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Truce inked in Sadr City

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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It now very much looks like Al-Sadr's patience will be rewarded as he evades demand to disband the Mahdi army and will be allowed to run a slate of candidates in the upcoming October Iraqi elections.

As Maliki's next target may become remaining Al-Quida strong points in Iraq. Although US troops are no longer allowed a free hand in Sadr city, even US spokesmen support the move.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20080512/ts_csm/ojam

Opinion is somewhat divided, but I take it as a hopeful sign that Iraqi civilians seems united in seeing an end to sectarian strife. As the blame now seems to shift away from the Mahdi army and get focused on foreign fighters, criminals, and thugs.

Time will tell, but I was very worried that a too aggressive policy would reignite a bloodbath in Iraq.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Sadr already esscaped. He's been in Iran for around a year already.

And this "truce" is decidedly one-sided. Maliki gets control of Sadr City. He also still has control of the majority of Basra and is working on getting a handle on the remainder. He'll be able to arrest any "criminals" that there are warrants out for, including JAM members. The Mahdi Army and Sadrists must recognize the Iraqi government has control and authority. All attacks by the Mahdi Army must be ended, including in the Green Zone. The Mahdi army has to clear Sadr City of roadside bombs and end all of their illegal courthouses. The coalition is still building the barrier in Sadr city.

Sounds like a huge win for Sadr.

 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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As TLC talks all around the fact that Al Sadr has indeed avoided the checkmate TLC predicted. Sadly, thus far, the ceasefire is not holding and at least a dozen have been killed. While I doubt these resisters are from Al Sadr's bunch, I very much doubt the residents of Baghdad will tolerate unlimited Iraqi army presence long term. And I tend to believe, honor satisfied, Maliki will send the bulk of the Iraqi army else where on some other errand.

The real question is, does this represent a step in the direction of breaking the armed power of the various Iraqi insurgencies? And in that area, its not that clear IMHO.

But as I have said before, the Iraqi army is the about the only institution the Iraqi people could trust in the past. And I have to take it as a hopeful sign that it seems to be emerging as an organization that can at least control criminals and thugs. But still a time will tell as we look ahead to the October elections in Iraq.

And then we will see if we can get an Iraqi legislature that can make the political progress needed.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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First of all, LL, I'd like you to show me where I claimed that Sadr was "checkmated." What I claimed is that he didn't have the military might to take on the Iraqi government. He didn't, and now has been forced to capitulate in order to salvage any last hope to retain some power and authority, as well as some Arab street cred. I doubt that the fact that Sadr was talking out of his ass (with his threats of an uprising) has passed by the Iraqi public. Maliki showed just how impotent he really is.

Second, since you seem to like to review predictions on this situation, let's look at a few of your own.

http://forums.anandtech.com/me...ht_key=y&keyword1=sadr

And if Al Sadr can somewhat goad Maliki into needlessly endangering the lives of Iraqi civilians just to pad his ego, Maliki
is the one who will be going down and taking the feckless Iraqi civilian government down with it.
However, I think The Green Bean has touched on what will amount to the Al Sadr strategy with the million man march. If he can get enough Iraqis together demanding the USA leaves Iraq immediately, it could put the US position in serious doubt. We already know from poll numbers that the large majority of Iraqis now want the US to leave, but if they are that silent majority doing nothing, they are easy to ignore. But if Sadr can deliver the matchers they will have a voice and political clout that cannot be ignored.
http://forums.anandtech.com/me...AR_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear

In related news Malki may have mousetrapped himself. Giving Iraqi insurgents three days to lay down their arms.

The only possible bright spot I can see is that this crisis could create an opportunity for someone to arise and unite Iraq
by showing some wise leadership. It could be Malki but I doubt it.
And my take on the entire incident is as follows. Because when you have rival adjacent fiefdoms, the natural progression is that one group will try to take over the other. And the already well entrenched Mahdi army faction was squabbling over who got the lions share of the Iraqi oil being looted in Basra with another well entrenched Shia group(s) backed by other Shia factions. And Malaki came in with the Iraqi army to try to establish "law and order", and in doing so over reached himself because he does not have the power needed and Iraqi army troops do not particularly enjoy killing fellow Iraqis. Rather than allow Basra to be destroyed meaning there will be no oil money to loot, both rival Shia groups called a cease fire without disarming, pretty soon Malki will go back to the green zone with his Shia political support weakened, the whole stunt just resulted in a lot of people being killed, and nothing has fundamentally changed.
And if three days passes and they do not, then what?

