Friday, May 25, 2007

Shiite Cleric Moktada al- Sadr Back in Iraq

This morning, the New York Times reported: “The cleric left for Iran after the Bush administration announced its new security push in January, and his militia immediately went underground, in an apparent effort to outwait the Americans and avoid a head-on clash.” Point 1) It may be true that al-Sadr took a trip to Iran in January to sit out the Bush administration surge bullshit. Although it is more likely that al-Sadr had business of one kind and another to transact in Iran. However, it is not true that al Sadr’s Mahdi militia went underground. It has remained as virulent and effective during and after the surge as ever it was before. Point 2) If al-Sadr ran to Iran because he feared the Bush surge (as the White House said back in January), how come al-Sadr has returned to Iraq at exactly the moment when reports are making the rounds of “a second secret surge” being ordered by the Prez for this winter? Point 3) Does anyone know how many US troops are in Iraq? Bush announced on January 10, 2007 that he was ordering “5 additional brigades” to be deployed to Iraq. The Department of Defense says, “a brigade is smaller than a division and roughly equal to or a little larger than a regiment--strength typically ranges from 1,500 to 3,500 personnel.” However the definition of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization brigade is that it consists of 4,000 to 5,000 troops. If we stick with the DOD definition of “brigade”, President Bush ordered somewhere between 7,500 and 17,500 additional troops to be deployed to Iraq on January 10, 2007. There were 15 brigades already in Iraq, or between 22,500 and 52,500 troops. And there will be an additional 8 brigades deployed by Christmas, which is 12,000 to 28,000 more troops Depending on the prevailing definition of brigade, we have either 30,000 or 70,000 troops in Iraq. And that number will increase to 42,000 or 98,000 by Christmas. Of course, if the NATO definition of brigade is used, we could be talking about 140,000 US troops in Iraq by Christmas. Who knows how many troops we have in Iraq? Certainly not you or me. But whatever the number is (and double it to include the Blackwater, USA mercenaries), Shiite Cleric Moktada al-Sadr and his merry band are not in the least troubled by the prospect of more troops in Iraq because however many there are, the US soldiers have been totally ineffective against the insurgents and al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia. The Bush administration is far more worried about al-Sadr than he is worried about US troop deployments. And by the way, al-Sadr’s militia has infiltrated the hapless Iraqi Army so that the Iraqi Army is killing Iraqis. Tell me again, how has this illegal war and unnecessary bloodletting in Iraq made me safer?

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