October 6, 2007

Sadr Capitulates?

Moqtada al-Sadr has signed an agreement with his Shi'ite rivals in southern Iraq to end all hostilities between them. The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which recently signed a peace agreement with the central government and the Kurds, has now managed to put Sadr into its coalition, ending years of conflict between the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades:

Two of Iraq's most influential Shia leaders have signed a deal to try to end violence between their groups.

Radical cleric Moqtada Sadr and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, have been locked in a bitter dispute for months.

The leaders have agreed to try to end further bloodshed, foster a spirit of good will and form joint committees throughout the country.

The SIIC stated that the various factions of Iraq had to find ways to come together to "enhance and preserve Iraqi unity." Sadr's spokesman said that the pact would become a "commitment of honor." Both sides want to find ways to end the squabbling that has existed between the groups since liberation, but which have recently created a rising amount of violence.

Sadr appears to have capitulated to the SIIC in this instance. Over the summer, his Mahdi Army started a gunfight with the Badr Brigades during a Shi'ite holiday and pilgrimage, killing dozens. Shortly afterwards, Hakim outmaneuvered Sadr with an alliance between the SIIC, Nouri al-Maliki, and the Kurds. The alliance strengthened Maliki after Sadr withdrew his deputies from Maliki's ruling coalition, leaving Sadr more isolated than ever before, even among Shi'ites.

Sadr is a survivor, as we have learned over the last four years. He knows when to hold 'em, and he knows when to fold 'em. It looks like he's made another pragmatic calculation, but even Sadr can't hide the fact that he's taking his faction ever backwards. At one time, he played kingmaker to Maliki. Now he has to fight for scraps from Hakim's table and only has indirect influence over the government. Surviving may be a form of success, but Sadr could have played his hand so much more effectively -- and it won't be long before his underlings start to realize it, if they haven't already.


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» Agreement between Moqtadir al-Sadar and Dr. Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim from Right Truth
Have you heard about the Memorandum of Agreement of 6 October 2007, signed between the Hoyatoleslam Moqtadir al-Sadar of the Mahdi Army and Dr. Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim? This is very good news. Direct from SHEIK ALI AL-MUTHABA, a/k/a Albrecht Gero Muth, [Read More]

Comments (27)

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | October 6, 2007 11:03 AM

I am waiting for the usual suspects to post here and claim that this latest news is absolute proof that we are losing in Iraq. Anyone care to bet against that?

Posted by hermie | October 6, 2007 11:07 AM

I'm waiting for news of Sadr's Iranian handlers arranging for an 'accident'.

Posted by Proud kaffir | October 6, 2007 11:23 AM

It would be great would if we could get Maliki and his expanded coalition to reach a peace agreement with our new Sunni allies, which includes some of the former Baathists. The mainstream Sunni miltias have been signaling their willingness to make a deal for some time but the Shia have been recalcitrant. Perhaps the atmosphere is ripe now.

Posted by Chaos | October 6, 2007 11:33 AM

And here I thought that military progress was not bringing about any kind of political reconciliation so the surge is a failure?

Sadr coming hat in hand and basically begging for Hakim to ally SIIC with whatever's left of his "Noble Mahdi Army" sounds like a pretty big political coup to me considering that before the surge started Sadr was arguably the most powerful individual in Iraq.

Posted by Terry Gain | October 6, 2007 11:44 AM

More bad news for the Dhimmicrats and the selfish-"solve it yourself" , "head in the sand" libertarians. The Decider certainly has the momentum now. One good story after another.

As I've been saying since her disgraceful attack on Petraeus all this talk about Ms Suspending Disbelief being the next POTUS is premature. America isn't about to reward her for showing such gross disrespect for the architect and executor of the very successful COIN strategy being carried out -not to mention her cluelessness (despite all the resources at her disposal) in not knowing (or being prepared to admit) the strategy was working. If she didn't know the sitution had turned around perhaps her intelligence isn't all it's cracked up to be. It certainly isn't good enough to warrant making her the next Decider.

