08 April 2008

Iraq News (8 April)

The Good: Operations continue in Sadr City to flush out militia thugs by Iraqi Security Forces and US Forces. There is potential for the Mahdi Army being disbanded, but it depends on what the senior Shi'ite religious authorities tell Sadr to do. There has been little coming from Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf, which is most likely due to his poor health, unfortunately. He is arguably the most influential person in Iraq and was responsible for brokering the peace in 2004 between the Mahdi Army and coalition forces. It will be interesting to see what his spokesmen have to say.
The Bad: Four US soldiers were killed in action on Monday due to fierce fighting in Baghdad. The anti-occupation protests being called for by Sadr are planned for tomorrow as well.
The Ugly: The latest Salon piece to discredit the Petraeus/Crocker testimony to boost the rhetoric for the Dems proclaims that their anti-Iranian discussions are too harsh and "propaganda". Self-proclaimed expert of everything in the Middle East and liberal demagogue, Juan Cole, even says that there is no evidence that Iran directly provides weapons to the Mahdi Army! I guess the remnants of numerous blasts and explosions from Iranian mortars throughout the Green Zone I have heard/seen are all in my imagination. Oh well, he's a professor and smarter than me. However, I do think more rigorous with diplomacy is a good idea, and you can read about that here.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani: Key to Peace?


Anonymous said...

Do you think Sadr would disband his militia if told to by the senior religious authorities? More importantly, do you think he actually retains enough control of the militia for them to follow through if he disbands?

Anonymous said...

I think that your insights are right on. However, in view of abwf's comment, I do see another issue rising here. If Sistani is ill, there may be an effort by Iran's religious leader to set the stage for their choice of successor. They may be moving to have a less independent leader take Sistani's place. This would have tragic results in the efforts in Iraq for peace and Democracy. What do you think being as you are right there and have a better perspective?


membrain said...

For a really fine analysis of Iran's role in all of this you can do no better than reading the following discussion on the subject.


Keep up the good work LT Nixon.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/08/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

LT Nixon said...


I think most of the Shi'ite religous leaders don't like mixing religion and politics like in Iran. I'm not an expert on Shi'ite Muslims, but someone once told me that.


I doubt the Shi'ite religous leaders will call for disbanding in light of recent Iraqi news reporting...