Patterico's Pontifications


US and Iraq Target al-Sadr’s Militias

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 5:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There are reports of more setbacks for Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

US and Iraqi forces continued into Shiite militia strongholds in South Baghdad:

“U.S. and Iraqi forces, backed by Polish army helicopters, swept through Shiite militia strongholds south of Baghdad on Saturday, rounding up dozens of militants and killing two. The prime minister met the provincial governor, who called for reinforcements to root out “the criminals.”

Iraqi police said 30 suspected fighters linked to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army were grabbed in a pre-dawn house-to-house search by U.S. and Iraqi raiders in two eastern neighborhoods in Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad.

Rival Shiite militias are engaged in grabs for power in the oil-rich south of the country, as British forces are drawing down. But U.S. commanders have reported significant inroads against both Shiite militias and al-Qaida in Iraq fighters across the fertile agriculture belt nearer to the capital. They credit local residents, emboldened against the terror tactics of both al-Qaida and Shiite militants, with much of the success.

The article also detailed other incidents in Iraq aimed at arresting or curtailing Sadrists.

It seems like good news for Iraqis (and bad news for al-Sadr) to see an expansion of the al Anbar Awakening into Shiite areas, the further use of Iraqi troops to deal with local militias, and the Prime Minister’s condemnation of al-Sadr’s forces as criminals.


36 Responses to “US and Iraq Target al-Sadr’s Militias”

  1. Summary:
    Iraq = we’re winning
    Afghanistan = we’re losing

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. I agree there is reason for concern about Afghanistan as noted in this Michael Yon post.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  3. Yikes,

    The U.S. military is just another militia in the middle of a civil war now?

    30 Mahdi down…50,000 to go.

    alphie (99bc18)

  4. Once again we see that alphie is on the other side.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  5. Shiites have been heading the direction of Anbar Awakening since right after the leader of the movement was killed.

    Shiites seem to be as sick and tired of the innocents dying as the rest of us, and seem to have decided to help us.

    Reid better pray for a setback, or we’ll have won by November 2008, and boy won’t they be screwed at those elections then.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. Other side of what, SPQR?

    I dont remember Congress authorizing attacks on people who are no threat to America.

    SIIC, the guys we’re backing, are in Iran’s pocket.

    Is it too much to ask that the U.S. military’s propaganda and actions match for once?

    alphie (99bc18)

  7. Alphie, your incompetence not withstanding, your comment “The U.S. military is just another militia in the middle of a civil war now?” were it uttered by Rush would be the subject of much hooting by you; as evidenced by your misrepresentations of the phony soldiers comment.

    But since we know you are cheering on America’s enemies, it is not unexpected.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  8. Alphie, you’re just another Copperhead. Now slither back under your rock.

    SDN (863c41)

  9. Gee Alpho has thirty more funerals to attend. But take heart Alpho 50,000 more will soon be delivered.

    What kind of individual celebrates people who murder innocent women and children with car bombs? To think this creature walks among us. Actually based on his comments I think he must crawl on his belly.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  10. More bad news for the Democrats.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  11. It’s “Al Qaeda in Iraq” who do the car bombs, remember, Thomas.

    Not sure what the U.S. miliary is doing fighting the Mahdis, unless Iran has paid the neocons off, of course.

    alphie (99bc18)

  12. The concept of “it isn’t only AQI that does stuff that hurts troops and civilians” is lost on you, isn’t it.

    Lots of folks plant IEDs in attempts to kill our troops.

    They also do stuff that hurts civilians.

    The Iraqis want to go after them, and since we’re training them and teaching them, we help.

    Do I need to start using grunts and gestures??

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  13. alphie, perhaps you weren’t paying attention when, as early as 2003 and 2004, when Jaish-al-Madhi (al-Sadr’s “Mahdi Army) gunmen were killing American soldiers, including a battalion commander in the 101st Airborne Division.

    Consul-At-Arms (334bba)

  14. The Democrats are entering full panic mode for pretty soon there will be nobody left to surrender to.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  15. And our new best pals in Anbar were blowing up Marines just last year, Consul.

    So what?

    Sadr joined the political process and oredered his guys to stand down…just like we asked him to.

    Ordering the U.S. military to now operate as SIIC goons in a domestic power struggle is as dumb a move as we’ve seen from the neocon braintrust.

