Zeyad of Healing Iraq is reporting outbreaks of violence from Moqata Sadr’s militia in Baghdad.
We need to break this group of thugs up and we need to do it now. If we show weakness at this point we could lose everything – and we cannot afford that.
Zeyad is an excellent source for on-the-ground information from Baghdad – let’s hope he stays safe out there.
Sadr appears to be gunning against Sistani for control of Iraq’s Shi’ites. Sistani, while hardly a democrat, is far more moderate than Sadr. We need to show that those groups that support democratization will be allowed to speak freely, while those that choose violence will not – that means that it is critical to disarm the various Shi’ite militias. If that requires sending in more Marines, then we need to bring in more Marines.
We have to make it very clear that we will not tolerate this kind of barbarism. That means that Sadr needs to be taken out, if not in chains, then in pieces.
UPDATE: The idea that we shouldn’t turn Sadr into a “martyr” is the typically leftist reaction du jour. The problem being that by nature a guy in a cell or dead can’t exactly plan terrorist attacks. These movements are based around the concept that Sadr can challenge the coalition and win – if that mystique is shattered Sadr’s popularity will drop. As Osama bin Laden himself noted, when people see a strong horse and a weak horse they will naturally support the strong horse over the weak. Right now Sadr is trying to make us the weak horse – our job must be to take him down several notches so that his followers know who is in charge.
I also find it wise that the coalition isn’t issuing the arrest warrant – the Iraqi Provisional Government has – for the death of pro-democracy Shi’ite cleric Abd al-Majid al-Khoei. al-Koei wrote this brilliant piece on why the Iraqi people want and deserve freedom. He’s right – we can’t allow ourselves to fall into the notion that this group of thugs represents the Iraqi people any more than the KKK represents the American people. We need to treat these thugs like they are, treat Sadr like the mob boss he is, and start cleaning up the mess in Iraq.