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I was browsing Time's political blog(Swampland) where I saw this excerpt posted from Joe Klein:

Quote:In Basra, Iraq’s most important oil-exporting center, thousands of Iraqi government soldiers and police officers moved into the city around 5 a.m. and engaged in pitched battles with Shiite militia members who have taken over big areas of that city.

The Basra operation, which senior Iraqi officials had been signaling for weeks, is considered so important by the Iraqi government that Mr. Maliki traveled to the city to direct the fighting, several officials said

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/world/...=2&_r=1&hp

So now al-Maliki is changing his title to Generalissimo?
Two details:
Debka calls this an action against Hizbollah-Iraq, Stratfor -- against Sadrists.
Both US and Iran support Al Maliki.
But, why is al-Maliki going to the front lines to actually participate in the battle?

Who do you agree with: Debka or Stratfor?
Anonymous24 Wrote:But, why is al-Maliki going to the front lines to actually participate in the battle?

Who do you agree with: Debka or Stratfor?

Perhaps he had some subordinates with whom he does not entirely trust?
John L Wrote:
Anonymous24 Wrote:But, why is al-Maliki going to the front lines to actually participate in the battle?

Who do you agree with: Debka or Stratfor?

Perhaps he had some subordinates with whom he does not entirely trust?
-----------------
This controversy within the Shiites can be a bigger problem than what we think right now. It could become a need for more US troops in Iraq if this is goes out of control.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/thethreatofaresurgeiniraq

Especially as British troops are staying out of this conflict...

/track_snake
track_snake Wrote:
John L Wrote:
Anonymous24 Wrote:But, why is al-Maliki going to the front lines to actually participate in the battle?

Who do you agree with: Debka or Stratfor?

Perhaps he had some subordinates with whom he does not entirely trust?
-----------------
This controversy within the Shiites can be a bigger problem than what we think right now. It could become a need for more US troops in Iraq if this is goes out of control.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/thethreatofaresurgeiniraq

Especially as British troops are staying out of this conflict...

/track_snake

Unless the Shia community remains split, we will be pushed out.

Anon,

There is a definite connection between Hizbollah-Lebanon and Al Sadr; the latter is a close relative of Nasrallah! There is also a group calling itself Hizbollah in Iraq. But how they are all really linked is unclear. (Remember recent nonsense about Saddam-AQ connection -- that was an easy one, secular vs fundamentalist. With Al Sadr it is within fundamentalist Shia, their internal politics is hard for us to discern.)
John,

I think Maliki is simply making a modern "photo op" for the nation. He's not "leading the fighting".

Here's a Roggio blurb on this deal. Apparently,this is by choice of the Iraqi Government,this has long been planned and he's drawn the line in the sand. I hope they don't need us in a major way simply because it will give them a boost.

HERE
Perhaps this showdown has been a long while simmering. Sadr evidently does not wish to retire into quiet clericdom, and he will if peace reigns. In addition, it is the first real test of Iraq's new government and army to see it they can subdue malcontents. Perhaps Al-Maliki went to bolster the troops (as well as for a photo op, and to bolster his image with the US and the UK).

I hope the Iraqis can handle it on their own. US and UK forces are there to help, if needed.
It has been a long time simmering. Experts(the people whom the Bush administration usually ignores and call 'ivory tower intellectuals' etc.) have been saying for years that a Shiite civil war in Iraq was inevitable.
Please help me to remember, hasn't been Basra until recently a place of success for the invasion, everybody loved the American and British? No Al Queda far and wide? Peace and prosperity? Haven't you been jubilant, "The surge is working!" Haven't you propped up both the Shia militia and the Iraqi government forces against Al Queda, but as it turns out to be, in absence of other terrorists as the so called Al Queda, they just wage war against each other?
Saddam had them under control, they were neither a threat to his power nor to foreign countries, nor was Saddam threatening foreign nations. What about you? Are you too incompetent to achieve the same, or is it you who spawns ever new conflicts in Iraq?
quadrat Wrote:Please help me to remember, hasn't been Basra until recently a place of success for the invasion, everybody loved the American and British? No Al Queda far and wide? Peace and prosperity? Haven't you been jubilant, "The surge is working!" Haven't you propped up both the Shia militia and the Iraqi government forces against Al Queda, but as it turns out to be, in absence of other terrorists as the so called Al Queda, they just wage war against each other?
Saddam had them under control, they were neither a threat to his power nor to foreign countries, nor was Saddam threatening foreign nations. What about you? Are you too incompetent to achieve the same, or is it you who spawns ever new conflicts in Iraq?
----------------------------------------
It was a success story from the beginning but it soon faded as the British lost control of the site to the Sadr and other shiites. Now the British are not seen outside their barracks any more...

/track_snake
Anon,

I never heard 1 word from the Bush admin. concerning shiite civil conflict,but as a guy who cheated just to graduate HS,I knew about it from late 2003. My guess is the POTUS was apprised of it as well.

Since we worked WITH SCIRI(a revolutionary extremist shiite organization with a fairly good Army) before ,during and after the invasion,I think it's safe to say Bush knew about shiite militias. Sistanis is SCIRI's titular head,Sadr is his political opponent and there are other shiite factions,just not as large.

In all honesty,you are missing THE point of what Bush said yesterday as most Americans are. The fact that this fight is ongoing is a positive sign,not a sign of failure. Maliki chose this time to confront Sadr,Sadr did NOT confront Maliki or the IA. It means upon serious consideration among all Iraqi leaders and I am positive with our military leaders there,Maliki ordered the takedown of Sadr's militia.

