Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2007

A Shiite Wake-up Call in Iraq?

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 8:57 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Fox News, the AP reports that Shiites in Southern Iraq may be embracing the Awakening pioneered by the Sunni tribes in Anbar:

American commanders in southern Iraq say Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with the U.S. military against extremists, in much the same way that Sunni clansmen in the western part of the country have worked with American forces against Al Qaeda.

Sheik Majid Tahir al-Magsousi, the leader of the Migasees tribe here in Wasit province, acknowledged tribal leaders have discussed creating a brigade of young men trained by the Americans to bolster local security as well as help patrol the border with Iran.

He also said last week’s assassination of Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, who spearheaded the Sunni uprising against Al Qaeda in Anbar province, only made the Shiite tribal leaders more resolute. “The death of Sheik Abu Risha will not thwart us,” he said. “What matters to us is Iraq and its safety.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates likened the mood in some Shia tribes to a wake-up call:

“Al Qaeda clearly made a mistake in Anbar,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday during a news conference. “But Jaish al-Mahdi (the Mahdi Army) may have made some mistakes in the Shia area—the violence at Karbala on the religious holiday, the assassination of the two Shia governors.”

“There are some signs that the Shia are perhaps beginning to have the same—get the same kind of wake-up call with respect to their extremists that the Sunnis in Anbar did,” he said.”

This may be good news for those who want to win in Iraq.

— DJR

23 Responses to “A Shiite Wake-up Call in Iraq?”

  1. indeed, very good news. this is why the dems are so desperate to get out of iraq, before anything positive happens like winning the war.this would be very bad news for hillary who voted for the war before she voted against it and now she’d have to find a way to trianglulate back to supporting the iraq effort.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  2. this is why the dems are so desperate to get out of iraq, before anything positive happens like winning the war.

    Leaving the riskiest decisions to your successor isn’t winning the war.

    And the ‘bottom up’ approach of Gen. Petraeus may lead to an Iraq that is so decentralized as to be dysfunctional, as with Lebanon in the 1980s.

    Bush won’t commit to his least-worst options: Foster autonomous regions for Sunni Arabs, Shiites, and Kurds; build a regional alliance against Iran; or somehow cut a pragmatic deal with the Islamic Republic. Can you forsee Rudy, McCain, Edwards – anyone, really – passing on such a decision before they left the White House?

    steve (ec6587)

  3. steve, you seem to having trouble comming to grips with the reality that the dems have invested all their political capital in america’s defeat in iraq.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  4. takes a while to load, worth the wait…………. http://www.frugalsites.net/911/sept11.html

    james conrad (7cd809)

  5. Neither party is going to be ‘vindicated.’ We’ll be in the Iraqi neighborhood for the duration of the next administration, party affiliation notwithstanding.

    The war, deficit and health care will be decisions the next President inherits because this one chooses to be held unaccountable and walk away.

    steve (ec6587)

  6. steve also seems to be operating under the illusion that Iran is interested in making deals despite the big “F*ck you.” they’ve been offering the international community for years now, and their military support for insurgents in Iraq.

    Bush might as well make the hard choice of enlisting benevolent space aliens as to seek Iran’s help.

    Pablo (99243e)

  7. How would you deal with Iran – other than occupying Iraq permanently? Where’s Condi? No one seems to have the will to make a play in the next 16 months.

    steve (ec6587)

  8. Steve,
    The new strategy, which is actually Bush’s riskiest decision, seems to be leading to tribes realizing that they have a common enemy, Al Qaeda, and a common goal, a peaceful Iraq.

    It “may lead” to men from Mars coming in and wrecking it all, but for now these tribes are committing themselves to a unified nation, mostly IMO because they see Bush is finally serious about winning.

    Patricia (4117a9)

  9. Pablo #5, You either deal with Iran or indefinitely occupy Iraq. Building a regional alliance against them is one option Bush’s successor may try. Right now, we’re talking.

    SECDEF Gates today :

    I will tell you that I think that the administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat, the Iranian challenge, through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach. That’s the one we are using.

