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Have U.S. and Iraqi Troops Begun Taking Out Al-Sadr’s Militia?

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The Strategy Page (which blogger Dean Barnett deems to be "reliable"*) reports the following:

 

December 30, 2006: Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging . . .

December 28, 2006: Without much fanfare, much less a press release, the government and Coalition troops have gone to war with Moqtada al Sadrs Mahhi Army militia. Leaders are being arrested or killed. The raids are being carried out with overwhelming speed and force, so that pro-Sadr gunmen have little chance to put up effective resistance . . .

Some American commanders are urging that several additional brigades of U.S. combat troops be brought in for a few months, to back the Iraqi security forces, as the Shia militias are taken down. The most dangerous part of this plan is now, with the well armed and motivated militias still intact. But once the organizations are broken, and arms, records and leaders seized, the problem will be largely a police, not military one.

I don't know what to make of this story, partly because the Strategy Page offers a total of zero links to support it.

If the story is not true then it doesn't matter. If the story is true, then it matters a great deal.

The de-fanging of al-Sadr is, at this point in Iraq's history, the most important step in attaining any lasting, genuine peace or stability for the new government.

Sadr's Shi'ites represent the best-armed and largest destabilizing presence in the current unrest. They also represent some of the more prominent links to Iran's meddling.

With the Shi'ite independent power significantly diminished I would like to think that Sunni insurgents would be encouraged to lay down their arms for two good reasons: 1. They would no longer have to defend themselves or retaliate against the Shi'ite provocateurs, and; 2. They would have hard evidence that the national government is both even-handed in dealing with Shi'ites and Sunnis alike and would feel more inclined than in the past to trust the government with providing the Sunni's with some measure of security.

Since the recent attempt to form a Kurd/Sunni/moderate Shia coalition to counter the current government headed by the Shi'ites and Maliki was nixed by al-Sittani (because he did not want to divide the Shi'ites against one another) I cannot imagine that this assault on al-Sadr's militia could be taking place without Sistani's blessing or clearly-stated neutrality on the matter.

This, too, would show the possibility of rapid change in the current crisis from bad to better (instead of the recent trend from bad to worse).

As always, I am an optimist in this new development. But I will hold off on any genuine enthusiasm until I read some independent confirmation of this still-unprovenanced report.

* Note: The reliability of the Strategy Page is extremely high. It's edited by Jim Dunnigan who has worked as a Pentagon consultant and is a preeminant strategic analyst, and Austin Bay a novelist and retired Army Colonel who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have the connections to know what's going on in Iraq better than just about anyone.

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About Bird of Paradise

  • Franco

    I agree with your logic, I think your right, I hope its true. al Sadr and his militia should have been taken out 18 months ago.

  • SHARK

    Here’s what deluded right-wing motard cheerleaders fail to understand:

    1) the “security forces” we’re “training” and arming in Iraq are basically the Shiite militias of Al-Sadr.

    2) they are the de facto law “and order” in Iraq —

    3) the “insurgents” and “militias” we oppose are — get this — ALSO the local police and the military — which means we’re depending on a civil police/military to — get this — TAKE ITSELF OUT. (That would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic)

    (READ THAT AGAIN, AMERICA.)

    4) Did I mention that… “WE LOST”??

  • SHARK

    Franco, Put down the pom-poms and megaphone and come out with your hands up.

  • http://www.blogger.com Georgio

    I would welcome this news if true and the only justification to a surge in troops but alas I have the same outlook as Shark..sooooo redeploy to Afganistan and get the hell out of there

  • Franco

    #2 — SHARK

    It’s not all so clear cut and dried as your put it. If it were, there would be a hell of a lot more then 3,000 dead Americans in the last three years over there.

    Not every Shiite civiliean, polieceman, or security military service is a member of the Mahdi Army. Not every Sunni is a member of the Baa’th party radicals re-electing a new president.

    The radical killers is both camps are in the minority of the 25,000,000 in Iraq and they are all dead enders and need to be taken out.

    #3 — SHARK

    Raw Raw, go go, standup sitdown fight fight fitht!

  • http://neveranonymous.blogspot.com/2007/01/leave-now-and-let-iraq-run-its-course.html NeverAnonymous

    At this point it is ridiculous to believe that the temporary (at best) “defanging” of De Sadr would be a solution bringing peace to Iraq, or military victory to US. To kill and maim more of his men will bring, well more of his men, from across borders into the never-ending blood bath battle of Iraq. This is a civil war gentlemen, and we have caused it to occur. It is incontrovertibly happening, now.

