I thought I would share this email to S-R Editor Steve Smith regarding the recent fighting in Iraq and the rise/demise of Moqtoda al Sadr. As I note it’s a case of the glass being half full or empty depending on your perspective. AJ Strata just sent this piece that would indicate Sadr’s days are numbered. Perhaps the reality gap between what the MSM is reporting and what bloggers are reporting on the ground firsthand is now closing.

Ron the Cop

Moqtada Sadr has decided to surrender his militia. He says he will follow
the guidance of the Shia central committee and Sistani, but they are
already on record saying militia’s need to be disbanded. It seems the
battle of Sadr is over. Now the Dems have no threats of defeat to grasp
onto this week in their joke hearings.



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: rocketsbrain <>
Date: Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:48 AM
Subject: Kudos – Re Page 1 Story Re “Iraqi parties close ranks . . .”
To: Steve Smith <>

Steve Smith, Editor

Re: ‘Iraqi parties close ranks . . .’


Parties close ranks against al-Sadr (A1)

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s major Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties have told anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to disband his Mahdi Army militia or leave politics, lawmakers and officials involved in the effort said Sunday

Dear Mr. Smith:

Kudos on running this story on Page 1 above the fold in today’s paper. The MSM has been late out of the gate on this story. This story has been circulating in the New/Alternative Media for the last week as I note in the below emails.

Perhaps the New Media is causing the AP and other wire services to be more timely and accurate in their reporting? Perhaps this time gap is now narrowing. Please see the political cartoon that is making light of this, “Day by Day“:

Major why is media so nervous?
Obsolescence. They’re inside taking text feeds from unverifiable sources –
– while the US troops record real missions and load them on YouTube.
Our guys even have decent production values.

Remember it was bloggers both military and citizen embeds on the ground that noted in their firsthand accounts, the shift in Sunni tribal leader allegiances from AQ to the new Iraqi government. These reports were many months before this began to trickle out in MSM outlets. AQ was just too ruthless in killing indiscriminately both Sunni and Shi’ia. It was this shift that was a fundamental factor in the success of the Surge.

BTW are we “burying the lede” in the S-R’s webpage? Notice the positioning of these articles on the S-R webpage. Do we have an editorial difference between the print and web “editorial we.”



U.S. troops killed in attacks

BAGHDAD – Suspected Shiite militants lobbed rockets and mortar shells into the U.S.-protected Green Zone and a military base elsewhere in Baghdad on Sunday, killing three American troops and wounding 31, officials said. Two more U.S. troops were reported dead elsewhere.


» Clinton strategist quits amid criticism
» Parties close ranks against al-Sadr


HT AJ Strata

The MSM has largely been playing the latest round of fighting from the perspective of the glass being half empty [edited] when in actually Sadr only called for a ceasefire because what is left of his militias loyal to him where getting creamed.


Sadr has been isolated as this weekend the rest of Iraq throws its support
behind Maliki and disbanding the militias. And as a side note, something
may be brewing regarding Iran.




———- Forwarded message ———-
From: rocketsbrain <>
Date: Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 9:55 PM
Subject: Iraqi Citizens Rally in Support of Gov’t. You won’t see this reported by the MSM outlets

Have you noticed most of the recent spin by the MSM that Sadr was a force in reducing the fighting by calling for a cease fire? Others were saying his political power was increasing. More bloggers are saying he’s really lost control of his army that has split into many separate groups. His “army” was getting their clocked clean so the only way to save face was to declare a cease fire. This post from Gateway Pundit seems to suggest the latter.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Iraqi Citizens Rally In Support of al-Maliki & Military

You won’t see this make any headlines…
After the huge win over the Shiite militias in Basra and Sadr City this week, Iraqis rallied in support of their democratically elected leader and military.

Demonstrators display a poster of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a march in Kut, 172 km (107 miles) south of Baghdad April 3, 2008. Some 1000 protesters took to the streets of Kut supporting the recent military operations of Maliki in Basra, protesters said. (REUTERS/Jaafer Aabed)

Iraq protesters rallied in support of Prime Minister al-Maliki in Karbala. (Reuters)

Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends this commentary on the situation today from family members back in Iraq:

The recent escalation in violence in Basra and some areas of Baghdad are mostly due to the government crack down on militias and criminals. Word on the Baghdad street is that former Baathist have committed atrocities then made it look as if the Mehdi militia had done it. The Baghdad streets are rife with many conspiracy theories.

What I hear from my father is, while there is escalation and unrest, Baghdad and Karbala are still substantially calmer and safer than a year ago or even last summer. Electric power in Baghdad is on over 16 hours per day (compared to 16 hours per week) and water is more available also. While the skirmishes may bring concern to observers they have shown that the Iraqi forces are holding their own and are able to defeat these elements (hence the call for cease fire by Muqtada). In Basra the unrest is also due to oil smuggling gangs sponsored by Yemen and Saudi Arabi. In our own democracy President Washington had to send 15,000 troops to deal with the Whisky Rebellion. While I do not see Iraq having a whisky rebellion there are many other difficulties a young democracy has to face to establish its footing.

