Thursday, October 26, 2006


Ralph Peters offers the advice in a very short piece for The New York Post. I do not agree with Peters all the time but I do this time. Sadr has the strings controlling Maliki in his hands and Maliki is dancing to his orders. There is a fair chance that Maliki would be killed by Sadrists as a reprisal for the loss of Sadr but there would be a minimal loss involved should that happen. Peters' assessment that
Oh, Maliki realizes his government wouldn't last a week if our troops withdrew. He doesn't want us to leave yet. But he's looking ahead.

For now, Maliki and his pals are using our troops to buy time while they pocket our money, amass power and build up arms. But they've written us off for the long term.
is dead center on target. If democracy is to have any chance at all in Iraq then the muslim clerics whose foul religion is antithetical in essence to democracy must be taught to sit quietly on the sidelines. Putting Sadr in the ground would go part of the way towards achieving that goal. Letting the remaining Sadrist thugs take out Maliki would go a bit further. Finishing off the Sadrist bands thereafter might give Iraq the breathing room necessary for democracy to take root.

I truly doubt that last, though. It really is going to take an Attaturk to keep the religion of murder and slavery from asserting its natural place in any muslim society.

We've been hinting to Maliki that he has taken the wrong road for some time. He does not believe us because he is a true muslim - if you don't put a boot on his neck he thinks you're kidding. It's time to disabuse him of that notion.


Luther said...

Strong words but, I think, necessary and righteously said, from Peter's and you Rick.

Naive of me I know, but I can't help thinking of all those purple fingers. I do not believe they were voting for the present result.

But why is Sistani being silent. Has he truly been cowed? Or does he believe his silence is the best he can do while things sort out.

Of course, more drastic options will be off the table should the Dem's succeed two weeks from now.

Syl said...

Sistani has pretty much lost control. An illustration of division within shi'ism.

Nothing is ever as simple as it looks.

I just hope we're not so afraid of short term problems that we overlook the long view. Sadr is a Nazrallah wannabee. There will be others, but he is the problem today and must be dealt with.

Rick Ballard said...

Sistani never had anything approaching control, Syl. He noted that Sadr had his main rival assasinated at Najaf without reprisal in '03 and became a model 'moderate' muslim - he kept his mouth shut to keep his head.

Democracy and the death cult are not compatible and Turkey is the only muslim country that has been able to maintain a semblance of democracy for the past 100 years. They did it by ruthless suppression of the death cult and there is a fair chance that they no longer have the will to continue the suppression.

Mucky dead and the Sadrist militia destroyed are necessities, not options. If Maliki has to go as part of that destruction it will be a very small price.

chuck said...

He noted that Sadr had his main rival assasinated at Najaf without reprisal in '03 and became a model 'moderate' muslim - he kept his mouth shut to keep his head.

Sistani believes in separation of church and state. His concern is with God, not the administration of Iraq. His is a traditional Shiite stance. You want him playing politics and recruiting militias?

Rick Ballard said...


Maliki has fought the disbanding of the Sadrist militia since day one. Remember, he's a compromise selection, not a popularly elected leader. He actually has less stature than Talibani. Peters' description of Maliki's forcing the release of those Sadrist thugs is the same as if a US President ordered the release of Murder, Inc.

There is a US serviceman who has been kidnapped in Baghdad and our military believes Sadr's thugs have him. As far as I'm concerned declaring Maliki a swap prize for our fellow's return would be the correct thing to do.

Maliki is no Kharzai and the secular Iraqis deserve much better.


What in the world makes you think he's not playing politics? All he wants is a veto, so he's not political?

Unknown said...


30 policemen in Iraq were killed today fighting those militias. That raid against the militias the other day was lead by Iraqis.

I wish Maliki would personally shoot that little bastard Sadr but saying that we can just over look that whole election, sovereign nation thing and remove him from power and swap him for an American soldier because we don't think Maliki is sufficiently vocal about Sadr defeats the entire purpose of bringing a representative government to Iraq.

Maliki is between a rock and a hard place and those militias and Sadr were there in Iraq long before Maliki became PM.

Maybe we should not have let Sadr back in the country in the first damn place. Or maybe we should just adopt the whole the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim mentality, attack everyone over there including Sistani and just say to thell with the whole thing. That is what the militias are counting on.

Syl said...


Sistani never had anything approaching control, Syl. He noted that Sadr had his main rival assasinated at Najaf without reprisal in '03 and became a model 'moderate' muslim - he kept his mouth shut to keep his head.

Totally uncalled for characterization, Rick. Sistani has respect. AND the respect of Iranian shia who do not care for Khomeini's 'brand'.

Because Sistani is NOT political, he's therefore pretending to be a moderate?

We've got a serious problem with the definition of 'moderate'. It does not mean Sistani has moderate beliefs vis-a-vis Islam, it simply means he does not advocate POLITICAL Islam nor the killing of people to assure the spread of same.