Unfortunately, it will take more than a village to convince Rodham Cliinton not to let nothing stand in the way of her ambition.

Posted by Keemo | October 6, 2007 12:09 PM

More good news coming out of Iraq. With American Presidential elections coming next year, all progress for Iraqies to stand on their own is critical for this budding Democracy. The Democrats have made their position clear, a successful Iraq will be viewed as a huge victory for the Bush administration, and a huge loss for those who have stood in the way of making this Democracy take place. Democrats simply can't stand the thought of G.W. Bush having changed the ME for the good, while allowing for the ME to finally join us in modern times. A solution for the ME is death to the Mullahs whom would lose all power if the power changes hands (over) to the people. Islam can and will be preached and followed under a Democracy; extremist views of this religion will become very difficult to enforce on the people under a Democracy. The "demands for hatred and evil" will fade away as the future for millions of people become dominated by possibilities that never existed before.

I'm all for solutions, rather than living in the problem. On 9/11/2001, the ME became a problem that could no longer be ignored and kicked down the road.

Posted by planetgeo | October 6, 2007 12:36 PM

So to recap:

1) Military AND civilian deaths are way down from pre-surge levels,

2) Both our military and the Iraqi military are killing or capturing Al Qaeda, Baathist, Iranian vermin by the truckload,

3) AND Iraqi political reconciliation (Kurds, Sunni/Shiite, Sadr, etc.) appears to be inching forward.

Oh the horror...the horror...for Commandante Harry Reid and the entire "War is Lost" crowd.

Posted by daytrader | October 6, 2007 1:51 PM

Also yesterday there were marches in Iraq protesting the Biden idea of Iraq partition.

Seems all the Iraqis are giving the Dems talking points the big finger and the only ones agreeing with them are AQ on their propaganda tapes.

It's there for all to see if they so choose.

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 6, 2007 1:57 PM

Sadr is a religious leader. His army is a religious army. I doubt there's going to be any merging going on -- more like a night of the long knives at the appropriate time.

Hopefully the knives aren't in the hands of the Sadrists when it happens.

Posted by Papa Ray | October 6, 2007 2:37 PM

I think unclesmrgol has the right idea, everyone is jumping to (western) conclusions. Everyone is forgetting that Iraqis, Arabs and Middle Eastern's in general, lie, cheat and steal as a way of life. They will turn their bellys up and seem to surrender, until they can get their crap together for another try at what ever is their goal.

He ain't finished nor turned yet. In fact the only finish he has in his future is his death.

And the sooner, the better.

Papa Ray

Posted by Terry Gain | October 6, 2007 2:42 PM

More bad news for Ms. Suspending Disbelief and Dingy Harry and Ron Paul.

From Evan Kohlmann at The Counterterrorism Blog

In a rather stunning development, the Iraqi Islamic militant faction known as Asaeb al-Iraq al-Jihadiya (a.k.a. "the Iraqi Jihad Union") has issued a new statement dated October 5 suddenly accusing Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq" of deliberately killing its fighters in Diyala province and mutilating their bodies: "To make things worse, they dug up their bodies from the graves, further mutilated them, beheaded them, and showed them off from their vehicles while driving through the towns. [The ISI] even killed our men’s wives and children." An English translation of the communique is now available for download from the NEFA Foundation website.

Please don't tell the Dems. Let them dig deeper. Tell Ron Paul. It won't sink in anyway.

Posted by skeptic | October 6, 2007 5:44 PM

Who ever heard of al Sadr before we went into Iraq? What threat did he pose to the US? Now we have him as one of our enemies. Once we were calling for his head. Now its a great success that he's joining forces (for now) with the government.

Once again, grasping at straws.

Posted by Keemo | October 6, 2007 6:18 PM


Who ever heard of al Sadr before we went into Iraq? What threat did he pose to the US?

