*free0352 served many years in the USMC, worked for an international security company and is currently serving in the US Army.*
I noticed this article today from the AP. With Sunni militias in open cooperation with Coalition Forces, and Al’Queda on the run the eyes of Iraqi and U.S. forces are turning now to our old enemy Muqtada Al’Sader.
A bit of background. After the evasion Al’Sader became the leader of the Jaish Al’Mhadi- the largest Shia militia in Iraq and heavily supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2004 after a reign of terror and rebellion U.S. Marines had Sader and the leadership of his militia cornered at the Imam Ali Mosque in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. There, we allowed him to negotiate a peace that required him and his militia to lay down their weapons. To date, Jasih Al’Mhadi (Mhadi Army) remains the single largest army in Iraq besides that of the Iraqi government and the United States and Coalition Forces in flagrant violation of that agreement. Instead he is responsible for thousands of terrorist attacks, dead American Service People, and the flood of weapons into Iraq from Iran. It is also a strong player in the sectarian violence that ravaged Iraq from 2004 until a few months ago.
Sader’s agents during the 2005 election boycotted by the Sunni element in Iraq ran for offices throughout Iraq and nearly all of them won. Sader’s sleeper agents currently work to destabilize the Iraqi government from within, as members of the Iraqi parliament. At one time Al’Sader counted Iraqi President Al’Maliki as one of his stooges, but once the surge was put forth Al’Maliki switched sides and began to cooperate with the United States’ goals. Al’Sader’s corrupt politicians are the leading cause of friction with the Iraqi government, as they have a vested interest in seeing it fail.
Sader is also the one thought primarily responsible for smuggling Explosive Force Penitraitor IEDs from Iran into Iraq and distributing them to his militia men. EFPs are effective at destroying American armored vehicles and have killed hundreds of US soldiers and Marines.
At the beginning of “the surge” Al’Sader fled to Iran where he remained for many months. He at that time ordered his militia to observe a cease fire, and recently ordered it extended through August. Like his many lies in the past, it appears from recent reports that Al’Sader is ignoring his cease fire and we’re fighting again. Or on the bright side, his militia has fragmented and he is no longer in control. Time will tell on that one.
I now brace for the liberals to again cry that the surge has failed and the war has been lost all along.
It is now time for our forces to take on the Jaish Al’Mhadi and it was heartening to hear in the above article that Iraqi forces are taking the fight to Muqtada. There was a time I thought I’d never see such a thing. Many Shia are fanatically loyal to him, and the Iraqi Army is mostly Shia. I’m glad that the Iraqi Army seems ready to march into the heart of Basra, a Sader stronghold, and take them on directly. I’m sure we will be aiding them in that mission, and I’m sure we will accomplish it.
It should be noted however, that Basra was part of the British occupation zone and that the Mhadi Army waited for the British to withdraw before beginning its shinanagans anew. You are seeing a Mhadi Army exploitation of the power gap and a test of the resolve of the Iraqi forces. You will see more and more of this as responsibility for security falls to the Iraqis and US forces take on a more supporting role.
I can only imagine what an Iraq with Al’Sader (and Iranian puppet) as Islamist Dictator would look like, as he and his faction would certainly be most likely to take over were US forces to leave too soon. What I imagine isn’t very good. It’s a cloud with no silver lining. Let this lesson be a window into a possible future if US forces are forced to withdraw before completion of their mission by the politicians back home. Though the Iraqis are getting better, they aren’t yet ready. I think its time for liberals to ask themselves what Iraq will look like if the policy of Obama or Clinton comes to pass. Do they really think American interest or our allies can withstand more Iranian influence within the Middle East, especially a hyper violent proxy state run by a known terrorist who has killed more Americans than Osama Bin Ladin?
Iraq is not yet won, but with the support of the American people we can defeat this old enemy and continue our forward progress. Conservatives! Don’t let anyone discourage you with this news, as it is actually a really good sign that the Iraqis are taking the lead here. Its also good news that maybe finally we can get this motherfucker Al’Sader and put his body in a bag!