It is apparent that following discussions with the Bush administration, several of Iraq's major political parties are in talks to form a coalition whose major aim is to break the powerful influence of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his power within the government, senior Iraqi officials say.
Officials involved in the talks say their aim is not to undermine al-Maliki but to isolate al-Sadr as well as firebrand inside the government.
Al-Sadr controls a militia with an estimated 60,000 fighters that has rebelled twice against the American military and is accused of widening the sectarian war with reprisal killings of Sunni Arabs and targeted assassinations and kidnappings.
Al-Maliki has been reluctant to break politically with al-Sadr, whose party controls 30 of the 275 seats in parliament. Support from Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a moderate Sunni, whose bloc has 44 seats, could allow al-Maliki to stay in power without relying on al-Sadr.
It also seems that a dramatic increase of American troops in and around Baghdad is going to be put in place to battle the Madhi Army and help the Iraqi government in the transition from ally to al-Sadr to enemy.
Now Sadr’s 60,000 fighters, the largest militia in Iraq, seems impressive on paper, but lack of the basic military training and education on their part negate any advantage they may have had in battle against our extremely equipped and highly educated military forces.
A new government without al-Sadr fanatical loyalists would leave the Mahdi Army militia without the protection it has so enjoyed under al-Maliki government.
But it could also signal the start of a new round of fighting between the Mahdi Army and the U.S. military, which fought each other for much of 2004 causing many deaths to the savages and limited casualties on our side.
The bid to form a new bloc, which is expected to exclude radical Sunnis as well, is spearheaded by senior Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party and Bush has met the two men in the White House separately this month.
It is about time that our forces confront this radical cleric and stem the flow of his influence; he cannot be allowed to inhibit the progress being made in that country by our hard working troops and the Iraqi people who have to live with his sword above their head.
Even the extremely slanted Iraq Study Group stated, "As the Mahdi army has grown in size and influence, some elements have moved beyond Sadr's control," the report concludes.
"The situation is very, very serious. It requires an injection of additional troops to control the situation and to allow the political process to proceed," said McCain, Arizona's influential Republican Senator who is pushing for a Presidential bid.
"We should have arrested Moqtada al-Sadr three years ago," said McCain. "He continues to be a major obstacle to peace, his influence in domestic politics needs to be eliminated dramatically."
In 2005, al-Sadr had fewer than 10,000 fighters, but the new report puts that figure now at as many as 60,000 — or three fighters loyal to al-Sadr for every seven U.S. soldiers in the country. The latest estimate is believed to include a dedicated core as well as part-time fighters.
Now is the time to take him out and make that country a safer place for all and we cannot allow ourselves to be frightened and cower to the likes of insane individuals such as this man because if we do, we are only asking for more of them same.
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Others worth a read today -
Right Truth, Wake Up America, Perri Nelson's Website, Amy Proctor, The Wide Awake Cafe, The Hill Chronicles, Woman Honor Thyself, Stop The ACLU, Leaning Straight Up, Right Wing Nation, The Thunder Run, Don Surber, Adam's Blog, Third World County, Pirate's Cove, The World According To Carl, 123beta.
Trackbacked with -
Right Truth - Muslim Women in U.S. Military.
DeMediacratic Nation - Friday Sermon From Iran.
Wake Up America - Let us Thank the ISG Report.
This Hill Chronicles - Saddam Escapes. (joke)
Perri Nelson's Website - Governor: Give Voters the Choice.
Dumb Ox News - CBS's War on Christmas.
The Hill Chronicles - Rainforest-Volvo-Thirsty Liberal-open weekend post.
123beta - Open Trackback Weekend #32.
Stop The ACLU - Weekend Free For All.
Perri Nelson's Website - Civil War in Palestine?
Planck's Constant - Chanukah 2006 - The Carnival of Lights.
The Florida Masochist - The Knucklehead of the Day award.
Third World County - A fav Christmas season memory.
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