using political doublespeak.

Personally, I don’t think al-Maliki has the BALLS to do this thing, I don’t believe he will go to war against his Shiitehead brothers, and al-Sadr IS his religious brother, and I also wonder how long before The Bush reins in our troops as well, it’s just not PC to go around killing your enemies, you might make them angry, and we all know, it’s just not right for us to have enemies that hate us.

What I wouldn’t give to see a real military type leader in the White House, and a entire Corps in the field comprised of nothing but Gen. George S. Patton clones, this Debacle in Iraq would be over in a week or so.

Many folks complain that we must find a way out of Iraq, I am one of them, but I don’t just cry about it, I offer viable solutions to the problem, and the most viable solution that I can present is this, KILL the insurgents, wipe them out and leave their carcasses in the street as a reminder to any that follow, WIN this thing and do it in such a massive and brutal fashion that other radical nations will take pause before they disturb our nation again, and even though I don’t believe that Iraq and Saddam were involved in the attacks of 9-11, we ARE in Iraq, be that action right or wrong, it makes no difference, we’re there, now get it over with and stop playing games.

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US Airstrike Kills at Least 4 in Baghdad

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al-Maliki and al-Sadr both rattle their sabres

March 27th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD - Shiite militiamen are everywhere. Police and Iraqi army checkpoints are nowhere in sight. U.S. soldiers are keeping their distance.

Sadr City — the Baghdad nerve center for the powerful Mahdi Army — is suddenly back on edge as the militia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and Iraq’s government lock in a dangerous confrontation over clout and control among the nation’s majority Shiites.

The epicenter of the showdown has been the southern oil hub of Basra, where clashes have claimed dozens of lives this week and al-Sadr’s forces face a Friday deadline to surrender.

Full Story Here:
Mahdi militia controls Baghdad suburb

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq’s prime minister vowed Thursday to fight “until the end” against Shiite militias in Basra despite protests by tens of thousands of followers of a radical cleric in Baghdad and deadly clashes across the capital and the oil-rich south.

Mounting anger focused on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is personally overseeing operations against the militias dominated by Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters amid a violent power struggle in Basra, Iraq’s southern oil hub.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Says No Retreat

Will al-Sadr and his cohorts blink 1st? Will al-Maliki have to return the balls he appears to have found once this is over? Is there going to be a massive push into Sadr City and Basra to oust these radical vermin?

If there is a massive offensive, will it push the insurgents back into Baghdad proper and will they begin to terrorize there once again or will this truly be a battle until the end?

Would that push be led, in force, by the Iraqis, of is this another U.S. mission that will bear a striking resemblance to missions in Vietnam, missions where U.S. troops fought and died to take positions and then turned them over to ARVN troops only to see them give it back to the NVA/VC and then U.S. troops have to go back, fight and die once again, all to re-take that very same useless position, and do it over and over, all within a very short period of time?

I am seriously of the belief that we are about to see a religious war fought between Shiite sects that hold different beliefs, a civil war if you will, but unlike the last few battles where the fight was between Sunnis vs Kurds vs Shiites, this time it appears to be an issue between the Shiites and differences in their own ideology.

We learned some very valuable lessons in Vietnam, we learned that no one fights as hard as an individual that is fighting for his beliefs and his home, and that’s what people like al-Sadr and his followers are doing, fighting for their beliefs and their homes.

Do I think al-Sadr and his ilk are right? No, I don’t, I believe that their vision for Iraq is one from centuries ago, I didn’t think the NVA and VC were right either, but it was their land, their homes and their war, and WE stuck our noses in it, and in doing so we lost over 54,000 U.S. troops dead, spent untold BILLIONS of our tax dollars and then we walked away with our tails tucked between our legs, and we gained exactly nothing for our efforts, until years later, when you fast forward to today and Vietnam has become a valuable trading partner, and that was accomplished without us staying in Vietnam for the last 50 years as we continued to lose more troops and massive amounts of money.

You would think those lessons would have been learned by the Bush administration, because as the saying goes ‘those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it’, and I feel we are going to continue to repeat many of the same mistakes from the past as we persevere in Iraq.

