June 30, 2006

Mahdi Militia + Iranians = Big Fat Target

Hatched by Sachi

Here is an interesting story to wake up to yesterday morning:

Iraqi and U.S. troops battled Shi'ite militiamen in a village northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, and witnesses and police said U.S. helicopters bombed orchards to flush out gunmen hiding there.

Iraqi security officials said Iranian fighters had been captured in the fighting, in which a sniper shot dead the commander of an Iraqi quick reaction force and two of his men. They did not say how the Iranians had been identified.

Let's run through the points of interest:

  • Iraqi Security Forces (police) fighting side by side with Coalition (American) troops. Well, not too interesting; such cooperation has become so routine, it's almost blasé.
  • ...Fighting against a Shiite militia: in fact, Muqtada Sadr's mighty al-Mahdi "Army."

Now that's worth some attention: one of the most urgent tasks facing the Shia-dominated government in Iraq, under Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has been to persuade Sunni semi-rejectionists that even though the prime minister and the interior minister are both Shia, the country's police forces will still confront the Shiite militias that have terrorized and butchered so many Sunni.

We know that the Iraqi Army and the Interior-Ministry police forces are willing to go toe-to-toe with the Sunni terrorists; but until the ordinary Iraqi Sunni -- like, for example, Mohammed and Omar at Iraq the Model -- can be persuaded that the government cares about their lives, too, it will be very hard to reel in the Sunni hardliners.

This battle will go a long way towards reassuring the Sunni that the police are not just militias with uniforms.

  • And among the militiamen captured were a number of Iranian fighters. This is a very important discovery, since it's clear evidence that Iran is meddling with its neighbor to the west... and also more evidence that Muqtada Sadr, regardless of his denials, is in fact in the Ayatollah's pocket.

This is really great news, as the Iranian deception is coming unraveled. With every passing month, it becomes clearer that Iran is directly trying to seize control of the Shiite areas of Iraq... and harder for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei to pretend otherwise, even to "impartial" European observers.

The story exhibits hallmarks of slovenly writing and muddled thinking:

[The Interior Ministry forces] did not say how the Iranians had been identified.

Uh... perhaps because they spoke Arabic with a Persian accent and were carrying Iranian identification cards? Really, doesn't Reuters suspect that Iraqi Arabs can identify Persians in their midst? They really are very different in language, culture, and even food.

The United States and Britain have accused Shi'ite Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs and providing military assistance to Iraq's pro-government Shi'ite militias. However, there have been few instances of Iranians actually being captured inside Iraq.

Some Iraqis, particularly Sunnis, are quick to label Shi'ite fighters as Iranian agents. And among the militants are Iraqis who grew up in refugee camps in Iran, speak Iranian-accented Arabic and, in some cases, carry Iranian identity papers.

If they grew up in Iran, speak Persian (Farsi) as their native language, and have Iranian idenfication cards... then what the heck makes them Iraqi? Their ancestory? It's amazing to see the mainstream media embrace the racist position that one's nationality is completely determined by one's blood, not one's allegiance. These fighters are Iranian in outlook, language, and citizenship... but Reuters clearly thinks of them as "Iraqis" because that is the nationality of their progenitors!

Does that mean that my nationality is actually Polish, German, and Welsh, instead of American? With this attitude, it's no wonder that so many lefties are resurrecting the old libel about Jews having "divided loyalties." "The blood is the key!" as a mad scientist in some old horror movie said (I should ask Brad Linaweaver which flick).

If it looks, quacks, and smells like a duck, it's probably not a lampshade.

And of course, this being the antique media, the Ubiquitous Invisible Analyst makes an appearance:

Many analysts are skeptical of the feasibility of disarming large paramilitary groups linked to the most powerful political parties. Without that, however, persuading the Sunni minority to lay down their arms will also be difficult.

And these analysts' names are...? Whoops, sorry, can't reveal our anonymous sources. That's an important secret that we'll never reveal. But we have a great deal on some classified intelligence information!

But the big story is the cooperation between Americans and Iraqis under the Shia-controlled Interior Ministry duking it out with Shiite militiamen -- and capturing Iranian infiltrators in the bargain. All else is dicta.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, June 30, 2006, at the time of 6:18 AM

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The following hissed in response by: jp phish


This is good news, and there may even more good news besides the willingness of the Shia PM and police to fight Muqtada Sadr's al-Mahdi.

I plan to do some research on this, and will have the results posted at my blog, but I think Sadr's militia has primarily been the enforcers of Shia law. Fighting Sunni may be a new mission. As enforcers of Shia law the al-Mahdi have been terorizing Shia Iraqis in the south, killing prostitutes and owners of establishments where liquor is sold, and possibly much more.

Al-Maliki's willingness, and the willingness of his security forces, to take on al-Mahdi indicates that the government will put civil/human rights laws at a higher priority than Shia law.

JP Phish

The above hissed in response by: jp phish [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2006 7:22 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Great story, and thanks for posting the analysis and links. If we can smack Sadr down, we have a great shot of helping bring some peace to Iraq.

Next embassy to open in the middle east: Tehran.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2006 10:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 30, 2006 8:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: SDN

Monkeya**, you aren't a citizen of a country just because you are or aren't born within its' borders. Citizenship comes from a) following the proper legal procedures, and b) bearing true faith and allegiance to the same. B is why you'll never be an American citizen if you live to be a hundred. Similarly, living in Iraq while serving Iran makes these clown Iranian.

The above hissed in response by: SDN [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 1, 2006 5:02 PM

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