Here’s an even bigger win…
In Basra over 1,000 citizens decided to join the Iraqi military after the fighting.

Iraqi army applicants wait outside the army’s recruitment center in Basra some 550 kilometers (about 340 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 1, 2008. About 1000 men from the southern region gathered at the recruitment center to apply to become government soldiers. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Iraqi army applicants walk to the army recruitment centre in Basra, 340 miles south of Baghdad April 1, 2008. (Atef Hassan/Reuters)

Maliki the Stateman Scores Huge Win in Basra

UPDATE: TigerHawk has Pelosi’s outrageous comments to General Petraeus regarding Basra today.

posted by Gateway Pundit at 4/03/2008 11:59:00 AM Trackback

HT Blackfive

This is exciting re the New/Alternative Media – straight from the battle zone.


Special Forces Fight in Sadr City

Posted By BlackfiveSSG Ryan Creel sends this footage of US Army Special Forces fighting in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq..
About This Video

A crazy night for me ” In War, you have to be … (more)Added: March 25, 2008A crazy night for me ” In War, you have to be brave to shoot bullets, you have to be crazy to shoot pictures!” thanks for watching (less)

From CombatCamera12

Click below for the YouTube video link

Video Link



Steve Schippert of Threatswatch has this alternative view re Sadr’s status

CTA Symposium: Iraq v. Mahdi Army

Fadhil, Ledeen, Peters and Roggio Join Discussion on Iraq, Basra and Iran’s Hand

By ThreatsWatch | April 7, 2008

The recent offensive operations taken by the Iraqi government against the Mahdi Army (Jaish al-Mahdi – JAM) of Muqtada al-Sadr have received much analysis and commentary since the onset. Each of the ensuing analysis and commentary offerings have agreed that the Maliki government’s military actions and the Mahdi Army response are revelatory in nature. But that is where the agreement seems to end, as there appears a divergence regarding precisely what has been revealed: Who has operated and enjoys the position of strength, Maliki and the Iraqi government and military forces, or the Mahdi Army forces of Muqtada al-Sadr, which operate at the behest of the Iranian Quds Force and General Qassem Suleimani?

Read More


Here’s an analysis by Omar an Iraqi native who blogs at Iraq the Model:

Iraq: Whither Sadr and the Mahdi Army?
As fighting rages between government forces and Sadr’s militia in several cities, senior clerics from the hawza (senior Grand Ayatollahs) made a debut in the conflict.

Ayatollah Fadhil Al-Maliki issued a fatwa in which he openly called on police and army to abandon their duty, adding that operation Knights’ Charge is not targeting criminals but an aggression against “the majority of the Iraqi people.” Although there is news about a handful of soldiers and policemen abandoning their posts and joining the militia, this fatwa is not going to have a significant effect on operations. However it’s a reminder that there are still people who bet on fatwas as long as some are willing to offer allegiance to the sect instead of the country.

Read More


I received this excellent analysis from senior blogger Levy Benathome re the fate of Sadr:

Sadr’s moment ended when the Iraqi government sent troops to challenge his Mahdi Army. Up until that time, he was the wild card, the loose cannon that could bring down Iraq. As soon as it was clear he was just another insurgent with forces to be hunted down and killed, it was over. His bluff was called, he wasn’t holding what he said he was holding.

This was exactly what Iraq had to do. Every nation must enforce one law- the nation and the nation alone has the right to initiate violence- or it ceases to exist. There is now, for the first time, a nation of Iraq, and it just proved it will take on challengers of any tribe. Nation must trump tribe, in the courts, in hearts. Even Saddam couldn’t do this- his vision of a nation was his own tribe, exploiting and oppressing the others. In a real nation, no tribe is on top, the nation is.


The WSJ had an excellent editorial piece and commentary today on related subjects in today’s edition:

The Patreaus Effect


The Sergeant Solution


This just in from AJ Strata.  Seems more like Sadr’s days are numbered.  BTW Bill Roggio is former military, a blogger, and embeds in Iraq.  Go to his website and put some money in his tip jar:

Bill Roggio confirmed the reporting I saw yesterday that Grand Ayatollah
Sistani has dumped Sadr and told him the proper path is with Maliki and
the rule of law, but it is Sadr’s decision on whether to be an outlaw or
not.  Amazing turn of events.

And a serious issue for our media who bought the lies of Sadr’s people
without any hesitation.  Sadr’s people are killing Americans and the media
repeated his propaganda, helping him to fight and kill longer.  At some
time a price must be paid for this kind of support to our enemies,
accidental or not.