We WON the initial battle in Iraq when we went in 5 years ago, no surprise there, look at what we were up against, a bunch of thugs with guns and a maniacal dictator for a leader, a leader that had even less warfighting ability than The Bush himself, and what happened next? Bush and Company make one hell of a mess out of what should have been the peace, and at this time there appears to be no end in sight, unless our president allows the military to do the job that must be done, eliminate the insurgency by any means necessary and then push the Iraqi government into standing on it’s own as they defend and protect their nation.

For crying out loud, we’ve been trying to pacify Iraq for over 5 years now, Iraq, a nation that is approximately the same size in land area as the state of Texas.

We were in and OUT of WWII in 3 years and 9 months, ask yourself WHY folks, WHY it has taken this long in Iraq, and ask yourself WHY it’s not over, then look to Washington, D.C., there’s your answer, this Debacle in Iraq is still going on because of the leadership, or, should I say, lack OF leadership that is the Bush administration, and it’s NOT from lack of trying on the part of our troops, the troops have given everything they have to give, a 110% effort, and what do THEY get for that effort?? Orders to go back and do it all over again, several times in some cases, some units are currently serving their 3rd and 4th combat deployments to Iraq.

And as some other bloggers have said so eloquently, Bush and Cheney are making BILLIONS in war contracts, maybe they are, maybe they’re not, I won’t make an accusation I can’t prove, so, this isn’t an accusation on my part, but many have speculated that this is the real reason Iraq has been such a drawn out confrontation.

Follow the money they say! Makes sense to me.

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Who Is Muqtada Al-Sadr?

March 25th, 2008 . by TexasFred

BAGHDAD (AP) - The followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have stepped up battles and protests against recent raids and detentions against his Mahdi Army militia.

Q: Who is al-Sadr?

A: The anti-American Shiite cleric, in his early 30s, is the son of the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, one of the most powerful Shiite clerics in Iraq in the 1990s. The younger al-Sadr fiercely opposes the U.S. presence in Iraq and launched two major uprisings against American-led forces in 2004. He ordered his fighters to stand down in August, but the cease-fire has been severely strained.

Q: What is the Mahdi Army?

A: Al-Sadr founded the militia soon after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. It has grown into one of the most powerful armed groups in Iraq by offering both protection and social welfare services to impoverished Shiites. The Mahdi Army became known for execution-style killings and kidnappings in tit-for-tat sectarian violence provoked by the February 2006 bombing of an important Shiite mosque in Samarra. The cease-fire has reduced those attacks and roadside bombings against U.S. troops.

Q: Why are the Sadrists angry?

A: Al-Sadr’s followers claim the Americans and their Iraqi allies have taken advantage of the cease-fire to arrest hundreds of al-Sadr’s followers. They also complain that only a small percentage of the detainees being released under a new amnesty law have been from al-Sadr’s movement. The Sadrists blame all this on their main Shiite rival, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. That rivalry is intensifying in the run-up to provincial elections expected this fall.

Q: What are their demands?

A: The Sadrists want U.S. and Iraqi troops to stop the raids, release their followers from detention and apologize for unspecified violations against dignitaries, Shiite clans and women.

Q: What is Iran’s role?

A: The U.S. military is careful not to criticize al-Sadr, but says Iran is training breakaway cells it calls “special groups,” arming them with rockets and deadly armor-piercing roadside bombs. Iran denies the allegations. Last year al-Sadr fled to Iran, fearing arrest after a U.S.-led security crackdown. His current whereabouts are kept secret.

Q: Why is al-Sadr’s cease-fire so important?

A: The collapse of the cease-fire would threaten to unleash the Mahdi Army and unravel many of the security gains achieved in recent months by U.S. and Iraqi forces. It also could lead to an upsurge in attacks against U.S. forces, who have been concentrating on fighting al-Qaida in Iraq. Clashes also could escalate in the oil-rich Shiite heartland south of the capital if rival militia factions are allowed to operate without restraint.

Q: What is the United States doing in the current crisis?

A: The United States has welcomed al-Sadr’s cease-fire but insist on the right to target those who violate it. The U.S. military often lets the Iraqi troops take the lead in raids against Mahdi Army factions. That has further angered the Sadrists since their rival Badr Brigade dominates Iraqi security forces.

Who Is Muqtada Al-Sadr?

One of the better assessments of al-Sadr and the ramifications that his continued existence can bring to Iraq and the region, especially when you consider the source of the story.

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