Does Nouri al-Maliki need his ass kicked really hard before he learns his lesson?
This is a question that will undoubtedly be resolved sometime before he either absconds with all the billions we've been pouring into Iraq (no doubt largely funnelled directly into his, and his cronies', unnumbered Swiss bank accounts) or meets a hideous end when he proves to be too much of a liability to either the Dawa Party (his party) or the fragile coalition of Dawa/SCIRI (or Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI, as it's calling itself these days) and whatever else is coalitioning with these thugs.
We didn't post about al-Maliki's recent primate-like posturing and associated blunders because it was all so deeply depressing and predictable. Why bother? It was obvious from the conflation of Cheney's "visit" to the ME and the revelation that he did not really discuss oil prices with the House of Saud followed by the chest-beating and rump displaying of teh Maliki that Sadr was going to have to kick his baboonlike ass but good just to keep the dumb motherfucker from overreaching.
To recap, a chronology of events:
Already the drawdown of "surge" troops has been halted and the British have announced that they will not pull out the 4,000 remaining troops in Basra. Not that the British troops are very effective, since they're all hiding out at the airport, and who can blame them. They must be tired of being used for target practice.
Who are these Iraqi militias? Right now, Iraq is controlled by various hardline Islamic Shi'a factions, including al-Maliki's Dawa party, which has the Iraqi Army functioning as its own militia; SCIRI/Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) which has its own militia; and Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr's Jaish al-Mahdi.
For the benefit of the apparently senile or terminally stupid John McCain, elderly and doddering presidential candidate, we would like to point out here that al-Qaeda in Iraq (aQI) is a Sunni Muslim organization, with no friendly ties at all with the warring Shi'a militias. Also that al-Maliki's Dawa party is very friendly with the rulers of Iran - so friendly that they greeted that nation's president, Ahmedi Najad, with flowers and parades and marching bands when he recently visited &mdash unlike our leaders, who, despite paying nearly one trillion fucking dollars of our money for the privilege, must sneak into Iraq under cover of darkness and cannot even travel to the fucking market without fully armed squads of bodyguards, full body armour, and air cover.
Nouri al-Maliki was apparently targeting al-Sadr's Jaish al-Mahdi with this crackdown. He called them "worse than al-Qaeda," the Sunni terrorist organization. Apparently, to al-Maliki, al-Sadr's challenge to his Prime Ministership is worse than the terrorist strikes around the world that have killed thousands of American, British, Spanish, Iraqi, Pakistani, and other peoples. Nice to know one's allies' priorities, Mr. Cheney. al-Maliki gave the JAM three days to lay down their arms and personally flew to Basra to supervise the extermination of JAM.
Despite all the guns and uniforms and training we have given the Iraqi Army, you can't buy loyalty and you can't buy a will to fight. JAM fights because they want control of Iraq and they believe they will be rewarded with political power or houris in paradise regardless of whether they live or die. The Iraqi Army fights because it's a job in a country with staggering unemployment rates and few other ways of making money, and at least they can feed their families. Whose motivation do you think is greater?
Despite the full strength of the U.S. Army as backup & despite 160,000 or so American and British fighters with top-flight military equipment, including air strike capability, al-Maliki was forced to put lipstick on the pig of his claim that he would fight the Shi'a militias to the end. He had to beg for the help of his Iranian masters to end the conflict.
Five hundred Iraqis were killed in the fighting. al-Maliki is asking al-Sadr to "please return" the 50 armored vehicles and government cars that JAM took. Two Americans were also killed, and rocket and mortar attacks carried out on the "fortresslike, secure" Green Zone, where the American Embassy is located.
Even as Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for nationwide protests to mark the anniversary of the U.S. toppling Saddam (April 9), al-Maliki is planning to enter Sadr City and other JAM strongholds. Is he trying to get the nascent Iraqi Army wiped out? Or is this an attempt to force continuing American and British involvement in the war?
As for American troops &mdash people, if you have friends and relatives over there who were supposed to come back anytime soon, you can just kiss that goodbye. They may never come back at all, except in a body bag, if George keeps letting al-Maliki play soldiers using our forces. Is that what your friends and relatives signed up for? To be the pawns of an idiot who persists in playing with other people's lives and doesn't have the first clue about military strategy?
Meanwhile, you will no doubt be thrilled to your very toenails to hear that Chimpy McAWOL, who managed to weasel out of serving in any capacity except possibly National Buffoon, is paying no attention whatsoever to the restarting of the meatgrinder. Nope, he's busy trying to create a "legacy" or something, at the taxpayers' expense, somewhere in the former Soviet Union.
Clue: They're not laughing with you, George.
Crossposted over at ThePoliticalCat