Al-Qaeda Attacks Sadr City, Tal Afar

Attacks not only aimed at escalating the violence, but are directed at the will of the American public

The carnage in Sadr City. Click image to view.

On Thanksgiving Day, al Qaeda in Iraq pulled off a well planned, coordinated attack against Muqtada al-Sadr’s base of power. Five car bombs and two mortars stuck markets in Sadr city, while a platoon-sized element raided the Ministry of Health, which is run by Sadr’s political block. Over 200 have been killed and hundreds more wounded in Sadr City. The Mahdi Army hit back with a mortar barrage on the Sunni dominated neighborhood of Adhamiyah. Up to 20 Iraqis were killed in the attack.

The Maliki government responded by imposing a curfew on Baghdad, shutting down traffic in the city on the day of prayer, to prevent further retaliatory attacks. The airports in Baghdad and Basra have been closed. Sadr and other Iraqi political and religious leaders have called for calm, but the Shia have responded. The Mahdi Army attacked four Sunni mosques in the Hurriya district of Baghdad. The Iraqi Army is said to have intervened to stop the attacks, and Reuters reports “least 18 people had been killed and 24 wounded.” Sadr’s political block has threatened to withdraw from the government if Prime Minister Maliki meets with “the terrorist,” President Bush.

The timing of the Sadr City attacks must immediately be called into question. Al-Qaeda had duel objectives with this attack: 1) push the Iraqi people closer towards civil war by forcing Sadr to escalate the violence 2) give the American public topics of discussion at the Thanksgiving Day table. The ‘failure’ of the U.S. effort in Iraq and the hopelessness of containing the violence was al Qaeda’s messages to the American public.

Today, al Qaeda sent another message. The city of Tal Afar was hit by two suicide bombers. Over 22 were killed and 26 wounded. Tal Afar has been called a model Iraqi city by President Bush, and the mayor has praised American troops and the president for ridding the city of al Qaeda. Press reports often note this fact, without pointing out al Qaeda’s motivations for hitting Tal Afar.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been adept at conducting strikes to achieve its political goals. The escalating violence in the run up to the U.S. midterm elections is one such example. Abu Ayyub al-Masri gloated over the midterm election results, and declared an al Qaeda victory. The Madrid train bombings in Spain just days before the election is another. The Thanksgiving Day attacks in Sadr City was sure to dominate the headlines and televisions in the United States on what is typically a slow news day.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has ‘moderated’ its message towards the Shia since Zarqawi’s death, but still conduct s attacks to destabilize the regime and keep the sectarian violence boiling. Only the rhetoric has changed, as al Qaeda Command perceived the open calls for the slaughter of fellow Muslims tarnished al Qaeda international image among Muslims.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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22 Comments

  • Colin says:

    Do we think that Sadr is serious about withdrawing from the governing coalition? Would this bring the Maliki government down? If that’s the case, could that possibly be a good thing, forcing a new coalition to form, hopefully without the disruptive presence of Daw’a party officials or Sadr in it?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    I would love to see Sadr’s Politicians withdraw from the govt.
    That would make it open season on the Mahdi Army…
    If they do not go thru with the threat, then Sadr loses credibility with his own followers…

  • Michael says:

    Remember when the Shia were happy about forcing Coalition Forces and ISF to remove security checkpoints going into and out of Sadr city?
    This effectively allowed the Shia to control their own destiny.
    The question that constantly stays in mind is that of Sadr’s alliance. He met with both Syria, Iran, and terrorist leaders in Damascus pledging their fight for Iran and defense agreements were made.
    I can’t help but think that Sadr, the Baathist, Iranians, etc., would do anything to bring down a free government. Including allowing the murder of innocents.

  • Michael says:

    re: “…Shia controlling their own destingy” is meant to describe Sadr city and the Mahdi militias.
    I’d hope there would be firm crackdown on all people, including the religious leaders that ferment all the violence.
    Sadr has proven he is not loyal to Iraq by his actions. Any kind of attacks on innocents only help to bring the government down and make Iran stronger in the region.
    The last thing Syria and Iran want is a free government next to them.

