Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Jesus, these people are clueless

So what's it like to torture POW's?
Sounds like fun

Hakim urges US to hit insurgents harder
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The only way to stave off civil war in Iraq is for US forces to strike harder against insurgents, Iraqi politician Abdul Aziz Al Hakim said after talks with President George W Bush.

Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, head of the biggest party in Iraq's government, put the onus on Washington and its allies to take tougher action in Iraq, and denied that Shi'ites were stoking sectarian violence.

White House talks with Hakim appeared to signal a more direct effort by Bush to stabilise Iraq. That is essential to any eventual drawdown of US troops, as Bush awaited an influential panel's recommendations on how to shift course in the unpopular war.

Bush told Hakim during the talks that he was not satisfied with the pace of progress in Iraq, and he later told Fox News 'what Americans are trying to figure out is why Iraqis are killing Iraqis when you have a better future ahead”.

The meeting came just two days before Bush, under intense public pressure to overhaul his Iraq policy, was due to receive proposals from a bipartisan Iraq Study Group co-chaired by former secretary of state James Baker.

Bush said he and Hakim talked about the need for 'elected leaders and society leaders to reject the extremists that are trying to stop the advance of this young democracy.'

Hakim heads the SCIRI movement, whose armed wing, the Badr Brigade, has been accused of running death squads targeting Iraqi Sunnis, an allegation he denied.

In a speech to the US Institute of Peace, which is coordinating work on the Baker group's report, Hakim called for stronger action by American-led forces against insurgents and other radicals like Al Qaeda.

'The strikes they are getting from the multinational forces are not hard enough to put an end to their acts,' he said.

'Eliminating the danger of civil war in Iraq could only be achieved through directing decisive strikes against Baathist terrorists (and other Islamists) in Iraq.'

'Otherwise we'll continue to witness massacres being committed every now and then against innocent Iraqis,' he said.

Experts say much of the recent violence has been part of a cycle of attacks between Shi'ites and Sunnis, who lost status when Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Bush praised Hakim for his 'strong position against the murder of innocent life”. But he also said: 'I told him that we're not satisfied with the pace of progress in Iraq.'

Possibly mindful of Washington's concerns about SCIRI's ties to US foes in Iran, Hakim told Bush that Iraq's neighbours should not become involved in the country's affairs.
Juan Cole says that Hakim doesn't want US forces to leave, and that my friends, means his clock is ticking. Because most Iraqis want to see the back of is.

Bush is out of his fucking mind. Hakim was a terrorist when Sadr was in school. The Wolf Brigade were among the first secterian torturers. What he wants is the ability to launch a pogrom against the Sunni with US protection.

But for him to say he wants US troops to stay is a gift to the Sadrists, as is his photo op with Bush. I am convinced that this comes from weakness and not strength. Sadrists control the streets and Hakim can't take them on by himself.

I think there is some last ditch CENTCOM plan to eliminate Sadr.

Remember when Martin Luther King was murdered and what followed? That would be nothing compared to the hell which would follow the death of Sadr. The militias would lose their shit and start a murderous rampage in Baghdad. US troops would face multiple attacks, since we would take the blame for his death, and there would be no Iraqi government left.

Why people think Sadrism is going to disappear is beyond me. SCIRI bought their way to power, but clearly don't control the streets. They were booted from Basra, which should have been their base. Their power lies mostly in the Shia centers of Najaf and Karbala, but they lost the most powerful economic centers of Shia life.

Let's say they kill Sadr, turning him into an instant martyr. He has 2m+ people who revere his family. How will they take his untimely death? DIdn't they flood the streets when one of his aids was arrested in 2004.

The idea that at this late date that Sadr is a roadblock and not the main player in Iraq is amusing. After all, he's not the one going to Washington for favors.

I wonder how the Sadrist press is playing this. Because it's a gift to them. Hakim, once sold out to the Iranians, now the Americans. Allows Sadr to play the nationalist hand once again.

Update: this was in comments

Bush has declared Iran to be a “rogue” state, a source of “terrorism,” and a threat to stability in the region. Of the two main Iraqi Shia movements, Bush has aligned the United States with the one that was created and trained in and financed by Iran. In contrast, the Shia movement, led by al-Sadr, is viewed with suspicion by Iranian regime precisely because he is an Iraqi nationalist who base of support is home grown and he rejects direction of the Iranian government.

Bush has declared that partitioning Iraq is not acceptable. Bush has aligned the United States with the Shia movement that readily promotes partitioning of Iraq into Arab Shia, Arab Sunni, and Kurdish regions. In contrast, al-Sadr with his Madhi army rejects the partitioning of Iraq.

In terms of views of religion and the state, Hakim, the SCIRI and the Badr Brigade are closer to those of “Islamic extremists” than that of the more secular, more Western oriented Sunni Arabs. Hakim, the SCIRI, and the Badr Bridge are viewed as terrorists by the Sunnis and are considered to be carpetbaggers by both the Sunnis and the majority of the Shia Arabs. To reiterate, Bush has aligned the United States with a sector of Iraqi society that is viewed by most of the Iraqi as terrorists and carpetbaggers. Yet, Bush claims to promote a reconciliation of the competing groups in Iraq.

Hakim and his Badr Brigade have failed to engage American troops to protect Iraqi interests – unlike the Sunni Insurgents and Madhi army. Instead, Hakim has generally between acquiescent in face the American occupation. He has used American solders to fight his political battles and strike out against his competitors for power in Iraq. Rather than fight American and British occupation forces, Hakim directs his forces against other Iraqis. Hakim now finds himself outmaneuvered for leadership among the Iraqi Shia because he lacks the nationalist credentials of al-Sadr. Hakim’s only hope for power is to use the US army to more ruthlessly hunt down and destroy his opponents.

posted by Steve @ 9:48:00 AM

9:48:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans