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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Al-Sadr Tells Mahdi Army To Stand Down

Monday morning update: JC at MF says this is precisely part of the problem - Iranians help reach Iraq cease-fire.
Haidar al-Abadi, a Dawa legislator who is close to al-Maliki, confirmed that Iranians played a role in the negotiations. Sadiq al-Rikabi, a senior adviser to al-Maliki, said he could not confirm or deny Iranian involvement in the deal.

"The government proved once again that Iran is a central player in Iraq," said Iraqi political analyst and former intelligence officer Ibrahim Sumydai.
From MSNBC on Sunday: Some clashes continue, but Iraq reciprocates by lifting Baghdad curfew.
BAGHDAD - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday ordered his fighters off the streets nationwide and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and free them from prison.

Al-Sadr’s nine-point statement was issued by his headquarters in the holy city of Najaf and broadcast through loudspeakers at Shiite mosques.

“Because of the religious responsibility, and to stop Iraqi blood being shed ... we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces,” al-Sadr said in a statement. “Anyone carrying a weapon and targeting government institutions will not be one of us.”
But all is not copacetic in the Iranian dominated southern province of Iraq:
Al-Sadr aide Hazem al-Araji said the fighters would not hand over guns. “The weapons of the resistance will not be delivered to the Iraqi government,” he told journalists.
The Long War Journal reported on Saturday, Mahdi Army taking significant casualties in Baghdad, South.
A look at the open source press reports from the US and Iraqi military and the established newspapers indicates 145 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 81 were wounded, 98 were captured, and 30 surrendered during the past 36 hours.

Since the fighting began on Tuesday 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra.

But what's the most flashy headline you read over the weekend? Iraqi army forces defect to al-Sadr. Which ledes us to EM over at HA who says the biggest loser in all of this is the 'pro-defeat-o-crat' MSM; so eager for an exploding sectarian violence-gasm that they've become a laughing stock of agitprop.
The Iraqi government had no choice but to challenge the militias for control of Basra and the surrounding areas, but they waited until the Iraqi Army had enough strength to succeed.

Did our media give anyone this context? No. They reported it as some kind of spontaneous eruption of rebellion without noting at all that a nation can hardly be considered sovereign while its own security forces cannot enter a large swath of its own territory. And in the usual defeatist tone, they reported that our mission in Iraq had failed without waiting to see what the outcome of the battle would be.
This whole sorry mess ain't over by a long shot, but I'm going to bet on a free Iraq.

A big TY to GP!