  • GK says:

    Wait, so Al-Qaeda and Sadr are fighting each other? So, I would think this is good for us.
    If those two entities waste each others’ resources, that is good.
    Does this mean we are closer to winning, or not?

  • serurier says:

    I think they attacking each other is good , coalition can wait and kill winner .

  • m.takhallus says:

    Bill, do you have evidence that the attacks over the last months are linked to US elections? I seem to recall that Ramadan typically sees increased attacks.
    If anything, is it not likely that the US attempt to crack down in Baghdad put a premium on nose-thumbing attacks? Perhaps the demonstration was less for the US home-based audience, and more a demonstration of US impotence for domestic Iraqi consumption.
    Now, with the mid-terms over you conclude that the continuation of violence is linked to Thanksgiving. That seems like a stretch. Was there a sudden drop-off between November 7th and November 24? And if we see a continuation over the next few weeks, what US political event will be the cause?
    The 9-11 attacks were not on or near an election. The London attack likewise. As for the Madrid attack, had the Aznar government not lied about it, that unpopular government might have survived. In fact, had Aznar told the truth the attack might have rebounded to his advantage.
    Is it not rather more likely that attacks are increasing in Iraq in proportion to the ability to launch attacks? In other words, that we have a deteriorating security situation that naturally allows an increase in violence?
    I respect what you do immensely, but I question this analysis. It seems to me that we have several other more plausible explanations for AQ actions.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    takhallus,
    As I said, al-Qaeda can score with several audiences, not just one.
    The violence decreased significantly after Ramadan. And yes, there is evidence al-Qaeda plans attacks to influence our election. They released a document discussing US election, except intelligence won’t declassify it for reasons think should be obvious.
    On Madrid, we intercepted communications and documents that they did plan the attacks to influence the result of the election, Regardless as to how the Aznar government acted and may have erred, they results what what al-Qaeda wanted: The withdrawal from Iraq.

  • grgnard says:

    Sadr pulling out of the coalition forces a new election, how the election turns out and who ends up with what cabinet post is interesting speculation. I don’t think it would be “open season”

  • ME says:

    I think Bill is spot on with his suggestion that AQ tries to manipulate the US electorate, the dramatic upswing in violence prior to the midterms and the dramatic downswing after prove this.
    Unfortunatly the result of the election also suggests that while the US military is winning in Iraq the American voters are ready to cower.

  • jimpit says:

    I don’t know, this sounds a bit of a stretch. Hear a lot of “stab-in-the-back” kind of talk here. Fact: we needed 300-500,000 troops in the first instance, don’t matter how brilliant Rumsfeld thought he was. That was when about 85% of the Iraqi people were open to the US helping them out. Now, I read where 60%-65% of all Iraqis feel killing Americans is just fine. If you take out the Kurdish part, which doesn’t have that feeling, that’s 70-85% of Shia and Sunni. How do you possibly, outside of pure fantasy, restore order with less than another 400-600,000 troops?
    If you’re an Iraqi, you’ve lost about 70% of the doctors. They’ve been killed or fled. You’ve got no security going to the grocery store. Sending your kid to school is dangerous. The engineers, scientists, technically competent have been cut by about 2/3rds through killing and fleeing the country. If you’re a woman and your face shows you could expect acid or a beating or at least harrassment. You’ve got 1.5 million forced from their homes–that’s one in 16 people. You’ve got 300,000 Christians as refugees, most into Kurdish areas. You’ve got the Christian bishop saying Christianity is about to disappear from Iraq. You’ve got few jobs, little electricity, raw sewage in the streets, no potable water, no medical supplies, widespread warlordism/gangsterism, kidnappings for money, kidnappings for revenge, about 40% child malnutrition, and about 3 dozen militias. For starters.
    Blaming the American people for recognizing a dismal reality is one thing, but how do you not blame a leadership that went in understaffed, ignorant, and with no plan at all–except brilliant ideas like “all you Iraqi army men go home, and take your guns with you. Oh, and screw your pensions. After we get a thriving stock-market going, we’ll have work for you. In the meantime go dig up the 300 (500?) tons of weapons we’ve left unguarded all around the country.” Was that the American people that did that? Was that the media that did that? Was that a factor in the hell Iraqis live today? People don’t want to pin any of it on our leadership, but they like the stab-in-the-back talk. More reality: it hasn’t been that AQ’s been playing it brilliantly. It’s we’ve been playing it like rank amateurs, and prideful ones at that.
    And of course, AQ is going to try to use the overall situation to influence American opinion. That’s what you do in war and politics. But if you can’t say where we are going to get the hundreds of thousands of fighters from we need, why would you bother giving so much weight to AQ’s pr dreams, and very little indeed to the reality of what’s possible? Does anyone really think that, if not handicapped like we are by our leaders, 3,000 suicidal guys on scooters would be a major challenge to us. Does anyone honestly think we are that weak?
    PS: If we had left right after getting Saddam, the beneficial war of Sunni on AQ would have started years ago and would be over by now. Without an occupation to fight, the Sunni leaders would have quickly grasped the Wahabee-inspired foreigners wanted to take over more than they wanted to expel the Coalition. They’d be dead by now, everyone of them in Iraq.
    Before that, if we never went after the non-threat to the US, the serial mass-murderer Saddam, and instead had blocked ALL the roads out of Tora Bora, or failing that, gone into Pakistan after al-qaeda (Mushy would have wailed, but he’d like these guys and the Pastuns fixed as well) then, this very day, al-qaeda would be effectively over, nor would they be several times stronger than they were on 9/11, the Madrid, London, Indonesia bombings would never had occurred, Afghanistan would be a lot more secure and would not be a drug-based financing scheme for AQ, etc etc. A hundred advantages would have accrued for the US if our leadership had stayed the course on getting al-qaeda.
    Be clear: it was not the US people, nor was it the media, which gave us years of disastrous strategy and execution. The civilian leadership is responsible for what happens. Start there, and then come up with 400-500,000 troops in the next couple of months if you’re serious about “staying the course.” Otherwise, whether you intend it or not, you just leave our people to be in the middle of chaos with insufficient manpower and enemies on every side.
    Sorry to rant here, Bill, and if you kick me off I understand my heat was too much for what you are trying to do. But for heaven’s sake man, no matter what the “sophisticates” and “realists” and “insiders” say, if one doesn’t build on the truth, then they build on sand and quicksand. Only stab-in-the-back came from the people at the top. The rest of us are just noticing it, not causing it.

  • m.takhallus says:

    I think it’s narcissism to imagine that all this is all somehow done for our benefit. The evidence is thin to the point of transparency.
    And I think it’s predicated on the idea that Al Qaeda really would want us out of Iraq.
    Here’s an alternate theory: If we were gone the Anbar Sunni and Al Qaeda both would have their hands full with an unrestrained Shiite majority. If the Anbar Sunnis managed to reach equilibrium with the Shiites, any deal or arrangement would surely require a neutering of Al Qaeda by the Sunnis themselves.
    In other words, AQ’s “legitimacy” in Iraq relies on its anti-American posture. Lacking US targets AQ would be an irritant in the Iraqi polity, an irritant that would not set well with Sunni leaders who must, inevitably, reach accommodation with Shiities.
    The only circumstance under which our departure would be beneficial for AQ, is one where Shiia and Sunni are locked in civil war and the Sunnis require AQ military assistance in that fight. In that event AQ would not have a safe haven from which to operate, rather they would be one force among many on the losing end of a civil war.
    The Sunni know all this, as does Al Qaeda. The Sunni know they can’t make a deal with the Shiites so long as AQ is running loose. And they know if they give safe haven to AQ they’ll be seeing regular visits from US warplanes and cruise missiles. So one way or the other the Sunni have to take on AQ in order to be able to control their own agenda.
    Al Qaeda’s best interests right now lie in the status quo: if the Americans leave then AQ’s on the wrong end of a total civil war. If the Americans stay then AQ has the protection of the Americans who keep the Shiites on a leash. The status quo works beautifully for Al Qaeda: they get to kill Shiites, they get to kill Americans, they can recruit and train to their heart’s content while the Americans are off playing whack-a-mole in Baghdad. Why would they want us to leave?

  • m.takhallus says:

    The only circumstance under which our departure would be beneficial for A . . . should have included the word “temporarily” before “beneficial.”

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Well, m.takhallus, I never said it was “all somehow done for our benefit.” I said the attacks had multiple purposes. It’s not a binary choice. A simple reading of the post would show that. And the evidence isn’t thin that al-Qaeda works to influence our electorate. It’s substantial, if fact. Once that document on al-Qaeda’s strategy to influence elections is declassified, you’ll see. However, just look at what al-Qaeda itself said prior to Madrid. That’s readily available if you choose to look.
    jimpit,
    It’s kinda hard to take you seriously when you advocate invading a nuclear-armed state, and claim Pakistan would have brushed it off. Or that Bali, Madrid and London wouldn’t have happened had we not invaded Iraq. I guess 9-11 wouldn’t have happened either had we stayed out of Iraq, right? To think al-Qaeda was only in Afghanistan is quite simplistic.

  • C-Low says:

    If the LLL’s suceed we are going to become the first Nation in History to Surrender a war effort because the enemy killed to many of his own civilians. Which in itself is LLL propoganda that is only achievable because of the US pop has lived in such utter peace for so very long we can’t even coprehend the daily hell so many peoples live in around the world.
    //gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/11/october-iraqi-deaths-nearly-match.html
    November: The backstappers are reality. Since day one of the WOT the LLL’s have grasped at any and all to try to demoralize and destroy the war effort. How many dooms day senerio’s has the LLL’s gone through:
    -Afghanistan ohhh the Soviets, we will be devestated
    -Tora Bora ohhh the cave complexes we wont be able to mass casualties
    -Iraq invasion ohhh the expeceted losess
    -Iraq Baghdad will be a meat grinder months of US death
    -Ohh Iraq invasion they will light all the oil fields enviro disaster
    -Ohh Iraqi’s will never vote
    -Ohhh they can’t make a government
    -Ohh NO the Mehdi/Sadr and AQ/Bathist joined forces we are doomed Ahhhh we are going to lose the entire ARMY
    -Ohhh the Sunni’s wont vote wont participate wont join in the government
    -Ohhh they will never be able to make a constitution
    -Ohh we will never make a Iraqi Army that will fight (remeber the weeks of how the Iraqi Insurgents are brave super soldgiers but our Iraqi Allies were just cowards that were incapable of anything short cowering and running)
    -Ohh we will never make a Iraqi Police force that will stand and fight (by the way when was the last time a IP station was overrun? Ohh thats right now the IP are tooo aggressive ohh the carnage of the IP doing things Arab style)
    Now the most recent Dooms day senerio’s
    -Ohhh we wont ever make a Iraqi Police force that is not Militia influenced (or too brutal in thier Arab style tactics perspective I guess)
    -Ohh it will be a all out Civil War blah blah
    Shoulda Woulda is BS. NOthing is perfect and War sure as hell is never Perfect or Clean. Constant harping on this or that does nothing.
    300-400K troops would have been great if we were ready to get into imperial colonializsm. But our goal never was to control Iraq it was to just keep it from going over the edge while we set up the foundation for the future. The Iraqi constitution, Economy, Democratic gov, and a chance for the moderates to take power (they thrive at these aspects not the radicals).
    By the way something often not spoken do you know what nation hates AQ as much as the US? Iraq is the answer a overwhelming majority of Iraqi hate for good reason AQ nearly if not all Iraqi’s have family/friends killed by AQ terrorism. Iraq War has made the Iraqi people and much of the Arab world see the true face of there Radicals (something we also saw the hard way on 9-11). The moderates that take power in Iraq can’t just be moderate they also must be trialed by fire so we know they will in the future control thier radicals and not just cut side deals for thier own protection. Hence we don’t want a colony we don’t want our children fighting in Iraq. Putting moderates in power is useless if the moderates don’t see the radicals as enough enemy to themselves or the moderates are too weak/passive were they don’t/can’t control the radicals and reset the education/cultural systems to breed them out over generations.
    I don’t want my children occupying Iraq. If the moderates cannot get control of Iraq with our help but US doing it for them (which is the British Imperial model of colony dependence) that tells me thier is not enough moderates in Iraq. All we have to do is keep things from going over the edge and either the neighbors jumping in, mass genocide, or radicals taking over swaths of territory. And not this minor criminal tit for tat murder and killings of civilians randomly is not genocide when/if it goes genocide it will be very clear un-disputable and there will be entire cities slaughtered on both sides. Our 140k men in country is more than capable of holding our goals while we train and groom the IA, IP, IG to do their goals and one day take over our portion as-well.
    Iraq War historically speaking on every level= economic the Military budget including the supplementals is around 4.5% GDP less than the early 80’s peace time budget (no war bonds no war taxes BOOMING Economy still), US civilian draw .05% of the population is involved ALL VOLUNTEER no draft yet needed to hold numbers in this WOT, military casualties we lost more men on Wake Island in WW2, ect..
    If the moderates in the Muslim world cannot control thier own radicals “what is our alternative option?”. The “realist” dictator/strong men idea has failed misreably those guys for self preservation cut deals with the radicals at our expense hence the situation we find ourselves in today. Are you prepared to do what will have to be done at that point? The west has not fought a war of that type for well over a hundred years. And when we choose that path these minor sacrifises we are currently sustaining will quickly be appreciated and yearned for.

