“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Muqtad al-Sadr Forces Threaten Withdrawal of Support From Maliki. Now What?

Well it looks like Payback day is just around the corner in Baghdad. Followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned they would suspend their membership in parliament and the Cabinet if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets with U.S. President George W. Bush in Jordan next week, a member of parliament said. Bush and al-Maliki were scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday in Amman.Al-Sadr's followers hold six Cabinet seats and have 30 members in the 275-member parliament. Yesterday Sunni-Arab insurgents killed 215 people in the capital's Sadr City.

I have a suspicion that Sunni followers have a strategy to bring the country to total civil war and bring about some audacious release of Saddam Hussein. If this is stoppable now, it will be at a far greater cost than it would have been just months ago. Desert Rat, a commenter on this site and over at The Belmont, has been warning about the consequences of not arresting al-Sadr on an open warrant for murder. The strategy of trying to make Iraq a democracy before stabilizing it and establishing law and order is ending rapidly. No, it has ended. Go ahead DR, you have been more right than wrong. What is next?
A thorough coverage in The New York Times on the events in Iraq.


  1. All part of the master plan.
    You just wait.

  2. 2164th wrote:

    I have a suspicion that Sunni followers have a strategy to bring the country to total civil war and bring about some audacious release of Saddam Hussein.

    If so, expect an expedited execution. Saddam can thank his own loyalists for sending him to his 72 virgins a few months too early.

  3. The tit hit Sadr City yesterday
    The tat is happening this morning, as Sunni Mosques burn.

    NATO only has supplied 85% of the troops promised, but the caveats on the troops that have been supplied preclude their use in Combat, in Afghanistan.

    Mr Sadr's Mahdi Army is now the dominant force in Baghdad. It'll be interesting to see if Mr Maliki leaves Iraq, next week.

    Even if Mr al-Sadr were eliminated, now, it no longer would have the effect it would have had, back in'04.

    The Mahdi Army has become an institution, in Iraq. As with Hezbollah in Lebanon the removal of the "Chief", by assassination, only provides a more competent generation of leadership an opportunity to shine.

  4. After all this time, even wretchard at the BC has begun to ask the pertinent question:

    "... Accounts of the Linebacker 2 tell of POWs in the Hanoi Hilton listening to the B-52s crunch up the Hanoi docks, like Godzilla come to end the world. They told of brutal guards cowering on the floor as the POWs laughed manically behind bars; the guards asking in panic each time the floor shook "what was that?" And the answer was: "it is hand of God coming to take us home". Stirring stuff. Yet ultimately futile. The POWS did come home, but Linebacker changed nothing strategically because it was a brilliant military operation aimed at easing a retreat rather than achieving victory. Iraq does not need another Linebacker 2. What it needs is a bipartisan consensus to identify what American war aims are in this theater. Too long has the task been put off. But once the result is known it should be the only outcome permissible and the only choice for Syria and Iran. ..."

    Who is the Enemy?
    seems a simple enough question, in War

  5. desert rat says:

    Mr Sadr's Mahdi Army is now the dominant force in Baghdad. It'll be interesting to see if Mr Maliki leaves Iraq, next week.

    [eyeroll]Stay the course, don't cut and run. We just need to refine our tactics a little bit. Just four to six more months and Iraq will be a dynamic and stable democracy, a beacon to the rest of the Middle East.[/eyeroll]

  6. Drugs, Drugs, we are in a war on drugs - mobilize the troops, prepare to invade.

    There DR, the enemy is named. Since it is a great world war lets move on to enemy #2. Terror, Terror, its a Great War on Terror. Mobilize, Invade, Occupy!

  7. How does this news impact the decision to "go big, go light or go home"?

  8. Well, quig, if there is not enemy, there can be no War.

    War on inantimate objects
    War on modes of operation
    War of unending duration and limited aggression.
    These get no play, on the US street, over time. I often hear about the "Arab" street. Well, I'm here to tell you the US street has a sound all of its own.

    War is made against peoples, always has been. The construct that war is fought by opposing Armies under defined Rules and Regulations, where the people are to be unaffected, is a new idea and not universally accepted.

    Post modern Warfare has yet to be proven effective, anywhere.

    The old style Wars, they are moving right along, across the face of Africa. Rawanda, Darfur, Ethiopia, the list goes on.
    Peoples uprooted, cultures destroyed, hundreds of thousands dead.
    The omni-power declares that to be beneath it. The omni-power must merely appear on the scene, all others will kow tow to our obvious superiority. If not, selected destruction and negotiation will surffice.

