Saturday, January 20, 2007

It is unfair to demand the impossible


I recommend keeping up to date with Iraq the Model as "the surge" progresses. It's linked at the left for your convenience.

An excerpt from an example of why you should make regular visits:


...Sadr made direct orders for the ranks of his militia to avoid open war with the US military:


Commanders of the Mehdi army in Baghdad received strict orders not to fire a single bullet during the American military campaign in Baghdad…an informed source told Azzaman that the meeting was held in a place in sector 42 of Sadr city and many of the Mehdi army leaders attended it while others missed it because they were already in Iran since last week. The top lieutenants as well didn’t show up because they were ordered a few days ago to abandon Sadr city and spread in the southern provinces and other parts of the capital…the source explained that the orders were given to show full cooperation with the American forces during the raids and show no resistance even when arrests are made. The commanders were promised that the police would take care of releasing any detainees once "the storm is gone"…

What options will the Iraqi and US military have when the militia melt and avoid the confrontation? We know that the Mehdi army does not have camps or barracks or any solid foundations that can be targeted; the militia is merely a network of civilian-looking people who can turn into a deadly force at any time they choose to do so.

However, what troops can do is to target the top leaders and lieutenants of the militia who have a criminal history and made mistakes (whether by physical act or statements) for which they can be legally prosecuted. When this is done the network will be dealt a serious blow and will be weakened by the subsequent loss of command and financial support and then the wide network would disintegrate into isolated gangs that can be dealt with through limited operations following the main operations.
Since we telegraphed the punch the Mahdis are hiding. We can still get the leaders, and we know who they are. Al-Sadr should be arrested if he so much as waves to an Iranian spy.

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