Fantasies of Iraq
Most people, including the incoming chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee Silvestre Reyes, think the militias can be handled, eliminated.
People don't look at maps.
But they should.
There are two, maybe three million people in Sadr. As many people as in Brooklyn. Now, do you think an army of 170,000 could conquer Brooklyn if every home had an AK in the house?
No. Of course not.
Because the minute your hit Brooklyn Heights, you would have to take every block.
We are way, way, past doing anything to Sadr, controlling the militias or saving our puppet government.
When we tried in 2004, it was a bad idea. And despite delusltory training, they stood up to the US Army. They got hammered, but they ran back to Sadr City and regrouped. Now, the US has spent billions in Sadr City, only problem, the mullahs got all the credit for it.
I mean, you hear people talk about sending what, 20-30K more men into Baghdad to deal with the militias. What do they think the militias are? A bunch of stumblebums? No, they are trained, we trained them, and so did the Iranians.
So we roll into Sadr City looking for the militias. Who promptly go home or to Najaf or Basra and chill until we've finished stomping around. Why? Because we can't stay there. Or they fight. From a nearly bottomless supply of men. Every move in Sadr City is watched.
See, this is Sadr City up close.
Wanna go for a drive in a slum of 2m+ people?
This is where Casey Sheehan got killed in 2004. Fighting the nascient Mahdi Army.
The Iraqi puppet government demanded the US leave there a few weeks ago.
People use abstract terms, like control the militias, without understanding what the fuck that means.
It looks like Hakim is going to try to sucker the US into going after Sadr. Which means the US loses and Hakim moves bach to Tehran. Why? Because he hasn't got the support to beat Sadr. He's got the money, but he doesn't have the support of the people.
When I hear people say "they're gonna take care of Sadr", I shiver, because that would send Iraq into a frenzy. It is literally the stupidest fucking move possible. Is he crazy, maybe, but he's outfoxed everyone else, everyone who wanted him to disappear. The Hakims, never as popular as their press, have to look for a new patron so he can best Sadr and kill Sunnis.
The problem, as a poster pointed out in comments, is that at no point has Hakim ever stood for Iraqi nationalism. He's worked with Iranians and now Americans to get what he wants, and that means he's never gonna have the trust of people who survived Saddam or the Iranian war. If I was a Sadrist, I would be posting the picture of Hakim and Bush all over Sadr City.
What I think some people are confused by is the fact that while I have predicted Sadr and the Sadrists as the ulitmate winners, that I might think that's the preferred outcome, it is far from that. Sadr and his militias are thugs at best, and genocidal killers at worse. But because the exiles are ineffective and Saddam killed any possible opposition, he's likely to be the last man standing.
We made Sadr's rise possible, and we are three years too late to stop him. A dead Sadr is a martyr who's words can be shaped by the living. A live Sadr isn't much better. But regardless, trying to stop the Shia train by meeting with torturers and murderers isn't going to work. A real leader wouldn't be kissing Bush's ass and trying to maniuplate him.
posted by Steve @ 1:41:00 AM