I find your lack of faith disturbing
Bill Roggio covers the recent action in Sadr City and environs:
- Iraqi Army, Sadr’s Mahdi Army Battle in Amara
Sadr’s Mahdi Army must be reined in
- Mahdi Army, Iraqi Police Clash in Suwayra
Sadr’s attacks coincide with al-Qaeda bombing, media campaigns and ‘marches’ in western Iraq. Shades of the Fall of 2004…
- Raids on Mahdi Army, Amara flares
Sadr continues his double game and U.S. and Iraq forces dance with Sadr in central and southern Iraq
- Back to Sadr City
Iraqi and Coalition forces raid one of Sadr’s offices in his Baghdad stonghold
- The Sadr City Raids
Following up the raids in Sadr City; Maliki did approve of the raids
Plus, Ralph Peters writes KILL MUQTADA NOW. I wonder how Peters really feels?
UPDATE: Via Instapundit, here’s Roggio’s latest:
- Mahdi Army, Iraqi Police Battle in Baquba
The Mahdi Army continues to flaunt its power. It’s decision time for Maliki.
He notes the calls for the killing of Sadr.
However, this would give Sadr the status of martyr to the ‘occupiers’ and could create unnecessary violence. We argue this is a task best left to the Iraqis. Ideally, a ‘rogue element’ of the Mahdi Army would kill him (or so it would appear). This would be just desserts for Sadr’s shallow attempts at obfuscating his militia’s role in the fighting. And it would spawn a round of internecine fighting that would do much of the needed dirty work of dismantling the Mahdi Army.
Bill seems to realize that this would be a “best-case scenario”, however, and realizes that “realistically the task will fall upon Iraq’s security forces.”
In whatever form it comes, the death of Sadr will certainly cause “additional” violence of one sort or another. However, it should be apparent that the battle against his army and followers will need to be fought and won before further steps toward peace and stability can be taken. Sooner or later, the guy has to be taken down and his organization disrupted. Yes, this will then scatter the survivors and lots of little groups will “pop up” and a few of them will make real trouble. But that’s the nature of anti-insurgency. It has to be done.
We will have many more years of “Iraq is teetering on the verge of civil war” reports to keep us warm. Never mind that the civil war is being fought right now.
UPDATE 2: I meant to add that what I’m expecting is that a crackdown on Sadr by US, Coalition, and especially Iraqi forces will score several more weeks of successes. Numerous lieutenants and other various minions will be killed or captured, and a fair share of his cannon fodder will be slaughtered in battles against professional soldiers. With his back once again against the wall, Sadr will announce that he’s giving up the fight and will use governmental channels to advance his cause. He will play along until he can replace his key henchmen and recruit additional thugs to play the part of cannon fodder, then we’ll do this all again. Second verse, same as the first.