'Render unto Caesar' works for him. He's read Jefferson and Voltaire.

That's more than can be said for some political Christians in America.

Rick Ballard said...


Read the link. Sistani is not a political "moderate" at all. He wants a veto and he wants nothing to do with a separation of of mosque and state. If he did he would not be a "moderate", he would be an apostate.

All he wants is to pull the strings and watch the politician puppets dance. He differs from Sadr only in that he wants to stay out of the limelight.

Syl said...


Read the link.

I did.

And look at the constitution that resulted. (The link was from 2003). A boolean construction.

The problem is not Sistani. He does not want an Islamic state but he doesn't want principles of Islam to be ignored. That does not mean he's a fundamentalist who thinks women shouldn't be educated, for example.

The problem is that there are few political parties in Iraq. They are mostly religious/tribal factions who are vying for control. That is not necessarily bad in and of itself, except several of these are using violence to get their way.

And that is not Sistani's doing.

Rick Ballard said...

Sistani was the one who insisted on language being put into the constitution that declares that it shall not contradict sharia. Who will determine whether a portion of the constitution is invalid?

Sistani is a force for good in Iraq. I won't deny that. I'll just note that he's not immortal and there is zero reason to believe that his successor will be as good as he is.

I believe the portion of the Peters article that I quoted to be correct and I believe that according to everything that I understand of Islam, Sadr and Maliki need to visit paradise soon in order for democracy to have even a minimal chance in Iraq. They are obstacles and they need to go. It's always chess and talk in the Middle East. Knocking off the king makes the talk go much more smoothly.

Unknown said...


Karzai had the same language put in the constitution in Afghanistan but people are far more willing to cut him slack.

There was a great deal of debate as to what the phrase "can not contradict Islam" even means.

The constitution of Iraq does not prohibit people of different faiths following their own religions and Sistani does follow a far more spiritual and less militant kind of Islam.

Unknown said...

And btw Rick if the secular Iraqis deserve better then they need to do something about it.

If it is true that Maliki should deal with the militias, it is just as true that secualrists in Iraq need to create more alliances and more cohesive political parties so that they take more control of that parliament.

Look at the Israelis, if they get one government they don't like...they get rid of it and come up with one they can support.

Luther said...

What I meant by Sistani being silent is the vain hope that he could speak out and use his "moral suasion" in an attempt to quite the, at least, sectarian violence. He could, so he choose, give some credence to the 'peaceful' Muslim meme. It is needed. I also realize it is not likely to happen.

I am not inattentive nor heartless toward the everyday Muslim living in Iraq. Hence my purple finger remark.

I agreed with Peter's and Rick in so far as I think something has to be done differently.

I would narrow my concerns to the worst areas, Bagdad, Anbar... I realize that much of the country is doing relatively well.

I am not trying to armchair quarterback. I just see present methods not being entirely successful. For me that leaves two options, less force or more force (diplomacy not being an option). Taking account of the enemy we face I do not think less force is a viable option.

Though the overall war against islamofascism will indeed be a long one, I do not think we have that 'luxury' in Iraq.

I also think that if the Dem's take over either chamber, all our talk is moot.

Rick Ballard said...

"And btw Rick if the secular Iraqis deserve better then they need to do something about it."

They are doing something - they're enlisting in the Army and joining the Security Forces. They're dying standing in lines to join and they keep coming back - that's the only reason that I think there's a chance for democracy in Iraq. I really don't give a damn about the "moderate" Sistani or any other muslim theocrat with pretensions to being a power behind the throne.


The initial error was in allowing the militias to keep their arms. I understand that the Peshmerga had extraordinarily good reason to keep their arms but no such reason existed for either the Badrists or the Sadrists - the Sunni brigands even less. A country which does not have a monopoly on the use of force cannot stand. At three and a half years into this, that original error - made in order to avoid bloodshed - is probably going to be the cause of three or four times the amount of blood being shed now and in the future than would have been shed initially.

Eventually the Iraqi Army and Security Forces are going to have to disarm the thugs and it's not going to be a gentle process. Maliki won't order it done and for that reason alone he must go. Or die.

chuck said...

What I meant by Sistani being silent is the vain hope that he could speak out and use his "moral suasion" in an attempt to quite the, at least, sectarian violence.

Well, that much he has done. He has repeatedly urged the Shia not to seek revenge for the Sunni attacks upon them. A tough sell, I will admit.

chuck said...

It does not mean Sistani has moderate beliefs vis-a-vis Islam

He is quite conservative. For instance, he discourages Sunni-Shiite marriage. Of course, that could just be me underestimating the religious divide between those two branches. It isn't like other religions don't do the same.

Anyway, here is his website,


(Q.63) What is the ruling on patients, who are brain dead, i.e. they do not have any senses and are only kept alive through some life supporting devices? Should the doctor, following hospital orders, remove such devices and let the patient die peacefully?

