Sunday, May 18, 2008

End the War

From the first of the Sun Times coming stories on the weekend of April 18 to the 20th.
TV weathermen predicted Friday would be the start of a glorious weekend — perfect for throwing open upstairs windows and barbecuing in the backyard.

Angry people with scores to settle, though, had other ideas. The flurry of bullets they unleashed during a deadly 59 hours, from 12:50 p.m. on April 18 to 11:25 p.m. on April 20, sent beat cops scurrying to a blur of calls of “shots fired.”

In all, 40 people were shot. Seven died. Seven children were shot, five of them out after curfew. And by Monday, a national media spotlight focused on the blood spilled in the streets of Chicago.
A few weeks earlier, I was having some email exchanges with the NYT's James Glanz about his Alley Theory of Iraq: that Iraqi's were reacting just as Glanz's fellow Chicagoans would if Iraqi troops were patrolling Chicago's allys.

I thought better analogy was to our mobs and gangs as forces equivelent to the Sadrists occupying our neighborhoods, and everyone hunkered in their bungalows and two flats praying for an Iraqi Army like the one that cleaned out Basra to drive out the thugs.

It's going to take more than M-4's for Chicago cops to drive out the hoodlums. It's going to take strategy. We need a General Petreaus.

6 comments:

Dr Bermangolu said...

"I thought better analogy was to our mobs and gangs as forces equivalent to the Sadrists occupying our neighborhoods, and everyone hunkered in their bungalows and two flats praying for an Iraqi Army like the one that cleaned out Basra to drive out the thugs."

Nope, his analogy is better. The Sadrists represent a mass political movement. In your fantasy world, they are these bandits that no one wants there. But of course everyone fighting the US has to be treated as though they are foreign, because of course how could anyone not love Americans.

Also, Al Sadr is still in Basra. You really need to get yourself a good news feed.

Bill Baar said...

Try Qom,

In response to the claim that the Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr is present in the Iranian city of Qom, Asmaa al Mousawi, leading member of the Al Sadr political bloc in Iraq, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We can neither confirm nor deny this information and we cannot discuss the whereabouts of Sayyed Muqtada al Sadr for security reasons.”

A reliable Iraqi source based in Qom told Asharq Al-Awsat Friday, “Al Sadr is held in a house affiliated to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. He is isolated from others; nobody is allowed to see him and he is not permitted to leave the house.” The source added, “Only a very small number of people, who I can count on the fingers of one hand, are allowed to see him.”

The source, a student of Islamic jurisprudence [Fiqh] at the Qom Hawza said, “Muqtada al Sadr’s phone number had been given to a small number of his close associates however this number has been cut off completely.”

The source, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity for security reasons, indicated that “Over three weeks ago, al Sadr had returned to Iraq and was secretly staying with an associate in Najaf but he quickly returned to Qom when the Iraqi government intensified [the offensives] on the Sadrist current and the Mehdi Army.”

Dr Bermangolu said...

By Al Sadr, I meant his militias.

Nice try, though.

Bill Baar said...

Yes, but without their guns, as a political party, fufilling a role they really ought to play.

In many respects this was a win win for both Maliki and Al Sadr... Al Sadr cynically let Maliki purge his ranks of elements he couldn't control much.

There is a reason why MNF-I has always made a distinction between Sadrists and the "rogue elements".

Dr Bermangolu said...

Of course you divide the Sadrists into the good guys and the "rogue element". Your fantasy of a majority of Iraqis that just love having America there and a few thousand bad eggs who, were we just able to kill them all, would make all the good ones come out and sprinkle our troops with flower requires that you divide the country up that way.

First, Al Sadr has an armed militia attached to his mass political movement just like everyone else does in Iraq. They are under his control. Otherwise, he would not be able to turn them on and off as he has done a number of times. Second, the US leaves all sorts of armed militias intact in Iraq. Do you see us disarming the Kurds? The "Sunni tribesmen"? The Sunni, by the way, were dangerous rogues until we started paying them off. Now they are loyal freedom fighters.

You really don't have any idea what's going on in Iraq, do you.

Bill Baar said...

I know when the next elections are.

Those will tell us a lot.