    We have a potential winning strategy. Consider what we have done in Iraq. We have gotten rid of the dictator Hussein and destabilized a dangerous arab nation to the point of chaos, civil war between tribes.

    Now, we can withdraw our troops, and safely watch the bloodshed from afar. Let them kill each other while we stay at home, waiting to see what we really should do to protect our nation. North Korea? Another nuke test announced. Iran? Nuclear fuel produced and no way is that nation about to stop being a crazily real threat as well.

    Leave Iraq. Save our Troops, Save the Country.
    Put our energy and focus where the real enemies lie, instead of making ourselves the enemy to the world.

    Don’t Stay the Course. Withdraw all Coalition Forces and Let the Civil War in Iraq Run its Course.

    You couldn’t ask for a better way to deal with the present moment in our military history.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Funny, I have searched all over and found NOTHING to substantiate the claims made in the article.

    It’s also interesting to note that the “expert” cited has experience in designing board game simulations, NOT as any kind of accredited military analyst, or even being on the ground in Iraq.

    Desperation, perhaps?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    D’oh, not knowing who Dunnigan is pretty much demonstrates that you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to issues of strategy.

    First off, among Dunnigan’s clients as a game designer is the Pentagon – he’s designed simulations to their specifications. In addition, he has worked as a consultant for various news networks and the Pentagon, not to mention that he served in Vietnam.

    But the article isn’t credited, so it could be from any of the staff, which means it could be by Col. Austin Bay who was in Iraq not long ago, or Prof. Al Nofi who is a prominent military historian. These guys have a direct line into the military at several levels, and they tend to know things way before the media does. I’d believe what they say before I’d believe anything coming out of official sources or any reporter passing on second hand news.

    Now I see why you picked that name, though.

    dave

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Dave, I know who he is, and what he does. I did mention that he was a simulation designer , yes?

    Now, just how does designing strategic simulations qualify one on actual on the ground operations? You might attempt saying that he has some kind of inside connections in the military, of course. But this flies in the face of the politics on the ground in country, doesn’t it?

    I say this due to the understanding that the current ruling coalition in the Iraqi government owes quite a lot of it’s votes to maintain political control of the government directly to al-Sadr.

    Hence my skepticism, add that to my not being able to find any corroborating info anywhere (and I have some interesting sources myself) that would substantiate the substance of the title.

    Now, would it be interesting to see this faction opposed directly, and could it be helpful in the overall strategic view? Probably. It’s exactly the kind of answer a war gamer would come up with, when the “pieces” are crucial, and the “politics” is an abstract set up in the basic scenario.

    Now, if the info comes from a credible source, and then gets substantiated, I’ll be more than happy to listen and think about it.

    As is, and under the present circumstances, this is an editorial and NOT “news”.

    Thanks so much for the disparaging remarks…

    bite me, fanboi

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    D’oh, Let me quote myself, “I don’t know what to make of this story, partly because the Strategy Page offers a total of zero links to support it.

    If the story is not true then it doesn’t matter. . .

    . . . As always, I am an optimist in this new development. But I will hold off on any genuine enthusiasm until I read some indepemdent confirmation of this still-unprovinanced report.”

    I must say that I haven’t found any confirmation on this matter yet, either. There is a “72-hour rule” that may well be applicable here . . . if something isn’t confirmed within 72 hours then it is more than likely not happening.

    It would be impossible to not hear through the MSM (and via al-Sadr sources) if there was a concerted and coordinated sweep through Sadr’s militia members, especially on his own “turf.”

    Sometimes even the best sources get ahead of themselves and, in an attempt to “scoop” they get it wrong.

    Similar reporting has been identified with AP in regards to the burning to death of several Sunni worshipers last month…a story that got major media coverage but absolutely zero independent confrimation, even from the neighborhood in which the atrocity supposedly took place.

  • SHARK

    Dear Dave,

    Thanks for the distractions!

    Who gives a shit about Iraq and the Al-Sadr militia? Fuck Iraq. Fuck the dead Americans. Fuck Bush. Fuck the “surge”.

    We’re really more interested in your ability to pedantically split hairs when it comes to some obscure references totally irrelevant to the absurd proposition mentioned in the article.

    It’s not about the war; it’s about you having the opportunity to write:

    “…you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to issues of strategy.”

