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May 25, 2007

Sadr Returns To Iraq

Not good news.

Not unless we do what needs, finally, to be done.

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appeared in public for the first time in months on Friday, delivering a fiery anti-American sermon to thousands of followers and demanding U.S. troops leave Iraq.

The U.S. military also announced that six U.S. soldiers were killed in a series of attacks across Iraq in recent days. The deaths put May on pace to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces here in years.


Also Friday, the leader of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in the southern Iraqi city of Basra was killed by British forces, Iraqi police said. The British military said in a statement that "a militia leader" was killed by Iraqi forces in what they called a "precision strike" on his car.

Thanks to Michael.

Too Dangerous To Take Him Out? Allah thinks we missed our chance in 2004 and now simply have to live with him and hope we can strengthen the struggling Decent Class enough to diminish him.

See-Dub thinks we have to exterminate this cockroach.

A cynical but somewhat plausible scenario occurs to me: First, we can't permit to allow Sadr to live. He will take the country if (when, really) we leave and turn it into a homicidal messianic terror state.

So he has to be killed, at one time or another. Preferably on our way out, I suppose.

Bush has restated that we will leave Iraq when asked.

If the surge isn't working -- there does appear to be some evidence it is, but things could change, as they always do -- then Bush might take the option of engineering our exit via the request of the Iraqi government to depart. We've always said we'd honor such a request.

And what could more surely prompt such a request then finally killing the terrorist Sadr?

It's a cynical plan -- creating a fig-leaf of a mission-accomplished departure ("We always said we'd leave when they asked us to, and now they have; we have done our jobs") by deliberately taking an action sure to prompt that departure.

However, we can't let this maniac live. And if we can't stabilize Iraq, we can't permit Sadr to stabilize it as a bastion of terrorism.

So if the situation deteriorates and we're unable to make progress, if we really are faced with an all-against-all civil war, and if we need a peace-with-honor pretext for abandoning Iraq -- it makes sense to me that the best way to do so is to kill this prick and at least give Iraq a chance to become a decent state in our absence.

Cynical, yes, but I'm speaking of last-resort last-gasp efforts, should it come to that.

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posted by Ace at 12:31 PM

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