He warned this would occur almost 1 year ago and now it is. It had to occur,this idea that Bush has reported to us that Iraq is a girl scout camp is a continuing fantasy. Yea,in early 2003 he and most everyone foresaw a fairly easy transition to democratic rule,that's true,but that has been a dead horse since late 2003.

Maliki has chosen this fight,not Sadr.
But who says Maliki is necessarily better for America, or the Sunnis and Kurds, than Sadr is?
First of all,Iraq is a seperate/independent nation via an open election,they end up with this guy,not our call. We don't have the right to decide Sadr SHOULD rule Iraq even if we felt he should,which would be close to insanity wouldn't it?

Our goal and the majority of Iraqis is for the elective government to rule Iraqis,not militias of either side. Thus,we are assisting and supporting the government IA and IP in killing these militiamen and criminal thugs.

No different than we do killing Sunni terrorists and thugs,just a different set of idiots and this fight has been coming for years now. My hope is Maliki sticks with the program and grinds the JAM(Sadr's org) to dust as we are doing to al qaeda among the sunnis.

While shiite terrs were not part of 9-11,they are part of a global jihad and they present instability and failure to the Iraqi government and as such are good targets to kill,not to mention they've murdered several of our soldiers already.
Quote:Please help me to remember, hasn't been Basra until recently a place of success for the invasion, everybody loved the American and British? No Al Queda far and wide? Peace and prosperity? Haven't you been jubilant, "The surge is working!" Haven't you propped up both the Shia militia and the Iraqi government forces against Al Queda, but as it turns out to be, in absence of other terrorists as the so called Al Queda, they just wage war against each other?
Saddam had them under control, they were neither a threat to his power nor to foreign countries, nor was Saddam threatening foreign nations. What about you? Are you too incompetent to achieve the same, or is it you who spawns ever new conflicts in Iraq?

Yes i'm sure if the US was gassing disruptive villages, running around with death squads, killing children in front of their parents, and otherwise running things with an iron fist you'd come running here to congratulate them on their competence, right? Yes if only the US were running things like Saddam, then you'd love 'em right?

No wonder no one listens to you. How do you blurt out such dishonesty and pretend you have a point, then walk away telling yourself you're intelligent I'll never know. Maybe it's my allergy to bullshit that prevents me from spouting an opinion I don't even believe myself just to try and rile people -- because rilling people is the next best thing to actually being intelligent enough to provide a reasonable opinion right Quad? I'm sure it's become your motto by now: "When in doubt, say something stupid"




Ahk
Basra's post invasion history has been TERRIBLE anyway. Worse than any city in Iraq other than pre surge Baghdad.

The locals became incessant in calls for the government to step in,it must have been like Capone running their city,only Capone wasn't an Arab Islamic extremist like Sadr.

No,this fight is necessary,all who have watched this nation since 2003 knew it had to occur and the only reason it's been put off was the Sunnis up north caused us so much hassle and frankly,the British declined combat with Sadr's forces in 2004 when we accepted it and literally knocked the hell out of the JAM in our sectors such that even today,they are fighting not out of choice,but existence.

It's that simple,but now Maliki is leading the IA into this cauldron(along with us side by side with the IA) to eradicate Iraq of this cancer called JAM.
Quote:
First of all,Iraq is a seperate/independent nation via an open election,they end up with this guy,not our call. We don't have the right to decide Sadr SHOULD rule Iraq even if we felt he should,which would be close to insanity wouldn't it?

Not saying Sadr should be the ruler. Merely that al-Maili is a power-mad extremist... just like al-Sadr.

It makes sense on the surface to support the 'duly elected' leader. BUT, you could also argue(and I do) that an authoritrian government that protects basic civil rights and physical safety is better than a democratically elected government that enforces strict religious laws and makes violence against minorities.

Of course, our justification for creating this war(freedom!), prevents us from actually improving the lives of Iraqis. Assuming that we even could do that without killing a shitload of them first.
That is ridiculous. If we had a non governmental Army tyrannizing say your town,you'd be the first citizen to claim our government was a failure.

Maliki,working with the elected parliament,is finally doing what his main task is,protecting his citizenry. That's responsible,not the actions of a power mad tyrant.

You're just so determined to hate everything in Iraq because we went there w/o your consent,even if it means crushing Islamic terrorist groups that would otherwise be murdering US civilians in Europe or America.

You really want Iraq to be a disaster and so do your 2 democratic candidates. Because it didn't have YOUR approval. What an ego. Bigger than Texas.
Quote:You're just so determined to hate everything in Iraq because we went there w/o your consent,even if it means crushing Islamic terrorist groups that would otherwise be murdering US civilians in Europe or America.

You really want Iraq to be a disaster and so do your 2 democratic candidates. Because it didn't have YOUR approval. What an ego. Bigger than Texas.

I'm not determined to hate everything in Iraq because the war didn't have my approval. I'm not determined to hate anything.

The truth is, I've been lied to so much by Bush, I no longer believe good news actually is good news. But deeper than that, an impending Shiite civil war is actually good news in the first place?
People are still killing each other in Iraq. Explain to me why this is 'good'.

Even if al-Maliki beats Sadr, he still wants to attack the Sunnis. It doesn't make things any different.
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