  • Anand says:

    How the (Baathist/Salafi) violence is being financed.
    //www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/world/middleeast/26insurgency.html

  • BB says:

    Bill,
    Why is everyone so quick to assume this is Al-Qaeda? Sadr is under indictment for a murder-bombing at a Shi’ite Mosque that killed ~50 Shi’ites; he’s not averse to slaugtering his own sect if it furthers his agenda.
    The Mahdi Army is under increasing pressure to disarm and his murderous cells are being rolled up. What better way to relieve that pressure than to stage a massive attack in his own backyard, “proving” that his militia is needed to provide “security?”
    I wouldn’t leap to conclusions about the perpetrators here.

  • Anand says:

    BB,
    Sadr’s followers would eat him up and spit him out if this could be proven. I don’t think Sadr would risk it because of the possibility he would be caught. And because of Al-Qaeda, he doesn’t need to do it. Zarkawi has been killing Mahdi since 2003. That’s part of what helped turn Madhi against us in the first place. Muqtada use to blame us for not doing enough to protect the Shia (or at worst secretly being in bed with Al-Qaeda and the Baathists.)

  • MaidMarion says:

    Personally…I think this is a higher stakes game.
    It’s Iran against the rest of the Sunni states in the area…this is a major regional power struggle taking place in front of our eyes.
    Which prompts me to ask this question: Why did Jimmy Carter side with Iran’s clerics way back in his administration?
    Specifically, what domestic benefit (political or strategic) did he or perhaps the Democratic Party think would be gained from his siding with the clerics?
    I’ve never seen a rational explanation for his political embrace of the clerics during this timeframe…but it was certainly (at a minimum) important to the clerics.
    What was Carter’s political calculation back then?

