Friday, May 25, 2007

Mahatma Sadr ?

Muqtada al Sadr is back out of the bomb shelter. Hope he wore his shades. Not too many trees out there. He held a conference in which he (surprise) made an Anti-American speech.

"He (Al Sadr) also condemned fighting between his Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces, saying it "served the interests of the occupiers." Instead, he said the militia should turn to peaceful protests, such as demonstrations and sit-ins, he said. (Al Sadr Gandhi ?)
Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fought U.S. troops to a virtual standstill in 2004, but to avoid renewed confrontation he ordered his militants off the streets when the U.S. began its security crackdown in the Baghdad area 14 weeks.(Oh No ! Body count forced the politicians to allow the soldier on the ground to fight ! Better run.)

Sadr's associates say his strategy is based partly on a belief that Washington will soon start reducing troop strength, leaving a void in Iraq's security and political power structure that he can fill. (What's scary is it might even add stability to the country. The drawback being that he hates Israel. )

Al-Sadr also believes that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government may soon collapse under its failure to improve security, services and the economy, al-Sadr's aides say. A political reshuffle would give the Sadrist movement, with its 30 seats in the 275-member parliament, an opportunity to become a major player. (Did he just point out that the Prime Minister's inability to stop Al Sadr's terrorists is a sign of weakness ?)

Now here is the part that kind of scares me. The intelligence behind this move is calculated. Its brilliant.

His speech had new nationalist overtones, calling on Sunnis to join with him in the fight against the U.S. presence.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe expressed hope that al-Sadr's reappearance signaled that he wanted "to play a positive role inside Iraq."
Credit: By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer , Yahoo News

Now do you see it ? Instead of fighting on two fronts, figuratively, he wants the weaker enemy, the Sunni, to join his people, thus bolstering his manpower and at the same time giving the outward appearance of a positive change in viewpoint. On the World Stage he'll appear to have the best interest of Iraq in mind. With passive resistance, he'll then appear to be the humanitarian, questing to stop the bloodshed and rebuild Iraq to the benefit of the people. His party will have a stronger vote in the parliament. With proper backing al Sadr may even become Prime Minister. Think of what he could do then. With the government under control, he could then work to control his nation. If this meant the elimination of key Sunni figures I'm sure he would not blink.

I guess at that point the US would have no choice but to pull out or start its (pretty darn obvious) war on Iran. The latter would be ignorant as then al Sadr would have the backing of the Arab Nations to attack our forces from the rear. So I doubt we would continue with that endeavor. No, I think we would pull out. Al Sadr would have nothing to stop him from subjugating the Sunni people then. He wouldn't hit a pot hole until it came down to 'The Israeli Question'. Yes, there is a reason I phrased it that way, and I think the parallel drawn is extreme but not set in stone yet. There are still a few roads al Sadr has yet to travel before the similarity is complete. One can only pray that Johndroe is right.

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