    Keep up the delusional lack of self-awareness; it’s entertaining as hell!

    xxoo
    S

  • SHARK

    BoP: “…if something isn’t confirmed within 72 hours then it is more than likely not happening.”

    re. “the rule”

    Can we put to rest that notion of WMDs — um, if it’s been over 3 years?

    Thanks in advance,
    S

    ==========

    FROM THE “BEARS REPEATING” FILE:

    Georgio: “get the hell out of there”

    NeverAnonymous: “Leave Iraq. Save our Troops, Save the Country.”

    ==========

    Man, the next few weeks are gonna be intesting!

    Early American Patriot Advisory Committee: “Mr. Bush, we studied the situation, and we have a list of recommendations. We were thinking ‘one if by land’ — ‘two if by sea’. What says you, sir?”

    [after two months of “listening mode”, consultations, and advice..]

    Bush: “Gentlemen, I’ve decided to burn down the North Church.”

  • Bliffle

    This article is so speculative and airy that one immediately wonders if it is just planted by the admin to backup a decision they are contemplating or have already made. The argument is based on premises like this:

    “Some American commanders are urging that several additional brigades of U.S. combat troops be brought in for a few months, to back the Iraqi security forces, as the Shia militias are taken down.”as the Shia militias are taken down.”

    This sounds like the goal of the syllogism is to justify “that several additional brigades of U.S. combat troops be brought in for a few months” rather than to assess the impact of doing that, in other words, to rationalize a decision they want to make, or have already made. I say that because the consequent of the syllogism seems so strained: “…as the Shia militias are taken down.” As if it were such a simple matter! As if it were so easy to pick and choose desired outcomes! Need I point out that we have been trying to eventuate that very thing unsuccessfully?

    Sadrs militias seem to be extensive and readily refreshed and so one cannot so casually talk about “taking down” the Sadr militia as if it were merely a Hollywood movie plot premise.

    Lurking behind this argument is justification for 30,000 more troops for Iraq. Aside from the seemingly casual assumption that any effort we make can “take down” (such brave and bold sounding words!) Sadrs militia, why would we think that 30,000 troops can do it? Where does that number come from? Is it the sober and careful judgement of military experts, or is it what the admin thinks it can sell to the US public? This admin has demonstrated a distressing propensity for proposing what it thinks it can sell rather than proposing what good judgement indicates will work.
    It stinks of LBJ-think: “you can’t sell the US citizen the whole loaf of baloney but you can sell it one slice at a time”.

  • troll

    latest admin numbers = 20 tp 40 thou…watch the force size creep up

    do I hear 50,000 – ?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave, I know who he is, and what he does. I did mention that he was a simulation designer , yes?

    You suggested that he was just a commercial game designer, when there’s a lot more to Dunnigan than that, and he has worked directly for the pentagon and has connections there. Plus there’s no indication that the article was written by Dunnigan specifically. It could be by any of his other staff, including Austin Bay who was in Iraq relatively recently.

    I would take anything coming out of the Strategy Page very seriously. They have connections as good as or better than Tom Clancy or Larry Bond.

    Now, just how does designing strategic simulations qualify one on actual on the ground operations? You might attempt saying that he has some kind of inside connections in the military, of course. But this flies in the face of the politics on the ground in country, doesn’t it?

    His connections aren’t political, they’re because so many people in the military respect him, his work and his ideas. People in the military in Iraq are not isolated, and there’s an information network out there where they keep in contact with people like Bay and Dunnigan.

    I say this due to the understanding that the current ruling coalition in the Iraqi government owes quite a lot of it’s votes to maintain political control of the government directly to al-Sadr.

    Sadrist allies control 3 out of the score of national administrative offices. The rest are held by more neutral groups. They’ve made some inroads into the police, especially in local areas, but the top levels of that structure aren’t in their control.

    Hence my skepticism, add that to my not being able to find any corroborating info anywhere (and I have some interesting sources myself) that would substantiate the substance of the title.

    So what are your sources? I’m sketptical that they’re any better than Strategy Page has. Check back through their past articles and you’ll see that they’ve been ahead of the curve on a lot of other stories as well.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dear Dave,

    Thanks for the distractions!

    Shark, I didn’t write this article. Go pedal your culture of perpetual outrage somewhere else.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    This ‘surge’ is starting to sound like ‘escalation’. Brings back those fond memories of LBJ, and V….. no,no….. we dare not say the name.

  • Franco

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday that Iraq’s armed forces are set for an assault on Baghdad to take out militias and rogue security forces.