Thousands of evil humans we did not know of before we went into Iraq... Doesn't change the facts as they exist today. We're living in the now; we are fighting in the now; we are winning in the now. We are fighting a war; Iraq is one of the primary theaters; deal with it or continue to post really stupid comments.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 6, 2007 6:21 PM

If this were a real horse race, we'd know where all the horses were. Because? (Well, I think lots of horses look alike. But their jockeys wear numbers on their backs. And, different colored silks.)

Here? What do you see?

I see Maliki in trouble. SO by definition Sadr's gotta figure out how to survive.

Maliki. Sadr. Two different horses.

And, these two horses are not sharing one costume.

(I'm big on costumes,today.)

I also saw a piece, today, that our Iraqi embassy is in trouble. The guy in charge never persued quality.

SO, when things went on line? Oh, the sprinkler system had burst pipes. And, no water turned on at the jets.

In one part, where the kitchen equipment was said to be a "go?" The wiring in the walls went in fire.

Is it a mess?


Is this the reason you're seeing a few clownish stories turning up elsewhere?

You know. I have no idea.

Humans don't make for neat horse-races. But up ahead? This big fat US embassy in Baghdad's about to hit the fan in DC. Lantos is gonna be in charge of the "investigation.

Sounds like a giant money pit.

Built to function. But without the plans on hand to check out the "progress."

Oh, yeah. The builders, here, are the Kuwaitis.

Wait until the bodies begin falling out of airplanes.

Well, you don't think DC is gonna get a whole lot of witnesses to this debacle, do ya? I mean, get real, people.

2008 is "just around the corner."

Baghdad? Not exactly in the greatest of shape. But me? I BLAME IT ON MALIKI! Give this time. Because up ahead? SO WILL YOU! Too bad if you placed a bet. Your horse is dead.

Posted by km | October 6, 2007 6:23 PM

Given the Koran's endorsement of phoney peace agreements, what value does one have?

Posted by courtneyme109 | October 6, 2007 6:47 PM

Reckon maybe, just maybe - that al Sadr is an agent of the Great Satan? Seriously - what has he accomplished - other than repeatedly gather his minions, weaponry and files in one place for the Americans to methodically anihilate. The Mahdi Army v1.0 in Najaf 2003, the v2.0 in Karbala 2004, the v3.0 in Sadr city and the expansion packs in the Sadr City Redux not to mention the Mahdi Army's unislamic reception by the Badr Corps.

No fleeing Americans, no caliphate, no theocracy - nothing to show for his chicanery - except sucking his mullah masters in Iran dry of cash, weapons and volunteers.

Send him to the perfumed halls of Allah - but lets wait a bit as our boy Mookie proves Iran and Syria know what a quagmire is.

Posted by Rodguy911 | October 6, 2007 7:17 PM

I wonder if we will see many front page articles on the apparent demise or neuterification of ol' mooky? Nahhh... just would not hep the DBM/DNC agenda.
It's apparent what they are all about and its not to help the US.

Posted by Glenmore | October 6, 2007 10:46 PM

Just remember, things were not as bad as they looked a year ago, and they are almost certainly not as good as they seem right now. We (at least I) don't know which of the characters are puppets and who's pulling their strings.

Posted by mrlynn | October 6, 2007 10:47 PM

The progress is fitful and uncertain, but it is progress. If it continues into next summer, and American casualties in Iraq stop dominating cable news, then the Democrats' rhetoric will devolve to the "it was all a mistake," and "Bush lied."

If the Republicans can claim, with some credibility, that Iraq is pacified and secure, and maybe half the troops are home, then the Democrats will have essentially lost the issue.

The wild card is Iran. I don't think President Bush is going to let Iran continue to develop its atom bomb (at least I hope not), and an attack on Iran is liable to give the Democrats more 'anti-war' ammunition.

It's a risk the President has to take.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by NahnCee | October 7, 2007 12:49 AM

Whoever heard of skeptic before we went into Iraq, and jivers such as him and Markos found their reason d'etre in brittle sarcasm.