    Unless they’re making a buck off it, of course.

    alphie (99bc18)

  16. Ordering the U.S. military to now operate as SIIC goons…

    Your libeling the US military makes it appear that you are preparing to run for Congress as a “I-Promise-to-Surrender” Democrat.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  17. Libeling, PS?

    Trying to eliminate the political rivals of the weak and corrupt Iraqi government we’re propping up?

    We tried that in Vietnam.

    alphie (99bc18)

  18. The comments above are very interesting when you understand what most of the criticism is saying. “We are on the same side as Saddam” and my only retort is when you sleep with pigs you are going to smell like pig shit. If we haven’t learned anything else over there, “He who has the guns makes the rules,” is a start. The other criticism seems to come out of the latest Democrat playbook: all we’re doing is killing helpless civilians. Easy for some LA based draft dodger to say. Hey guys, if they got off their asses and joined the right side they wouldn’t be civilians. BTW how can anyone be just a bystander over there?

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)

  19. Alphie,
    Propping up a corrupt government? Do you mean Democrat controlled Oakland, or New Orleans, or San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or Philadelphia or all of them?

    That panic you smell is Democrats realizing their great surrender promises are not polling and their well laid plans to undermine America are unraveling. No wonder Democrat senators are reduced to lying about Rush.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  20. It’s interesting to view everything through domestic politics, PS, but the election is over a year away.

    Why did Patraeus squeal to Congress about Iran last month if he’s just going to do Iran’s bidding in Iraq?

    It looks like these guys have no endgame at all.

    alphie (99bc18)

  21. Alphie:
    The Democrat’s end game is falling to pieces. Soon they will have nobody to surrender to and their grand plan to weaken America is in shambles. What is Democrat’s plan B, surrender to the thugs of Myanmar or Dafur?

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  22. I don’t think politicians have “endgames” PS.

    They only see as far as the next election.

    alphie (99bc18)

  23. They only see as far as the next election.

    That is their endgame, Staunch Brayer.

    Paul (d71395)

  24. Yeah okay basically everything alpo there said was just completely factually inaccurate.

    The SIIC is an Iraqi nationalist Shiite political organization. Hakim is on good terms with Iran but al-Sistani is cold towards Tehran.

    The Mahdi Army is Iran’s biggest proxy in Iraq. After the announcement of the surge al-Sadr fled to Iran for months and the Mahdi Army began to break up into the “Noble Mahdi Army” which is still under Sadr’s command and then into various splinter groups that the US military usually refers to as the “secret cells” and “Special Groups” that are either controlled by or getting help from Iran or have devolved to the level of heavily armed localized street gangs. Sadr ordered the “Noble Mahdi Army” to start a cease-fire after a shootout with Badr Brigade militiamen last month drew the ire of most of the major political blocs in Iraq. Sadr’s political position in Iraq has deteriorated significantly in the last year.

    Alpo’s comment there that going after the Mahdi Army’s Iranian proxies while leaving SIIC largely alone plays into Iran’s hands is just completely contradictory to reality. The last nine months has seen the beginning of a decline of Iranian influence on the military situation in Iraq and hopefully that will continue.

    The comparison to South Vietnam is hilarious for its ignorance. The US military goes after anyone who attacks them or attacks civilians in Iraq. If that means going after a militia that has a political party component to it, so be it. What you’re saying is nothing different from saying that if, say, a political party in America started using large-scale political violence including terrorism, that the government putting it down by force would constitute “getting rid of its political rivals.” That’s just nonsense, like everything else you say.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  25. There is no doubt we have the militias on their heels. Here is what I believe happened. Once AQI was neutralized, the shia militias, who protected the Shia from the Sunnis, were not as necessary to the common Shia. Once they weren’t necessary their own evil deeds were exposed. Once that happened the Shia turned on their own militias they way that the Sunnis did to AQI.

    Once all the militias were on the defensive, their individual groups began to bicker, since they all had competing agendas. For instance, the splinter Sunni group run by one of Saddam’s henchman is nationalist whereas AQI is totally fueled by jihad. Once they started to turn on each other it became a classic divide and conquer strategy. That is why killing was so far down in September and why October will be even better. There is no doubt we are winning in Iraq. The only doubt is whether or not the MSM will ever show the real story, but if they don’t we, the blogging community, will. Incidentally, here is how I analyzed the situation and here is an example of the media blackout I am talking about

    Mike Volpe (de5e1c)

  26. Poor Alpho demonstrates a remarkable inability to distinguish between good and evil. Why is it that you are such a strong supporter of such evil, the defender of terrorists and murderers Alpho?

