Tuesday, March 25, 2008
In the War of Arms: Iran, not Muqtada, Directing Iraq Attacks [Steve Schippert]
Has everyone forgotten that Iran sidelined Muqtada al-Sadr from command of the Mahdi Army weeks ago? So why, in all the news reports of the Shia attacks from Baghdad to Basra, is his name so prominently associated with the offensive? Someone in the newsrooms will have to work overtime to explain this to me.
Muqtada blamed many things, including "more sickness," for his seclusion. But it wasn't his decision, and it is part of a trend that has been afoot for some time within Iran's controlled terrorist groups: Figureheads are being supplanted by capable operational commanders. One does not undergo such a sweeping change in order to get more political; rather, it is to get more operational. Witness Baghdad and Basra in the past 48 hours.
Please consider the following to demonstrate:
In reality, the continued presence of his Iranian masters pushed him to isolate himself. Iran has changed other leadership positions and oriented other terrorist groups toward field operational leadership and away from political leadership. The IRGC commander was changed. Hizballah’s military command was stripped from Nasrallah and handed to sheikh Naim Qasim in the Bekaa Valley. And Hamas is effectively run by al-Qassam Brigades military commander Ahmed Jabari in Gaza, not Khalid Meshaal in Damascus nor Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City.
As such, the militarily incompetent Muqtada al-Sadr has been yanked from control of the Mahdi Army. We are seeing the natural and intended progression of this change in Iraq today.
The shelling of the 'Green Zone' (or International Zone) in Baghdad in coordination with attacks throughout southern Iraq from Basra to Baghdad are not a reaction to an al-Sadr decision any more than they are the effects of his military leadership and command. They are the fruits of Iranian labor.
The rockets used in the Green Zone attacks “were Iranian-provided, Iranian-made rockets,” General Petraeus said.
Can we dismiss this from the most successful US commander in Iraq since the conflict began? Further, is it wise to also dismiss the trend of Iranian command changes across the board to operational ground commanders? And, is it wise to forget that Muqtada al-Sadr announced his seclusion and withdrawal from command (at the behest of his Iranian masters)?
In order to minimize or dismiss Iran’s guiding hand in the fighting in Iraq, one must do all of these things. And this is completely illogical. Completely.
It's not entirely up to us whether or not we are in conflict with Iran. But who can blame the American people if they do not understand that Iran is killing our boys - and Iraq's - daily?
People, we are only one half of the equation. The other half has been decided, like it or not. But for goodness sakes, don't take General David Petraeus's word for it.
Oh, no. Instead, cry out, "O Admiral Fallon, where art thou?" That should help.
03/25 12:44 PMShare