    Sometimes people reject that obvious superiority. These folk are then labeled, Crazy, Insane, Stupid, Murderous, Criminal, Rouge, Outlaw, Religious Zealot, Terrorist or Insurgent pick your favorite term. Use them interchangably.

    With each step into a more humane combat style, the Enemy takes advantage of humanitarianism. The human shield reenforcement techniques in the Gaza have stymied the Israeli, for the time being.

    Unfortunately for the President, the Public has no desire for a "Long War" and thus is vunerable in the only theater his War Minister said we could lose on. The Home Front.
    This is and has not been an "unknown", to use the Rumsfeld descriptive.

    The vital front of the War was never in Baghdad, Kabual or Ramadi.
    It was in New York and Phoenix.
    The strategies to win on the Homefront have been thread bare.

    The failure on the most vital front, a known known.

  9. But Desert Rat, are you not contradicting yourself? You state:

    "War is made against peoples, always has been...

    The old style Wars, they are moving right along, across the face of Africa. Rawanda, Darfur, Ethiopia, the list goes on.
    Peoples uprooted, cultures destroyed, hundreds of thousands dead. "

    but then you state:

    "The vital front of the War was never in Baghdad, Kabual or Ramadi.
    It was in New York and Phoenix."

    Are you not falling into that same conflation you object to? That real war is peoples killing many, destroying cultures ect. yet you maintain our "vital front" is in New York and Phoenix". Are you suggesting we launch a real war on US?

  10. DR,

    There you go with those negative vibes again. Take care, or the resident jester will say something scurrilous about your son's military service, to the cacophonous applause of his trained seal entourage.

  11. Allen,
    You're such an easy target to psyop.I'm way into your head and it's got you totally fucked's fun to watch.

    Have a nice day.

  12. No, not at all, ash.

    The US public, the root of power, are a fickle crew to Captain.

    As George C Scott told US, while portraying George S Patton:
    "America cannot abide a loser"

    Mr Lincoln well knew that.
    Mr Bush may know it as well.

    The US public wants not talk of "Long War", no, it needs hear of Victories, of Enemies vanquished.

    Nothing succeeds like success.

    If Mr Bush and his Administration "lose" this phase of the War, then they do.
    The Battle of Iraq, may be more akin to the first Battle of Bull Run, just one of the opening rounds of a "Long War".

    Like the tourists and voyeours racing home to DC, in front of the routed Federals, the US public may need to learn the seriousness of the opposition.

  13. Isn't that interesting? Mooki's making his "power play."

    Syria's assassinating Leb's.

    Cheney's going to Saudi Arabia.

    Sunni Tribal Chiefs in Anbar are deserting/fighting against Al Queda.

    AQ and the "Insurgents" are targeting Sadr City almost exclusively it seems.

    Put it all together, and win the Kewpie.

  14. Or those that do not see the trend lines, as I do, may be right.

    The Islamo-fascists and Communist remnents may just "hold in place" and all the unpleasentness end.

    Which would be great. I do not believe it will happen though. No the Mohammedan will continue to push, until there is a realization hat the threat is real, amongst the US Street.

    Then blood wil vaporize into steam.

  15. DR, who is the opposition? Who is the unnamed enemy? State clearly so all may know how to identify them, who to lauch military strikes against, and vanquish said enemy. What patch do they wear on their jersey?

  16. Sky News is reporting:
    Poisoned: Alexander Litvinenko
    Spy 'Poisoned By Radiation'
    Updated: 17:02, Friday November 24, 2006

    A large quantity of radiation, probably from a substance called Polonium 210, has been found in the body of dead ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

    The "major dose" of alpha radiation was detected in his urine, said Government experts, who added that Polonium 210 is only dangerous if ingested.

    They also revealed that police have found radiation in a central London sushi bar where Mr Litvinenko ate shortly before falling ill - and in a hotel where he had met two Russians that morning.

    Russian's home searched
    Dr Pat Troop, head of the Health Protection Agency, said the death was an "unprecedented event in the UK" and he had "apparently been poisoned by a type of radiation".

    The development came as Home Secretary John Reid revealed the police were searching for residual radioactive material at a number of locations.

    Sites include Mr Litvinenko's house in north London and reportedly the sushi restaurant in the capital where he met an Italian contact shortly before he fell seriously ill.

  17. desert rat wrote:

    The Battle of Iraq, may be more akin to the first Battle of Bull Run, just one of the opening rounds of a "Long War".

    I'm thinking it's closer to the Battle of Arnheim, "A Bridge Too Far," sort of a showpiece setpiece that was supposed to be a cakewalk but in the end was nothing more than a sideshow.