    We always say all options are on the table, but clearly, the diplomatic and economic approach is the one that we are pursuing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296954,00.html

    steve (853f7c)

  10. Pablo #5, We either deal with Iran or occupy Iraq indefinitely. Forming a regional alliance against them is an option Bush is leaving to his successor.

    For now, we’re talking. SECDEF Gates today :

    I will tell you that I think that the administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat, the Iranian challenge, through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach. That’s the one we are using.

    We always say all options are on the table, but clearly, the diplomatic and economic approach is the one that we are pursuing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296954,00.html

    note: login name changed to get around block

    steeve (20e2ab)

  11. of course they want this. you get guns and support for your militia, and you get a blessing to take out your opposition.

    chrisw (f07f25)

  12. the iraqi govt has asked the US for a military relationship after the US military ceases population protection, IMO we would be foolish not to accept. as for alliances to block iran in the arab world, i think alot of people fail to realize that iranians are not arabs, they are persians and most arabs in the middle east do not trust them, shia or sunni.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  13. Unless, of course, the Iraqi “government” asking U.S. forces to stay goes against the wishes of a majority of Iraqis.

    In that case, we would just be easing al Sadr’s rise to power and the creation of a radical theocratic Iraq.

    Not that we aren’t doing that already.

    alphie (99bc18)

  14. alphie – We are more likely to take football advise from Al Davis than to pay attention to your gibberish.

    JD (f6a000)

  15. Or diet advice from Rosie O’donnell

    red (9e9332)

  16. Haw Haw, comment 8 was really funny. How is this “new” strategy new? Wasn’t getting the Iraquis to pull together and create a stable government and keeping out Al Quaeda already the “new” strategy (after the Bush admin fumbled the ball while ousting Saddam)?
    Maybe the Iraqis are coming together coz they realize that Bush and his minions are completely incapable of winning this war (whatever that means now) or getting much of anything right over there and so, in true conservative tradition, they are trying to get the job done themselves instead of relying “big government” (that would be us).

    EdWood (c2268a)

  17. Is this in the area that has been abandoned by the Brits?
    They let the Shia militia’s take over, and then abandoned the citizenry to their fate.
    If the local tribal chiefs are now rethinking their relationship with the militia’s, this can only be positive, and a great step in the establishment of an effective, central government.
    Re the arming of the locals: You should really read Gen. Petraeus’ testimony as to how this is being handled. IIRC, coalition forces are not providing the tribesmen arms (they have enough of their own), but are encouraging, and counseling them on integration with Iraqi Govt Security Forces.If that wasn’t the case, I am quite confident that one of the Dem leaders in Congress would be screaming for him to be prosecuted for lying to Congress.
    Hasn’t happened.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  18. Patricia and the rest of you idiots: dream on
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/II14Ak04.html

    someone somewhere (a695fb)

  19. Pablo #5, You either deal with Iran or indefinitely occupy Iraq.

    Like we’re occupying Germany? And why don’t you mention Afghanistan or Kuwait?

    There are many possible ways of dealing with Iran, several of which have little to do with our presence in Iraq. Your dichotomy is false.

    Pablo (99243e)

  20. Patricia and the rest of you idiots: dream on
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/II14Ak04.html

    Well, if Pepe Escobar says so, then it must be true a crock of shit. Yawn.

    Pablo (99243e)

  21. Hmmm… strike works in Live Preview, but not for real? Strike “true” above.

    Pablo (99243e)

  22. Like we’re occupying Germany? And why don’t you mention Afghanistan or Kuwait?

    Germany has a militant neighbor seeking regional control?

    Kuwait is protected by our Iraqi presence and Afghanistan is still up for grabs.

    Bush has little capital to form a regional alliance opposing Iran and offering terms risks his legacy. His successor will deal with Tehran. Or keep 10-15 brigades in Iraq.

    steve (b06859)

  23. Read the links pablito maybe youll learn something.

    Check out arablinks or Abu aardvark. Or better yet learn to read arabic.

    In the meantime u dont know shit.

    blah (55d03b)


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