Gangbusters in Basra

What in the world has been going on in Basra? Sadr’s men didn’t have to disarm. And yet they were told not to fight. There was a truce between Sadr’s organization and the IA, but the IA continued to pursue attacks against Sadrist bad guys. Sadrists were patrolling the streets/hiding in their lairs. Sadr won/lost. Maliki won/lost. Iran won/lost. The US lost/lost, or maybe pulled off a draw. Is there any surprise that European and American observers are confused?

Only Nibras Kazimi appears to have the facts in hand. His explanation is that the Basra expedition was intended to hunt down the gangsters, some of them who have had unserved arrest warrants them since 2004, who had intertwined their criminal organizations with Sadr’s Iraqi Shiite nationalist organization, and that it has succeeded to a great extent. Hundreds of the gangster leaders are dead and their organizations are in tatters and will not recover. The rule of law has taken a great step forward in the south of Iraq. The next step is to crush the gangsters in the rest of Iraq. This explains why the Green Zone was getting mortared. The gangsters know that they will soon be taking the worst of it and they wanted to try to throw a wrench in the gears first.

most western media outlets are declaring Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran as the victors of Operation Cavalry Charge. Nothing could be furthest from the truth.The United Alliance List delegation comprising Ali al-Adib of the Da’awa Party, Hadi al-Ameri of the Badr Organization and (I think…) Qasim al-Sahlani representing a group that had splintered from the Da’awa Party, evidently made al-Sadr an offer he couldn’t refuse when they sat down for a friendly chat in Tehran two days ago: the Iraqi state was willing to go all the way in smashing the Sadrist movement—arresting all the leaders and shutting down all the offices—if he didn’t play along with Operation Cavalry Charge and hand over those operatives whose names appear on the wanted lists.

See Maliki went to Basra with a long-ish list of names comprising all those involved in oil smuggling, drug dealing and the various other crimes that have wracked Basra. It just so happens that many of them claim to be Mahdi Army commanders.

Gangbusting is a great development for Iraq. Go Maliki! Go!

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7 responses to “Gangbusters in Basra

  1. Pingback: Rosemary's Thoughts

  2. Great post, Pangloss. Keep up the great work, eh? 😉

  3. Thanks! I appreciate it more than you know. Well, actually as one blogger to another I bet you know exactly how much I appreciate it. It’s a lonesome avocation.

  4. Kazimi has great self-esteem, that is clear.

    Why do you believe his analysis is correct vs. that of so many area experts? As in this sample of 5 area experts and unnamed US & UK officials:

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/basra-experts/

    Also note, the area experts are more tentative in their analysis than more bombastic Kazimi. While this has no objective significance, I have found this an indicator of reliability with experts.

    Jusk asking, as I do not have an opinion on this.

  5. Hi Fabius, I read those experts too and what struck me was that none could account for the contradictory facts on the ground, especially the way that Sadr seemed to be working against his own militia, and the the fact that Sadr’s militia were devastated in some areas of Basra and still standing posts in others. Kazimi can. That’s why his version of events sticks together better for me.

  6. Interesting observation. I assumed these contradictions were the usual, as we attempt to infer behind-the-scenes dynamics from fragmentary observations of events.

    We will, I suspect, learn much by a retrospective look at these — after the dust settles and the true results emerge.

  7. There are no experts. There are only people who understand human nature, specifically Sadr and Maliki’s natures, and those that think they understand human nature.

    Wolf, they should try out a Roman solution to rebellious elements. Kill them and then line the roads with their crucified forms. That’d be real popular.