As for Sadr, the thought occurs that since he's been busy trotting back and forth from Iran the past year or two, perhaps he's working on current orders from the Mullahs to cozy up to the Americans and try to find out when we're going to bomb Tehran. Or something.

I'd be a lot more comfortable if he was pushing up date palms, even though it wouldn't shut up skeptic who suffers terminal diarrhea of the logic system.

Posted by Dale in Atlanta | October 7, 2007 1:37 AM


A Shia, playing another Shia; in writing no less!


Can you say "TAQIYAH"???


Taqiyah = Islamic Lying!

A culture, a Religion, a people, inculcated from birth, with the concept that LYING is okay, and acceptable, and that it doesn't "count"!

The only catch, you just have to believe that the other person is a "threat" to you, or is not of your kind!


Muslims are LIARS!

It's a fact, it's part of their religion, it's their culture!

Now, they're lying to each other!

That paper is worth less than used toilet paper!

The irony is too much to bear...

Posted by Ron C | October 7, 2007 4:46 AM

Sadr is responsible for more US soldier deaths than any other individual in Iraq - yet our military commanders - and Bush - have given him a pass, and look like stupid, mindless weaklings in the process - not only to myself and many other US citizens who've watched this murderer skate repeatedly, but to the terrorists who can say truthfully, the American leadership appears to be fearful and inept idiots in this war.

American soldiers in Iraq have echoed that sentiment continuously for the past three years. They know too well the folly of giving a pass to the most devious, powerful and visible anti-American in Iraq - because they've seen too many of their own being blown to bits by the Iranian IED's placed by members of 'Mookie's Mahdi army.'

Posted by courtneyme109 | October 7, 2007 9:22 AM

Maybe that's why Al Sadr has al split. He's afraid he'll get to embrace the dark eyed ones if he stays in Iraq or end up in a white jump suit down Gitmo way.

Posted by Terry Gain | October 7, 2007 9:28 AM

Ron C

I’m curious where you got your information that the Mahdi army has killed more American soldiers than any other group. If anyone is keeping track of who is killing American soldiers I would appreciate it if a link could be posted.

A map at Iraq coalition Casualties, shows fatalities by province.


It does not give a breakdown of the Sunni/Shiite mix of each province but we know that Anbar is almost exclusively Sunni and there are more American fatalities in Anbar than anywhere else.

The figures by province, counting Baghdad as a province, for the 7 highest are as follows:

Anbar 1276
Baghdad 1180
Salah ad-Din 351
Diyala 210
Ninawa 207
Babil 187
Basra 134

As I understand it, Salah ad-Din and Diyala are mixed Sunni/Shiite, Ninawa, which is north of Anbar is mainly Sunni and provinces to the south, including Karbala and Najaf are almost exclusively Shiite. Fatalities in Karbala and Najaf are 37 and 31 respectively.

Since the Surge American forces have been fighting al Qaeda in Salah ad-Din and Diyala and have taken casualties while inflicting many times the number taken.

Ron C. These stats do not seem to bear out your contention.

Posted by Tom Paine | October 7, 2007 1:46 PM

Another factor in Sadr's new "reasonableness" is that Petraeus is proving that the American Military can now hammer an insurgency into the ground.

Thus Sadr and other potential insurgents have decided to look for "other ways" to power -- such as democratic (of sorts) politics.

Posted by Skeptic | October 7, 2007 8:50 PM

I am not the same Skeptic who posted earlier in this thread. In fact, I have posted only occasionally before, but needed to make it clear that this is a different "Skeptic" today. I would not like to be confused with this new Skeptic and will give up the name in future postings.

Posted by courtneyme109 | October 8, 2007 9:42 AM

Hey Tom Paine -

That was one SWEEET adj there - "...hammer an insurgency into the ground..."

Can I use that one sometime?;)

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