    Aided by multinational troops, the Iraqi forces “will hunt down all outlaws regardless of their sectarian and political affiliations,”

    “We will also severely punish those [security forces] who do not carry out orders or operate in a partisan or sectarian way,” he said.

  • Franco

    Who are the multinationaltroops?

    Those who argue that the U.S. fights “alone” in Iraq ignore first and formost the contributions of the Ira­qis themselves, who have committed 212,000 sol­diers and police to fighting the insurgency and suffer the largest number of casualties.

    In addition, the U.S. has the strong cooperation of the 26 other nations that have deployed troops in Iraq. In addi­tion to 155,000 Americans, there are 8,000 Britons, 3,200 South Koreans, 3,000 Italians, 1,400 Poles, 900 Ukrainians, 450 Australians, 400 Bulgarians, and smaller contingents from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Slovakia.

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    Bliffle, you say, “Sadrs militias seem to be extensive and readily refreshed ”

    Question #1: How do you know this?
    Question #2: Who is extensively and readily refreshiing them? The al-maliki government (using arms supplied to them by the US? The Iranians from across the border? Someone else I don’t know about?

    If either of these it true then it would seem that the enemy here is either al-Maliki, Iran or both. Oh, but defender says that Iran wants a democratic and stable Iran . . . hm . . . just like Syria wants a democratic and stable Lebanon . . . complete with its own puppet government.

    Oh, well…I suppose we should just hand the keys to Iraq over to Iran and come home.

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    Re #18–franco is correct. It appears that what I posted was just a few days ahead of its time. Al-Maliki has indeed decided that both his political future and the future of Iraq will depend on having a confrontation with al-Sadr’s militia. You can read the CNN report here

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Re #18–franco is correct. It appears that what I posted was just a few days ahead of its time. A

    Bearing out what I’ve been saying about Strategy Page being a damned fine resource with excellent connections to get news about military activities before other sources.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    By observation of the news available to us, it seems as though the best we can do against Sadr is to temporarily push his partisans out of a place, but when we leave they flow back in. Maybe they are there all the time. And the insurgents seem to find recruits readily, whether from Iran or from Iraq itself. It seems to me that if we are to Take And Hold positions in Iraq we must add 300,000 troops, not just 30,000. The latter is a drop in the bucket and will disappear into the battle quickly. Why would 170k troops be so much better than 140K? It doesn’t make sense. Gen. Eric Shinseki was right when he said it would require several hundred thousand. One would think that the character assassins of this admin would humbly offer Shinseki apologies, but don’t hold your breath, they do not appear to be such honorable men.

    It seems that Maliki is a weak ally. He’s not entirely in Sadrs pocket, but he makes concessions to Sadr.

    IMO, the admin is preparing us for escalation with the 30k troops. The same arguments they use today can be used in a year to add 50k more, then 100k more, etc., as they are able to increase available troops by de-committing elsewhere and recruit new soldiers.

  • Bliffle

    It may simply be that the admin has coordinated press leaks to Strategy Page with Malikis military moves to lend credibility to their ‘surge’ plans.

    Dave: “Bearing out what I’ve been saying about Strategy Page being a damned fine resource with excellent connections to get news about military activities before other sources.”

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, so cynical, Bliffle. Where are the snows of yesteryear?

    Dave

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Read the CNN article, along with other sources saying the same thing for the last few days.

    Says some interesting things, but they are all centered around Baghdad, NOTHING about “Sadr city” or Anbar province, unless I missed something. Since al-Sadr operates out of the south, NOT Sunni Baghdad, this all still appears to be speculation and opinion.

    Not news.

    It does hit upon one of the crucial nexus’ of the overall problem. Until Maliki deals with al-Sadr and the like , as well as the militias wearing police and army uniforms, wielding US weaponry killing civilians, there is no credible case for this “government” having any semblance of control in Iraq.

    Then you get to the fact that the entire “surge” concept was tried twice last year, both times with the results being worse than when the attempts began.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Just to show even handedness, and that I am indeed trying to find the silver lining in this shitstorm, try out this article on current happening on the gorund in Iraq.

    Shows a lot of things happening in and around Baghdad…good and bad, but still nothing on al-Sadr nor more than lip service directed towards controlling militias dressed as police or soldiers, killing civilians in pure civil war.

  • Franco

    #6 — NeverAnonymous

    I’ve been meaning to address this post but I found it so disturbing and as late have been pressed for time in getting to it. That is way the late reply.

    NeverAnonymous sez..

