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Old 03-26-2008, 07:32 AM   #1
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Cease-fire over, back to fighting the Americans

Rest of it is here.

Quote:
The Mahdi Army's seven-month-long cease-fire appears to have come undone.

Rockets fired from the capital's Shiite district of Sadr City slammed into the Green Zone Tuesday, the second time in three days, and firefights erupted around Baghdad pitting government and US forces against the militia allied to the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

At the same time, the oil-export city of Basra became a battleground Tuesday as Iraqi forces, backed by US air power, launched a major crackdown on the Mahdi Army elements. British and US forces were guarding the border with Iran to intercept incoming weapons or fighters, according to a senior security official in Basra.

The US blames the latest attacks on rogue Mahdi Army elements tied to Iran, but analysts say the spike in fighting with Shiite militants potentially opens a second front in the war when the American military is still doing battle with the Sunni extremists of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"The cease-fire is over; we have been told to fight the Americans," said one Mahdi Army militiaman, who was reached by telephone in Sadr City. This same man, when interviewed in January, had stated that he was abiding by the cease-fire and that he was keeping busy running his cellular phone store.
This story is in quite a few papers, but not really seeing it on TV. They're too busy talking about Obama's pastor and Hillary's Tuzla two-step. Either that or everyone is pretty much feeling the way Cheney does and the response to something like this has become: "So?"
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Now we'll really get to see how well that surge is working...
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:57 AM   #3
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I've seen it on tv, I think it was the top story on ABC News last night.

I wonder what McCain will have to say about it. Of course this will all have to be straightened out in a timely fashion before November.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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99 more years of war on the wall, 99 more years of war ....
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:33 PM   #5
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I'm more interested in what Obama and Clinton have to say about it. It's a tough problem. I'd like to hear their solutions.

Obiously, its more complicated than the above article let's on. This one provides a little more background:

http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...725526,00.html
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:21 AM   #6
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The surge has worked well, Sadr can now easily hold the balance of power now that the Sunnis have been disarmed.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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so just what is going on in Iraq?

is this what happens when forces (here, the British) leave too soon?

is this simply the inevitable start to a civil war between the Madhi Army and "government" troops?

how long before we see Maliki's corpse being carried through the streets?

or, does Maliki now feel that he has the power and confidence to suppress insurrection, similar to, say, the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794?

does this mean that the suge isn't such a surge after all, that it's the new reality lest we want this to happen to the rest of the country?

are the Americans little more than the thumb of the little dutch boy stuck into a dyke?

is this all the Iraqi forces are capable of?

what next? what is this? what's going on?
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:17 PM   #8
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The boundries of Iraqi were drawn out by the British in the 1940s. (i think...correct me here if i'm wrong)

President Bush, since he took over the region, should have redrawn the region into the three separate religious groups" the Shiites, the Sunnius, the Kurds.

It's a big mistake and a problem that cannot be fixed, trying to get these three groups together.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #9
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Looks like the tide is turning!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/wo...assess.html?hp

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/...rss_topstories

This is awesome news!
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:29 PM   #10
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Seems like a good thing -- hearts and minds are leaning toward Maliki -- and a all that brings.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Seems like a good thing -- hearts and minds are leaning toward Maliki -- and a all that brings.




that's not the sense i'm getting at all.

it seems to me that the big winner, as always, is Iran, who seems to be able to talk the Madhi army into calming down in a way that the Maliki's government was unable to. and all this uprising has done is prove that Iraqi troops -- even with American and British support -- aren't capable of quelling insurrections. from the view of the Shiite militias (and i know that the government is also a Shiite militia) is that the government is dead from their point of view. what has happened is that the weakness of the government has been exposed. this was supposed to be a decisive assault. instead, the Iraqi army could merely hold the Madhi army at a standstill while Iran stepped in and calmed things down -- now who's the big kid on the block?
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:58 PM   #12
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^ I'm inclined to agree; almost everything I've read suggests that prevailing public opinion in Iraq takes this to be a net loss for Maliki.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:02 PM   #13
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Originally posted by yolland
^ I'm inclined to agree; almost everything I've read suggests that prevailing public opinion in Iraq takes this to be a net loss for Maliki.
I've read several articles saying as much. He actually kind of strikes me as a bit of an idiot and I do think that his continued presence in Basra helped escalate the situation.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:23 PM   #14
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Al-Sadr has been hanging out in Iran. Understood.

Or do you guys think they were negotiating with the Iranian Government?


From the CNN article today --
Quote:
Haidar al-Abadi, a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa Party, said Iraqi Shiite lawmakers traveled Friday to Iran to meet with al-Sadr. They returned Sunday, the day al-Sadr told his Mehdi Army fighters to stand down.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Al-Sadr has been hanging out in Iran. Understood.

Or do you guys think they were negotiating with the Iranian Government?




i think the intention of this was to, 1) demonstrate the inefficacy of the Madhi government, and 2) to show the "beneficence" of Iran.

it's all pretty bad.
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