Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Al-Maliki -- "You have three days to surrender"

That's what he said in response to the Sadr Mahdi militia's recent explosion in violence in Basra. The Washington Times reports that he's not happy, and he's given them a deadline:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was in Basra to supervise a crackdown against the spiraling violence between militia factions vying for control of the center of the country's vast oil industry located near the Iranian border.

The violence has raised fears that the cease-fire declared in August by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr could unravel, presenting the gravest challenge to the Iraqi government in months.

Sadiq al-Rikabi, a chief adviser to al-Maliki, said gunmen in Basra who turn over their weapons to police stations and sign a pledge renouncing violence will not face prosecution.

"Any gunman who does not do that within these three days will be an outlaw," he said.

A resumption of intense fighting by al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia could kill more U.S. soldiers and threaten – at least in the short run – the security gains Washington has hailed as a sign that Iraq is on the road to recovery.

Officials in al-Sadr's headquarters in Najaf, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the anti-U.S. cleric had sent local representatives to ask al-Maliki to leave Basra and resolve the problems peacefully. The aides also told the government no negotiations could be held until Iraqi reinforcements withdrew from the city.

The burgeoning crisis – part of an intense power struggle among Shiite political factions – will test the skill and resolve of Iraq's Shiite-led government in dealing with Shiite militias, which have close ties with the national leadership.

The Sadrists are angry over recent raids and detentions, saying U.S. and Iraqi forces have taken advantage of the cease-fire to crack down on the movement.

Terrorists in Iraq were warned when we began the surge that they were at the top of out sh*t-list. We were sick of playing ball with our hands tied behind our back. Al-Sadr's Mahdi militia agreed to a six month cease-fire with US and Iraqi forces as we secured Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, and other areas that were hotbeds of violence.

Back in February, al-Sadr extended the cease-fire. We continued to round up foreign terrorists, and any militiamen that decided to take the fight to Iraqi and US forces. Some of them have turned out to be members of the Mahdi militia. So, the fight was taken to them. The Mahdi's aren't happy with this, claiming we broke the cease-fire when it was elements of their own militia that did.

Al-Maliki is right to order them to surrender their weapons. They'd be smart to do so. If he turns the Iraqi forces loose, and they work in conjunction with US surge forces, the Mahdi militia won't have much left when the surge into Basra is all said and done.

Publius II


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