  • Nicholas says:

    Then they are fools. If they prepare to have a civil war, they will have one. They need to be working towards preventing one.
    If true, Sadr should be eliminated right now. It certainly won’t make matters any worse.

  • jimpit says:

    bill roggio, incidently I think you have a great site, and are honest. It’s just the stab-in-the-back b.s. in the comments that got to me. Most adults understand that when you are aggressive with no just motive, things are going to turn out bad in the end. The core mad and corrupt impulse driving that kind of action carries the seeds of its own undoing. You might get the details wrong on how exactly things will develop, but people opposed to the war said 100s of thousands will die, and more will end up miserable. Check it out.
    You said: “It’s kinda hard to take you seriously when you advocate invading a nuclear-armed state, and claim Pakistan would have brushed it off.”
    Seriously, Bill, if we went in, and Musaraf hit us with all 37 or so nukes, is he so stupid that he doesn’t realize Pakistan would disappear from border to border in the next 2 hours? So, does he play it to get rid of an annoyance in his personal political life (religious fanatics) or does he play it to have him and his family and everyone he knows die?
    Are you saying we wouldn’t have retaliated to a nuclear strike? We had the power in the situation. If you’re going to play hardball, why not do it on the field where the game matters, instead of whopping some a-hole who had nothing to do with hurting us?
    Again, even before following AQ into P-stan, we could have refused to let ISI fly planes loaded with AQ & Taliban out of Afghanistan. We could have closed ALL the roads from Tora Bora, we could have brought in our own people instead of hiring locals. Notoriously untrustworthy locals. But we didn’t. Who decided that? The cowardly American people? The traitorous press?
    “Or that Bali, Madrid and London wouldn’t have happened had we not invaded Iraq.”
    According to the tapes made by the previously non-political bombers (except one or two) in London, the Iraq invasion was the reason they did it. Do they do that without an Iraq invasion? Doubtful. Madrid was specifically claimed in statements to be retaliation for Spain’s involvement in the attack on Iraq. It was in fact predicted by them they would hit Spain for that reason.
    Bali happened when Bush started pushing the Iraq war when he came back from vacation in 9/02, but it looks like that was a plan that was going on long before that. So, for 2 out of 3–pretty fair bet they wouldn’t have happened had we not invaded Iraq. The converse: Would you say then that the number of people prepared to commit acts of terror has decreased, or at least not increased, because of the attack on Iraq? Suicide bombers. Would their numbers have exploded (sorry) without Iraq. Extremely unrealistic to think so.
    “I guess 9-11 wouldn’t have happened either had we stayed out of Iraq, right? To think al-Qaeda was only in Afghanistan is quite simplistic.
    Actually, if we had not kept troops in Saudi Arabia after kicking Saddam’s butt the first time.
    But I never did think AQ was just in Afghanistan. Did think, based on all reports, that 70,000-100,000 had been through their camps in Af-stan, of whom 10-20,000 were serious hardcore. And about 10,000 of whom were in Afghanistan when we went in there. I guess you think we shouldn’t have made the focus getting them, and rolling up the other actives around, using the alliances based on the insanely powerful weapon we used to have 4 years ago: the decent respect of the opinion of mankind. Have you forgotten all those captured al-qaeda that “escaped” jails, repeatedly, all through the Muslim world (Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc)? Most understood us going into Afghanistan. Going into Iraq hurt us in a dozen ways vs. al-qaeda.
    We don’t go into Iraq, we nail bin Laden and the Egyptian and Omar, take out fully half of the committeds, DO NOT recruit for him worldwide, work with others to nail the remainder of the committeds, DO NOT have Af-stan drugs financing the ever-growing anti-American terrorist cults, have Saddam (or whoever might overthrow him) scaring the Iranians, DO NOT have Mushy making arrangements with al-qaeda…. Iraq has been a disaster for this nation. And it was the leadership that is responsible. By definition, and by deed.

