Weekend battle against Darth Sadr?

U.S. troops, cleric’s militia battle outside Najaf

Apparently the peace talks didn’t go anywhere. Everyone knows you don’t fight the US military when they’ve had time to set things up the way they want.

Rule #1: Do not give US military forces time to deploy and plan.

Rule #2: If you fail to follow Rule #1, see Rule #3.

Rule #3: Pray. Hard and fast.

I was hoping that these talks would be fruitful. al-Sistani has warned that if we cross the ‘red line’ and attack Najaf, he will “take a different stronger position”. Our battle is with al-Sadr and his al-Mahdi Army militia, but this could easily spread into a general fight with Shiites. The Badr Brigade has a strong presence in Najaf.

There’s no doubt we can win the battle. It’s the cost, in lives now and in relations later, that might be higher than we can accept.


  1. It appears we’re afraid to go in, based on the general reaction, especially now that Al Sistani has told us not to cross the ‘red line.’ And, we’re negotiating in Fallujah. Reportedly, the demands for those who killed, burned, and mutilated the contractors have already been dropped. We may only insist that the estimated 400 insurgents leave the city. We’re now in a gray area where the military’s hands are tied by the diplomats. We’re there because we didn’t clean up pockets of resistance before declaring the active combat phase over, in my opinion. In the meantime, according to multiple reports, the rebuilding has all be stopped and much of the 18.4 billion allocated for reconstruction is waiting in some bank. As a ‘Chairborne (non) Ranger’ I admittedly don’t have 1/10 the understanding of those on the ground, but since we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, why not finish the jobs in Fallujah and Najaf, sending a strong signal to anyone else inclined to rise up; then get back to training their people to keep the peace and rebuilding their country. We could learn a thing or two from the Romans. In countries they occupied, they were mild with cooperating civilians, and even introduced improvements in roads, laws, and elsewhere; but they put down uprisings quickly, with a ruthless vengeance.