    Sad to see such moral blindness. To think that creatures such as this walk among us.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  27. “What’s It All About, Alphie?”;

    Wrong as usual. In Pakistan, AQP tries to assassinate Benazir Bhutto because she is a woman and, worse, a woman in power. That is a fine reason for Pakistani’s to finish off the tribal regions once and for all. It also takes Musharraf off the hook for his military ties.

    Putin is sending a message to Bush by sucking up to the Iranians who seem never to learn you can’t trust the Russians. Putin is telling Bush to back off the Baltic states, Georgia, and the Ukraine in exchange for Russia throwing Iran under the American Bus.

    Syria is dirty dancing to cover-up the destruction of their nuclear plant recently destroyed by the Israelis. Iran is being hurt by the sanctions that is slowly bankrupting their country along with the futile attempt to become a nuclear power. The Russians don’t want their neighbor to possess nuclear capability any more than we do. Also, note the recent crackdown on Iranian unmarried couples committing the unforgivable sin of holding hands in publc. This is desperation on the mullah’s part and doomed to failure.

    AQI is all but destroyed in Iraq and the only thing left is for the sunni’s to get along with the shiites in government; Iran’s worst nightmare. The locals in Afghanistan are in the process of attacking the Taliban who had the effrontery to ban smoking and other decadent western habits as they help take their country back for takfiri/wahabbist fanatics.

    By the way, I am sure you are happy that Governor Jindal just beat out the democrats in a referendum that threw the dems under the Katrina corruption bus right where they belong. Justice is served!

    vet66 (56a0a8)

  28. should read “Tke their country back FROM takfiri/Wahabbist fanatics.”

    vet66 (56a0a8)

  29. The comparison to Vietnam is Americans generals can’t ever let the locals handle things, Mike.

    At this point in the game, why does the Iraqi Army need U.S.(and Polish) support to take on 30 guys?

    alphie (99bc18)

  30. The comparison to Vietnam is Americans generals can’t ever let the locals handle things, Mike.

    No, your comparison was that the US is engaged in an unjustifiable policy of using military force to achieve narrow sectarian or political ends rather than for the good of all Iraqis.

    At this point in the game, why does the Iraqi Army need U.S.(and Polish) support to take on 30 guys?

    Because they can’t do it on their own in that particular area yet.

    God but you’re a pathetic troll.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  31. Yeah,

    I’m a pathetic troll, chaos.

    Nothing wins hearts & minds like launching airstrikes that kill toddlers in the heart of a city:;_ylt=AsvRAe23MYjMvetUvWMQ346s0NUE


    alphie (99bc18)

  32. Congratulations, Al Qaeda Alphie, for being a condescending prick.

    Mark (e29a60)

  33. Iraq has AQI, we have AQAlphie.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  34. Counterinsurgency is not like that. It’s not enemy-centric. It’s actually population-centric. And I think we have found over the last three or four years of evolution of the conflict in Iraq that the more we focus on the population and protecting them, the easier it is to deal with the enemy. The more we focus on the enemy, the harder it is to actually get anything done with the population.

    –David Kilcullen, Partraeus’ top advisor

    Lobbing “precision” bombs into crowded neighborhoods would seem to run counter to the current U.S. military spin.

    alphie (99bc18)

  35. Reid better pray for a setback, or we’ll have won by November 2008, and boy won’t they be screwed at those elections then.

    Don’t you guys ever get sick of counting chickens before they hatch?

    BTW, what is winning again? Having one theocrat eliminate his rivals? Comparing the current idea of winning to the pre-war goals shows just how far we’ve retreated.

    There’s been a certain amount of pop sociology in America … that the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There’s almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq’s always been very secular.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (5fbe38)

  36. Interesting how the pathetic troll takes the claims of the anti-American residents of Sadr City at face value and completely ignores the American military’s claims that no civilians were killed to its knowledge.

    It’s obvious whose side the pathetic troll is on.

    chaos (e21f6c)

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