Friday, August 31, 2007

Al-Sadr Calls For Truce


Radical Shiite cleric Muqtadr al-Sadr has ordered a 6 month suspension of hostilities for his Mahdi Army Militia. He has ordered the militia to not attack US or Government forces and they will use this time to re-organize.
The Mahdi Army has broken into factions over the last couple of years, with certain factions bombing civilians and this has given al-Sadr a black eye. Most recently, a faction of the Mahdi Army was involved in an attack on a Shiite mosque in the holy city of Karbala.
The streets of Sadr City were extremely quiet today as the cessation of hostilities has taken effect. The question is, what role did the "surge" play in these developments. The US Military has been hitting the Mahdi Army pretty hard these past couple of months, and a suspicious person might say that this "rehabilitation" is just an excuse for al-Sadr's forces to get some breathing room and lick their wounds. We shall see, but in the meantime, this gives our forces in Sadr City a little break from the constant fighting.

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12 comments:

Loving Annie said...

Hope that you have a good Labor Day weekend, Paul !

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

We'll see..... hum....


HAVE A GREAT LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

Paul Champagne said...

annie and terri ... happy labor day to you to. I of course will be relaxing at work :(

buffalodickdy said...

There are more factions in the Middle East, I don't who is on whos' side half the time....

Paul Champagne said...

buffalo ... luckily neither do they. But as long as they are killing each other and not us ... who's complaining?

Stephanie said...

Well...that's a relief. Does that mean we'll be leaving them alone too?

Blancodeviosa said...

i don't buy it..

Paul Champagne said...

stephanie ... I don't know if we will be leaving them alone. We have been raiding Mahdi Army hideouts and confiscating their weapons ... I don't know that it would be a good thing to stop doing that.

blanco ... you mean you don't believe everything a terrorist says? I knew you were a smart lady. The main reason for the cease-fire that was reported today is that al-Sadr needs the time to root out foreign operatives in his militia. He also wants to stop the Shiite vs Shiite killing that has been going on between rival militias.

So no, no one believes that al-Sadr is doing this out of the benevolence of his heart or a true desire to see the Iraqi government succeed. He is trying to position himself as a leader and potential ruler of Iraq.

Debbie said...

Sadr is trying to put forth the idea that he is working with the US and coalition. He did this (according to Sadr) so that Bush would have something positive to report when Petraeus gives his report on the surge next week.

Supposedly Sadr's Mahdi Army never attacks Americans, unless attacked first. They also claim that had no part in the Karbala attacks, that it was Badr and his band of merry terrorists.

(Not that I believe any of that, just sharing Sadr's point of view.)

Sadr wants to be the last man standing that could possibly have a leadership position in Iraq. I don't see that ever happening, but he has delusions of grandeur.

His guys are split off into rogue groups, supported and trained by Iran. Supposedly, Sadr doesn't like Iran and wants Iran out. (Maybe, maybe not).

It's really hard to follow what these people SAY, compared to what they DO.

Paul Champagne said...

debbie ... on my son-in-law's first tour of duty, he said that Sadr City was pretty peaceful. Then we had some undertrained troops patroling one day and they responded with force to some celebratory gunfire (a wedding) and ended up in a gunfight with members of the Mahdi Army. It has been hell in that part of the city since then. Can't really blame the troops ... you gotta blame the commanders that didn't train them up on these things.

Debbie said...

Paul Champagne: Your account of your son's experience, seems to go with what Sadr says. He has been trying to get into good graces with the Americans. But no one trusts him.

Paul Champagne said...

There are good reasons why no one trusts him. The primary reason is his many trips to Iran. When SIL told me this story, I was surprized too, I just thought al-Sadr was a bad guy ... seems he might have had a reason for his actions. He has a chance to show where he stands now ... let's see what he does with it.