    At this point it is ridiculous to believe that the temporary (at best) “defanging” of De Sadr would be a solution bringing peace to Iraq, or military victory to US.

    Yes I agree, temporary defanging of De Sadr would be ridiculous. Your (temporay at best) reference is interesting and telling but only leads to speculation on your meaning.

    To kill and maim more of his men will bring, well more of his men, from across borders into the never-ending blood bath battle of Iraq.

    Maybe I have miss understood your assertion, but I can not agree with what it sounds like it is saying.

    Not going in with the intention to “perminatly defang” for the reasons you assert here only guarantees that there will never be lawlessness brought under control. You are conceding victory to the would be terrorests by saying we will only be causing them to bringing in more of his men from where ever.

    That is the very reason to go in and defang them today, and not temporarily, but with continued and endless daily elimination of all dead enders and not stopping when anyone who tries to stop the permanent defanging.

    Only when this worm has showed signs of turning can the Iraqi people see that they, and they alone, just might be able to have something solid to build there future on. And you want to cut and run and call it a potential winning stargage.

    We have a potential winning strategy. Now, we can withdraw our troops, and safely watch the bloodshed from afar. Let them kill each other while we stay at home. You couldn’t ask for a better way to deal with the present moment in our military history.

    This is not a potential winning strategy. There is noting, I repeat, nothing wining about it. And wining is not the right word to use any way.

    It is about securing our interests. Thats right, our interests, which seems these days to be something the American people are ashamed to say or stand up for. I’m not one of them.

    Nothing in goverment is perfect nor will it ever be. History has proved this. Enven the scientific theroy of communism, still only a therry, has been proven to show its support of the inlimination of individual rights.

    Our interesst and our dedication to freedom is better then any other alternative out there and securing our interests is a priourty in my book. Securing these interests also immensely benefits countless others around the world, even those who cant see it or admit it.

    Sound selfest to you when I put it that way, it sure would to the UN? Well, you’re missing the other half which the UN has proven incapable of doing at all in countless nations all over the world. It is about securing the interest of the Iraqi people, most who just what jobs and stability to improve their lives in ways and under freedoms and securtity they desperatly want.

    To think for even less then a minute that leaving both our interests and the interests of the greater 25,000,000 Iraqi population in the hands of minority barbaric radical sects is one of the most irresponsible and unaccountable suggestions I have ever heard.

    Are you some how related to the recently disposed president? Or are you more of a Roman type élitist wishing to site in the stands and watch the gladiators butcher each other to death while you suck on mint leaves and make appearances before your like minded friends?

    I don’t like you NeverAnonymousor or your types and always will.

    If you are an American, it’s a good thing that the Contitution, which I support, protects your rights from allowing me personally to strap you in boots and have you walk point into Sari city next week if for nothing else other then to pay respect to 3002 killed US troops who want to do this job, and not temporally.

    We own it to ourselves as a world leader and we owe it to the Iraqis to do our best and nothing less. And we owe it to the 3002 US soldigers who have already made that statement while you spout off your cheap and humilittiong talk.

    That origanl “best” is always desired over an imitation. That is what we as Americans are and should always be about and not be ashamed to play out our hand.

    When we have done our best, we will have restored so our own self-respect and that of the world at large. That is not in and of itself the reason to do our best, it is the a result of doing it.

    I see you as an enemy of the country, the Iraqi people, and humanity at large.

    For SHARK and his admirers out there, I’ll simply sign off as…

    two clicks away

  • Franco

    #26 —D’oh

    Read the CNN article, along with other sources saying the same thing for the last few days.

    Says some interesting things, but they are all centered around Baghdad, NOTHING about “Sadr city” or Anbar province, unless I missed something.

    How about not wanting to alert the enemy even if it means frustrating bloggers who remain out of harms way.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    #29 – How about you go and learn the definitions and differences between “news”, “editorial”, and “unsubstantiated wishful thinking”

    Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    D’Oh. You’re leaving out the categories ‘Newspinion’, ‘UpNews’ and ‘Infotainment’.

    Dave

  • Franco

    #30 — D’oh

    How about you go and learn the definitions and differences between “news”, “editorial”, and “unsubstantiated wishful thinking”

    Editorials are (usually short) opinion pieces, written by members of the editorial board of the paper.

    News is any new information or current events. The reporting of news falls into the field of journalism.

    So what really is your point?

    As fare are “unsubstantiated wishful thinking” goes, that is all we are left with at this time and voicing wishful thinking is not a negative thing, except of course if one would be offended by the possibility of that being true.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    #32 – My point is, that this article is mislabeled, by definition.

