Hogan's Alley

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sadr Unleases His Forces In Baghdad

According to a report from AP, via Captain's Quarters, the Shiite religious leader and commander of the Mahdi Army, Muqtada al-Sadr, has directed his followers to stop cooperating with the US forces, to stop attacking other Iraqis and to focus their attacks on the Americans.

In the short term this will probably mean increasing encounters in Baghdad, at the same time that Gen. Petraeus is continuing to build up his forces to their full complement. The MSM will likely not report al Sadr's directive and simply report on an expectable increase in military confrontations and bombings directed at the Americans and Iraqi troops. The implication will be that the Bush surge is failing. The fact will be that the confrontation the surge was designed to both create and manage will have just begun in earnest.

If Petraeus is right, the end product will be a lessening of the power of the Shiite armies in the capital city. If he is wrong, the outcome could well be the establishment of al Sadr and his Iranian allies as the de facto rulers of Iraq. I hope that no American, no matter how much they oppose the entire Iraq expedition, will hope for the latter outcome, even subconsciously. But, I fear there are too many ready, willing and able to take great glee in any Bush failure.

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