Unless Malki can then enforce that demand without starting a bloodbath carnage that will fall mostly on civilians, it can only go to show how ineffective and irrelevant he is.
My statement, from the same thread:

Your latest myth is assuming that in order to establish complete central government control that the Iraq government has to completely wipe out every militia member. That's simply not true. All the Iraqi gov has to do is exactly what they did in Basra - demonstrate that the militias are no match for government troops. They weren't. It wasn't Maliki that called this "truce." Sadr had to back down because his men were getting obliterated. Despite this "fierce resistance" that the MSM crows about he was losing 70+ men a day. Many more were injured, or captured. Sadr knew the numbers game and knew he couldn't sustain those losses, so he retreated. While the spinmeisters in the West may view that retreat as a victory I seriously doubt the majority of Iraqis see it that way. All they see is that Sadr is not nearly as powerful as he claimed to be. His boasts have shown to be idle ones. His bite doesn't match his bark.

Not only that, but now we have what may be some actual proof of Iran's involvement and backing of Sadr. Not a single MSM outlet or journalist has bothered to assess typical Iraqi reaction to that Iranian involvement. Hmmm. I wonder why?
Really, LL. You should lurk more and stop trying to be Nostrodamus concerning Iraq because you're consistently wrong on the issues. You suck at predictions.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
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Originally posted by: TastesLikeChicken
Really, LL. You should lurk more and stop trying to be Nostrodamus concerning Iraq because you're consistently wrong on the issues. You suck at predictions.
LOL! Please dont convince LL to stop posting.. My colleagues and I use his posts like most office folks use their Far Side Calendars... so please keep posting LL!

 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: TastesLikeChicken
Really, LL. You should lurk more and stop trying to be Nostrodamus concerning Iraq because you're consistently wrong on the issues. You suck at predictions.
LOL! Please dont convince LL to stop posting.. My colleagues and I use his posts like most office folks use their Far Side Calendars... so please keep posting LL!
Well, LL has done better than Bush :p
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: TastesLikeChicken
Really, LL. You should lurk more and stop trying to be Nostrodamus concerning Iraq because you're consistently wrong on the issues. You suck at predictions.
LOL! Please dont convince LL to stop posting.. My colleagues and I use his posts like most office folks use their Far Side Calendars... so please keep posting LL!
:laugh:
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: TastesLikeChicken
Sounds like a huge win for Sadr.
Maliki and the central Iraqi government took on the strongest militia in Iraq and won. This was not a minor win, either, but a major military and political victory for central authority in Iraq. I cannot say that I am surprised by the lack of praise in the media for the event, however.

Look at the follow-up to the initial doom and gloom regarding Operation Charge of the Knights in Basra. I finally found one story which detailed the positive and comprehensive results achieved by the Iraqi Army in Basra, in an article from the New York Times yesterday.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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If nothing else TLC, the true test will come in the coming Iraqi October elections. Will the then newly reconstituted Iraqi government be able to make any political progress? And will Maliki still be at its head?

As for saying I was making prediction, there you are wrong, I was raising some possibilities that could happen or not. Now the basic chess game goes off in different tangents because those tactics were not tried. Or in the case of the million man March, because Maliki threatened to repress it with violence.

One can look at a glass as half full or half empty, or one can simply look at a glass and note its neither full or empty.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
If nothing else TLC, the true test will come in the coming Iraqi October elections. Will the then newly reconstituted Iraqi government be able to make any political progress? And will Maliki still be at its head?

As for saying I was making prediction, there you are wrong, I was raising some possibilities that could happen or not. Now the basic chess game goes off in different tangents because those tactics were not tried. Or in the case of the million man March, because Maliki threatened to repress it with violence.

One can look at a glass as half full or half empty, or one can simply look at a glass and note its neither full or empty.
I'll make a prediction that I guarantee will come 100% true, LL. Maliki will still be head of Iraq after the October elections. I can state that with certainty because the elections in October are provincial elections. National elections aren't until 2009.

As far as you trying to claim a difference between making predictions and citing possible outcomes...lol. Seems PH has another LL classic for his office wall.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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TLC, the French have an old saying, the more things change, the more things stay the same. As for Palehorse74's buddies still stuck in Afghanistan, they need all the chuckles, laughs, and grins they can get, because they are still making negative progress over there. But at least they have a good excuse, almost no resources given to work with.