  • Franco

    Pertinent news from November 2006 relevent to this thread.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — November 15, 2006 — The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Wednesday he is optimistic that “we can stabilize Iraq.”

    Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, rejected a call from some Democrats for a phased redeployment of forces beginning in four to six months.

    Abizaid also responded to questions from McCain and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida about the situation in Anbar province, considered one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq and an area where al Qaeda in Iraq is active.

    “Al-Anbar province is not under control,” Abizaid told McCain.

    “Al-Anbar province is critical, but more critical than al-Anbar province is Baghdad. Baghdad’s the main military effort,” Abizaid told Nelson. “That’s where our military resources will go.”

    “There will be some hard things on the horizon,” Abizaid told the senators. “We’ll have to do something in al-Anbar province. We’ll have to commit forces to deal with the Mehdi Army.

    “Each of those things will be battles in and of themselves that we can win if we set the right political and military conditions. And I sincerely believe we can do that.”

    The Mehdi Army is the militia of Muslim Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    The key to success, he said, will be for U.S. forces to help the Iraqi military and police — through embedding — to create a stable environment so Iraqis do not seek safety from militias.

    “It is possible that we might have to go up in troop levels in order to increase the number of forces that go into the Iraqi security forces, but I believe that is only temporary,” Abizaid said.

    Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York expressed impatience with the war, which began in March 2003 and has resulted in more than 2,800 U.S. deaths and thousands more Iraqis.

    “Hope is not a strategy,” she told the witnesses. “Hortatory talk about what the Iraqi government must do is getting old. … The brutal fact is it is not happening.”

    Abizaid urged the politicians not to consider the situation to be worse than it is.

    “When I come to Washington, I feel despair,” he said. “When I’m in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to my soldiers and Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing.”

    He added, “I believe that we must stick with them (in other words stay the cource) until such time that they show us that they can’t do it. … Those among us who fight bet on the Iraqis, and as long as they’re confident, I’m confident.”

    So much for Hillary’s’ statements at this November hearing, and Pelosi’s statements of deception to the Amerecan people just yesterday day on CBS “Face the Nation” about what this general and other generals are saying about what they require. Is Nancy P is really listing to our generals on the ground as she claims she is and Bush is not they how dose she explain her statements? Hypocrcies, but hay, politics as usual.

    Nancy Pelosi January 7, 2007 – Face the Nation

    Compare what Nancy sez to what the general says on November 5, 2006

    Top U.S. general: We can stabilize Iraq

  • Franco

    December 1, 2006
    House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi’s appoints Representative Silvestre Reyes to chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as part of Pelisi’s “New Direction for America” campaign.

    December 8, 2006
    This new direction is not that promising so far. The newly appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Democrat Silvestre Reyes recently failed a test given to him by Congressional Quarterly.

    “Reyes stumbled when I asked him a simple question about al Qaeda at the end of a 40-minute interview in his office last week. Members of the Intelligence Committee, mind you, are paid $165,200 a year to know more than basic facts about our foes in the Middle East.”

    This Congressional Quarterly report sights both Republican and Democrat leadership who have lacked basic knowledge of who and what were are fighting in the Middle East and who and what is behind sectarian civil violence in Iraq specifically.

    What this recent report on Reyes reviles in that if a “New Direction for America” is going to become a reality, clearly it is important to know this, especially if your title is the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

    Where is the foundation being established for this “New Direction for American” Nancy?

    Democrats’ New Intelligence Chairman Needs a Crash Course on al Qaeda

    While this may seem off thread, I think anything to do with Iraq right now and getting the job done is on point. Since Nancy Pelosi is making a point to ride all of her power on this, anything she does or does not do if pertinent for proper asigments and leadership in making decisions that will help save lives and get the job done.

  • SH

    Dear Franco,

    More intelligence.

    Fewer words.

    Thanks,
    The Management

    =====

    PS: FIVE Americans died in Iraq this weekend.

    For

    NO

    Good

    Reason

    Thanks, George!

  • Franco

    General Known to See Peace as Still Possible
    Iraq Will Be Petraeus’s Knot to Untie

  • Franco

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — In an overnight raid, Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops captured a top aide to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in eastern Baghdad, the militia’s spokesman told CNN Friday.

    The spokesman said Sheikh Abdul al-Hadi Darraji –the director of Sadr’s main offices in Sadr City — was arrested at a mosque in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Belediyat, just outside Sadr City.