October 5, 2006

Sadr and Masri: the Final Embrace

Hatched by Sachi

Excuse me, does anybody remember that there's a war on?

There is a lot to talk about in Iraq. So let's not lose focus; there is a lot more serious stuff going on than some stupid Republican creep and a bunch of Democratic political creeps.

It may be noble for us to keep our moral standard high (to the point of absurdity). But the bottom line is, if we lose this election, we will lose the war. It is just that simple; the Democrats have promised us a shameful defeat if they're elected, and this is one Democratic promise I believe!

Now, the important news. As Dafydd pointed out yesterday on Iraqi Police Bust Iraqi Police Brigade , there are several operations going on to clean out the militias. Bill Roggio at the Fourth Rail reports that Coalition forces -- "CF" -- are finally cracking down on Moqtada Sadr's Mahdi "army" in the city of Diwaniyah, outside of Baghdad.

While much of the public's perceptions of the efforts against Sadr are shaped by operations in Sadr City in Baghdad, the Coalition and Iraqi government are chipping away at his power base outside of Baghdad. The series of raids and clashes, often masked as efforts against “criminals,” “thugs,” “death squads,” and “kidnappers,” are being conducted against the extreme elements of Sadr and his Mahdi Army. The goal is to remove Sadr from a position of influence, either by force or his surrender, and split his power base. Sadr's lieutenants are being systematically targeted, which will drive him to either fight or withdraw.

A window into these operations is available in the city of Diwaniyah. A joint U.S. and Iraqi operation, dubbed Constant Solidarity has been announced at the end of September. The operation is made up of elements of the 8th Iraqi Army Division, supported the soldiers of the Fires Brigade (artillery), 4th Infantry Division. The purpose is to “weed out more than 2,000 terrorists in and around the city of Diwaniyah.” Diwaniyah is a Sadr stronghold, the “terrorists” being referred to here are the Madhi Army. To demonstrate the seriousness of the operation, the U.S. has deployed MLRS launchers (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System) in the region to hit back at the Madhi Army.

The operation, Constant Solidarity, has been going on since the beginning of September. But the first battle with the Mahdi army occurred on August 27th and 28th, when Iraqi Army forces killed 50 Sadrites, with a loss of only 20 of their own soldiers. Since then, CF has conducted various raids, including raiding the office of one of Sadr's top clerics.

In another action, according to Roggio, Operation Wilderness captured 32 of Sadr's death-squad terrorists. "On the 21st, another raid netted 'Salah al-Obeidi, a close colleague of firebrand Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, [who] was picked up from his home in Najaf along with cleric Bassim al-Ghuraifi,' according to Sadr's own office."

All this is designed to paint Sadr into a hole (as Dafydd says), and it is working: Sadr and his close allies are now calling for a "peaceful fight." Obivously, Sadr wants to survive politically; but I'm not so sure his militia members agree. They didn't join up for peace and reconciliation; they just want to kill Sunnis on behalf of Iran.

I have heard that Muqtada Sadr is losing control of his Mahdi milita. Without Sadr's Iranian connection, the rest of the militia won't have access to all the logistic help they need (intelligence) to conduct death-squad operations. That is a good thing -- for the good guys; but the Mahdi killers, none of whom have much chance of ending up in the government themselves, are seeing their happy, little excuse for serial torture and murder floundering... and they're not obeying Sadr's orders to quit fighting and start supporting his political ambitions instead.

Meanwhile, back at the al-Qaeda chicken ranch, CENTCOM's press release announced that "Coalition forces detained a former driver and personal assistant of Abu Ayyub al-Masri [the current leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq] along with 31 others during a series of 11 raids targeting al-Qaida in Iraq activities in the Baghdad area Sept. 28":

This is the second close associate of Abu Ayyub al-Masri captured in September, also believed to have been one of his personal drivers. Intelligence indicates his participation in the 2005 bombings of the Sheraton and the Al Hamra hotels in Baghdad that killed a total of 16 people and injured 65 others.

Three days after this operation, the Iraqi government released a video of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader, instructing terrorists on how to build vehicle borne improvised explosive devices from the inside of a tanker truck. Intelligence indicates the suspected terrorist captured was working directly for Abu Ayyub al-Masri when the video was created.

Now, the game is afoot in the hunt for al-Masri himself. There was an earlier unconfirmed report on al-Arabiya TV, which the U.S. never bought, that al-Masri was killed during a raid; but subsequent DNA testing showed it was not he. However, just as with Musab Zarqawi -- who was finally killed after a series of his subordinates were captured and turned into singing canaries -- Masri's days on Earth can be measured in very small numbers.

So, folks, let's keep at it. Things are looking up. But we still have a lot to do in Iraq; this is no time to get distracted by the Foley Bergere.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, October 5, 2006, at the time of 5:19 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Rovin

I couldn't agree with ya more Sachi. Our troops are winning at what is the most critical point in the Iraqi conflict that may tip the balance in the whole war on terrorism, and the left thinks this (FoleyGate) is their ticket to the "big house". I hope their lack of priorities bites them in the ass. (no pun intended)

The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 6:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: exDemo

Once again I'm sanguine if the Democrats win.

They will bug out, like they did in Vietna, when 4 million susequently died, but none were Americanns. Just Asians drowning in Boats or having their heads bashed in for the crime of knowing how ot read or write.

The jihadis will tehn get a nuke or two and detonate in New York and LA and 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 milion formerly dependable Democrat voters will turn to radioactive gas. The Party will also lose all its dependable elite snobs and their bank accounts.

Tthankfully it likely won't be Chicago since the Democrat graveyard vote in Chicago remains dependable.

No more 20,00,000 Democrats, no more Democrat victories, no more Democrat party. End of Story.

Then we can resume killing the islamofascists without all the elite sneering or the silly propositions that fighting the crazies only encourages them.

If this were so, the police should stop apprehendinfg murderers, rapists, and thieves as it apparently only encourages them. At least according to these geniuses and the Democrat dopes who believe that nonsense.

The above hissed in response by: exDemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 9:26 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I have heard there has been a big battle in Baghdad and I also heard that the Rice was urging the Iraqis to get it together politically.

I am sure that most of the Iraqi people just want to be left alone. Hopefully they will have the oppurtuntiy to live a normal life. However, if Democrats win that might not happen.

Ever notice how when a Democrat gets in trouble they circle the wagons to protect the party? And yet when a Republican gets in trouble the only reason the GOP circles the wagons is that it makes it easier for them to shoot at each other.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2006 3:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

If Sadr is urging peace, it is only because he is getting his ass kicked.

We've been down this road several times before with him. This time - please don't stop till that vile scumbag is toast.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2006 10:20 AM

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