Saturday, May 26, 2007

The return of Sadr

By Libby

As I recall, in the crowing about the early signs of success of the surge strategy, much was made of Sadr "fleeing" from the increased US troops. Many of the surge doubters, myself included, perceived it as an expected tactical move on the cleric's part. It's the not the first time the "insurgents," however they're defined at the moment, sensibly melted away in the face of superior military might, only to resurface with greater strength in another location.

The idea that Sadr was "on the run" in a cowardly retreat always seemed to me to be little more than childish taunting and wishful thinking. Any objective analysis of his disappearance would lead to the conclusion that he was simply biding his time for an opportune moment, and sure enough he's back - bigger and badder than ever.
He began the sermon with the familiar anti-U.S. rhetoric on which he has built his nationalist credentials, asking his followers to chant three times, "No to injustice! No to Israel! No to America! No to the devils!"

"I renew my request that the occupiers should withdraw or schedule their withdrawal," said Sadr, who appeared in his traditional black robe and turban, and wore a white cloak symbolizing willingness to die as a martyr. "The government should not allow the occupiers to extend their stay in Iraq, not even for one more day."
Ironically, the "emotional crowd surged forward and showered him with sweets." Last I heard, our troops are still waiting for that promised event to happen to themselves.

Whatever Sadr is, what he isn't is stupid or a coward. With this move he's shown himself to be a brilliant tactician who understands his people. He rejects the occupation while calling for national unity and credibly decries the intercine violence, even as his own loyalists perpetrate it. Something for everyone in his fiery rhetoric, except us.

How ever this debacle ultimately ends, if I was a bookmaker I'd be laying my odds on Sadr and his theocrats coming out as the big winners. Hardly an outcome desirable for our interests and all the more reason to fold our cards and get out of the game. The longer we keep raising the ante, the more we strengthen his hand and enlarge his jackpot.

[thanks to Gun Toting Liberal for the link]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ironically, the "emotional crowd surged forward and showered him with sweets." Last I heard, our troops are still waiting for that promised event to happen to themselves. "

so true

1:57:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

And how sad.

3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

But what a deft religious/political move it was to disappear and then return - just like Muhammad al-Mahdi is expected to do - any time now. "Occultation" and return is a central theme of the Shia and Moqtada (do his friends call him Mucky?)is as good at playing to the deranged idiots waiting for the twelfth imam to return as Bush/Robertson/Fallwell have been doing to the deranged idiots waiting for the Rapture.

Me? I'm just hoping neither one will interrupt the Indy 500, but I'm not too worried.

9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The similarities between the religious zealots are eerie Fogg but I believe you will be able to watch the cars go round that track in relative peace.

Me, I won't be watching. I'm more of a horse racing kind of gal myself.

11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Nothing wrong with hundreds and hundreds of horses - as long as they're under my hood.

12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Fogg. Me, I'm built for comfort, not for speed.

1:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he was not imitating the imam

1:37:00 PM  

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