As for the TLC claim of---First of all, LL, I'd like you to show me where I claimed that Sadr was "checkmated."

Ckeckmated was the very words you used TLC. Maybe you will want to go back into your past posts to dig it up, I am not going to bother. Al Sadr simply did not allow himself to be goaded into a fight that would have resulted in a bloodbath. And now it looks like Maliki will take his buccaneering onto Mosil as Al Sadr and the Mahdi army emerges unscathed. Maliki may be on a roll right now but one slip and he will not head the Iraqi Government come October. Still, I have always said that its possible that Iraq is making progress, but I have also said this is far from over and over reaching now may result in disaster.

Maybe you have not noticed, but US Army rhetoric has changed greatly lately as it seems designed to defuse tensions.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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The Mahdi Army emerges unscatched?

http://www.longwarjournal.org/...hdi_army_taking_si.php

What exactly is your definition of unscathed?

Sadr has been forced to capitulate to government demands. His militia no longer has contol over the territory they formerly ruled. They now have to play by the ruled the Iraqi government set for them and recognize government authority. The only thing that hasn't been taken from Sadr is his life, and that's because he's too much of a pussy to show his face in Iraq.

Whether I used the word checkmate or not, Sadr lost. So either he was checkmated, his king was captured, or he conceded the game. Only a complete fool would even try to pretend that Sadr came out the winner in this.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Lets see TLC, first you recycle an article over a month old with dubious math, and then you think that any and all Iraqi central government gains will be permanent. The political power of Al Sadr and the military power of the Mahdi army remain intact. There is still fighting in Basra, some fighting in Baghdad, and much of the mischief is not directly attributed to Al Sadr. Meanwhile Al Sadr has great control over much of Southern Iraq.

And now can patiently wait for events that favor him. As it is, Sadr city is a huge area and I doubt the Iraqi army will try to penetrate very deep. Soon other events will require Maliki's attention elsewhere and my best guess is that Makili will eventually over extend himself as he stretches his forces ever thinner.

In a chess game, checkmate is the end of the game, and as I have always said, this is no Al Sadr checkmate yet. Or even close. In that ancient adage, one step back may allow two steps forward later. Nor should we speak only of Al Sadr, the various Iraqi insurgencies are becoming even more deeply entrenched.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
Lets see TLC, first you recycle an article over a month old with dubious math, and then you think that any and all Iraqi central government gains will be permanent. The political power of Al Sadr and the military power of the Mahdi army remain intact. There is still fighting in Basra, some fighting in Baghdad, and much of the mischief is not directly attributed to Al Sadr. Meanwhile Al Sadr has great control over much of Southern Iraq.

And now can patiently wait for events that favor him. As it is, Sadr city is a huge area and I doubt the Iraqi army will try to penetrate very deep. Soon other events will require Maliki's attention elsewhere and my best guess is that Makili will eventually over extend himself as he stretches his forces ever thinner.

In a chess game, checkmate is the end of the game, and as I have always said, this is no Al Sadr checkmate yet. Or even close. In that ancient adage, one step back may allow two steps forward later. Nor should we speak only of Al Sadr, the various Iraqi insurgencies are becoming even more deeply entrenched.
The age of the article doesn't change its math or the facts it contains. The death toll of JAM is much higher now than cited in the article, btw. If you have data to the contrary, please present it instead of waving your hand and attempting to dismiss it. Hand waving works for Mariah Cary but unless you're trying to give us a song & dance, don't bother.

The political clout of Sadr has been eroded, severely, as nearly the entirety of the Iraqi parties sided against him. His Mahdi Army got spanked and demonstrated that their power was more about boastful words from Sadr than actual actions. Sadr's posturing has been exposed for its toothlessness and lack of backing up his boasts.

Sadr has been relegated to the back burner. His credibility has been eroded to a stump and he'll be lucky if he maintains his current level of support in government. We shall see in the coming elections.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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So TLC is still sticking to his checkmate scenario of--Sadr has been relegated to the back burner. His credibility has been eroded to a stump and he'll be lucky if he maintains his current level of support in government. We shall see in the coming elections.

We may well see sooner than that if Maliki's over reaches. HAVING IS NOT HOLDING.
 

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