  • jimpit says:

    Thanks for posting your opinions. Still, I’m continually amazed at this cartoon-view guys on your side have of people who were against this fiasco.
    -Afghanistan ohhh the Soviets, we will be devestated
    Read any statements from NATO lately? Any news of what’s going down in Afghanistan? Hear about any terrorist training bases in the area these days?
    -Tora Bora ohhh the cave complexes we wont be able to mass casualties
    That’s a new one
    -Iraq invasion ohhh the expeceted losess
    If they had not melted away? It was a fight for a while, but the Shi’a stood down (they were on record as preferring the US and Ba’athists kill each other, sort of a win-win from their point of view). And then, so did the Sunnis. We’ve only had total about 3,000 killed 20-30,000 injured enough to not fight again, another 30-40,000 or so injured and returned. So 60,000-70,000 casualties (not counting the 20% of a million rotated in with PTSS). I guess, big picture guys see this as chicken feed, historically. No biggie here.
    -Iraq Baghdad will be a meat grinder months of US death
    I’m guessing this is just a typo, or random typing, or something not connected with reality.
    -Ohh Iraq invasion they will light all the oil fields enviro disaster
    Drink any water from the Tigris lately?
    -Ohh Iraqi’s will never vote
    Never heard anyone I know say anything vaguely like that, ever. Totally made up for the purpose of villifying.
    -Ohhh they can’t make a government
    Never heard anyone I know say anything vaguely like that, ever. Totally made up for the purpose of villifying.
    -Ohh NO the Mehdi/Sadr and AQ/Bathist joined forces we are doomed Ahhhh we are going to lose the entire ARMY
    The 16 million Shia have not yet decided that we have surved our purpose (killing Sunnis). Ever look at a map of Iraq? Try it, and trace the roads, and see where they run through. Tell me your plan to defend them.
    -Ohhh the Sunni’s wont vote wont participate wont join in the government
    Again, pure fantasy. No one I know every said anything like it.
    -Ohhh they will never be able to make a constitution
    Guess. Hint: a trend.
    -Ohh we will never make a Iraqi Army that will fight (remeber the weeks of how the Iraqi Insurgents are brave super soldgiers but our Iraqi Allies were just cowards that were incapable of anything short cowering and running)
    Everyone knew they fought Iranians for years. The point, would they fight for an American-propped government. Now your Iraqi Army is basically Kurdish and Shia militia units who joined up whole. US military says about 80% of them won’t leave their own district, don’t show up for fights, hang back. Another one we were right on.
    -Ohh we will never make a Iraqi Police force that will stand and fight (by the way when was the last time a IP station was overrun? Ohh thats right now the IP are tooo aggressive ohh the carnage of the IP doing things Arab style)
    Most are Shia militia. How can you possibly not know this?
    Now the most recent Dooms day senerio’s
    -Ohhh we wont ever make a Iraqi Police force that is not Militia influenced (or too brutal in thier Arab style tactics perspective I guess)
    Duh!
    -Ohh it will be a all out Civil War blah blah
    So I guess when neighborhoods are exchanging mortar fire in Baghdad, and 100 people a day are being murdered, and men now tatoo their names on their thighs so when their body is found they’ll be ID’d, and the Shia–including 3 MPs–seize the State Television and announce which Sunni neighborhoods they are going to kill everyone in– that’s not a Civil War. blah blah
    What to say? A Nigerian singer had a song, in pidjin English: “They ask me why I laugh, I say, No fit man to cry.”
    “300-400K troops would have been great if we were ready to get into imperial colonializsm. But our goal never was to control Iraq it was to just keep it from going over the edge while we set up the foundation for the future.”
    Actually, according to adult military people, it was the minimum required simply to keep chaos from spreading after the certain military victory. See, no foundation-making if no control over looters, no protection of infrastructure, no services. Cannot. Possibly. Happen.

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