  18. What do we know about Syria? It's a largely Sunni nation that's ruled by a small group of Allawites, a quasi-Shia sect.

    They've been smuggling AQ fighters into Iraq.

    They've been assassinating Saudi-backed Shias and Christians in Lebanon.

    The Allawite Rulers are closely allied with the Iranian Mullahs who have been funnelling large amounts of cash to the Mookie Shias.

    Got it figured out, yet?

  19. Looks like Iraq is about to fly apart at the seams, from the rufus description.

    In Anbar, the Tribes are fighting each other, some of the Tribes have allied with the aQ elements.

    Maybe 10,000 of 'em. The 5,000 Foreigners and about the same in locals.

    The balance of the previous 20,000 Sunni Insurgents, or about 10,000 now side against them.

    The US would not arm the anti aQ tribes a couple of months ago, they not being as trustworthy as Mr Abbas, in Palistine. Maybe we have changed that decision.

    The Battle of Baghdad does seem to be stepping up in intensity. Obviously the latest US & Iraqi Security Program has broken down.
    The Iraqi have to lock down the Country, like on Election Days, to gain some aspect of Order.

    Even if it is just to "Show the Flag", if Mr Maliki and his Team do not obtain that level of Security, prior to next week...

  20. habu_1,

    It does not require any effort on my part to call you what you are: a phoney.

  21. I think not, Ms T.
    It is early in the War.
    Bull Run was to be a Federal "cakewalk" as well.

    The Insurrectionists to put down in a couple of weeks.

    They got their clocks cleaned, instead. The Insurrectionists were not impressed with the blue uniforms and shining buttons.

    The tourists learned a lesson in perceptions as well. It was not until much later in the Civil War that Death became industrialized.

  22. Obviously, the upcoming meetings are perceived by the AQ, Allawite, Sadrites as "Bad News Coming."

    WHAT could Saudi Arabia do? WHAT capabilities do they have?

    Is Bush meeting Maliki in Jordan because of "Safety Concerns," or is King Abdullah involved?

  23. Yes, I think, in most aspects I do

  24. King Abdullah, whom traces his heredity back to Mohammed, rules of the MidEast as the Queen rules the what remains of Empire.

    Include Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. All uder the King, a giant Federal Imperial Monarchy.

    About as likely as a preemptive nuclear attack against Iran, but hey, it's another old but "new" Plan.

  25. The King rules over a pretty peaceful country, right now. I don't think he wants to change that.

    I think his support will be of the "moral support," variety.

    This smells like some sort of "Border Security" initiative, to me; but, can Saudi Arabia send troops? Would they? Why in the hell would they want to?

  26. Or, are they setting up airfields for the long awaited, Habu-predicted bombing of the Iranian Cascades?

  27. All I had to do was use the work “jester” as the bait to draw out of the dumpster the snaggletoothed vermin who questioned the valor of the military service of a Marine war veteran.

    That, my friends, is PsyOps.

    Which now brings me to my next move: Will people on the site associate themselves with the marsupial or the Marines? Don’t be shy; get that opinion in.

    I might win this in two moves. That also is known as PsyOps.

  28. The police action is on hold for a while, the news says US forces are actually going into the No Go Zone, aka Sadr City, and there's fighting.

  29. And does the US not have the goal of "Peace" throughout the Region.
    Who better to achieve it.
    AQ has already declared War against the King. How seriously does he take that threat, how seriously does Mr Bush? The Saud would be instrumental, for funding and legitimacy.

    The King has a working relationship with Israel, it could help defuse that historic challenge.

    The Palistinians no longer a "State", but just a couple of municipalities, within a greater Arabic Imperial Republic.

  30. TheIDF has decided that video cameras are weapons.
    When will they decide that Human Shields are military assets are well.

    *Sends air defense system...
    **Russian nuclear chief to visit Tehran...
    Get it while it's hot!
    My chance to explain how this is part of the poker player's Master Plan is on sale at E-Bay for 2 cents.

  32. Never fear:
    At least OUR OWN Border is safe!
    ...from "Vigilantes."
    ACLU Lawyers make it so.
    With W's Giddy Approval.
    Too bad country does not have the balls to impeach the traitorous bastard.
    Border Watcher Is Himself Under Scrutiny
    A man who boasted of capturing 12,000 illegal immigrants faces lawsuits accusing him of harassing and unlawfully imprisoning people.

  33. Flash:
    Developing story

    Judith Regan and Vladimir Putin in talks for new tell all book to be entitled, If I Did It.

  34. The Document was fake but accurate.
    Dan Rather

    The Sushi was Radioactive but Wholesome.
    Soulman Putin
    W would know.