If the patient is non-Muslim, there is no objection to removing such medical devices, that help the patient continue life. If the patient is Muslim, it is not permissible to do so. The request of his relatives to switch off the life supporting machine must be rendered ineffective.


(Q.64) In the field of organ transplant surgery, it has recently been discovered that a pig's liver can be used for a human being to cure their liver disease. If a person's life can be saved by using a pig liver (or any other animal's organ), can this be allowed, even though pig is considered haraam animal in Islam?

It is permissible to transplant a pig's liver into the human body. Allah is All Knowing.

So on and so forth. It is easy to see where the Scholastics live on.

Luther said...

Chuck. I was writing some sort of ponderous, plodding and essentially pointless response to you and Rick.

I give. You have sunk me in to the depths of despair.

chuck said...

I give. You have sunk me in to the depths of despair.

Oops. Sorry about that.

Luther said...

Sure you are...

Rick Ballard said...


Why despair? If Maliki won't duck a telegraphed punch then he'd better be able to take it. It's not as if he hasn't been warned - that's what Baker's "message" was all about.

The Iraqi government clowns and Maliki in particular have let the militias get out of control. The President isn't going to let it go any farther and if Maliki thinks he's bluffing then he'll be a smarter man shortly. Or dead.

The Dems won't control the budget for '07 whether they win or lose - Congress will pass that right after the election. The power of the purse is the only thing the Dems would have in the event they control the House and taking money from the Defense budget would be a pretty stupid political move no matter what they've promised the idiot left. Most of their candidates are faux Republicans to begin with. If they want to be more than one term wonders they can't stab the military in the back for starters.

Luther said...

I want to respond to your last Rick, but it is bedtime. In the morning.

Unknown said...


What makes you think that all those Iraqis who join the police force and the Army and are being killed are not followers of someone like Sistani?

Sistani did ask the Shia not to respond to the attacks, over and over again. Sadr told them to join the militias and fight back. We can thank Zarqawi and the Baathists for a great deal of this you know.

And I said myself that the police over there are fighting those militias right now and those police and Army who are fighting are part of that government.

A government you appraently have no respect for.

Rick Ballard said...

Who can respect a government headed by a man who protects one militia above the others and orders the release of a murderer? I really don't respect governance by cowards and criminals. Not one little bit.

I'm not about to cheerlead for thugs who are absolutely no different than the Iranian thugs they're fighting. As for Sistani - as Chuck noted his brand of moderation involves carefully distinguishing between people based upon where they tithe. I don't recall that as a pillar of democracy.

Why trust the military? I only trust them as far as I can determine their willingness to maintain order. They took Amara back from the Sadrist thugs without hesitation. Maliki must not have been informed in time to betray them.

If the thugs running the government can provide security for the pipelines, which they really do seem to be capable of, then failure to apply whatever bribe and threat scheme they're using for pipelines might work overall. If any attempt were being made to impose it. When was the last time you saw a pipeline being attacked? You might consider that for a few moments prior to more cheerleading for men who are allowing if not encouraging the targeting of Americans as part of a plan to divide the spoils after they've gained control.

The head of the army wasn't picked by the government, at least he wasn't picked before this pathetic group took control. He's the only defense left for the secularists and the only hope I can see for democracy in Iraq.

Have you been following the aftermath of the wonderfully successful war in Israel? The homecoming for the kidnapped soldiers was really heartwarming, wasn't it? What a glorious end, how could I ever have considered it an abject display of incompetence.

Luther said...


I despair in the sense of lapsing and letting myself believe that we are dealing with rational actors, then Chuck reminds me of the ideology we face. An ideology as foreign to me as anything I can imagine. I am then griped by the harsh reality that must guide our actions as we pursue this particular war and the larger one.

I suppose I’m entering one of my periodic phases of pessimism as to our country’s chances in Iraq. But I'm beginning to think we may have lost the war in Iraq before it even began. Not militarily of course, as yet, but politically. We attempted to satisfy too many false conditions put upon us by years of socialist propaganda. Our aligned enemies i.e., the UN, most of Europe, Russia, China, MSM, academia etc... Hater’s all of our freedom and exceptionalism combined in influencing and shaping the strategy and tactics we had available for use in Iraq, knowingly or not.

I am thinking the President hands may be tied in regards to his taking the actions necessary for ensuring that the people of Iraq end up with a stable country as well as some degree of individual freedom and liberty.

For some reason I keep coming back to how things were done in Japan and Germany after WWII. I realize the situation in Iraq is different, but still. We maintained control of their political systems for quite some time. We individually vetted those who ran for office. We disallowed fractious and harmful parties from forming. We took these actions until the idea of the people being responsible for themselves and their government, through the actions of their vote, was an established and accomplished fact. And, all in all, it turned out rather well. But, today, that would make us imperialist warmongers.

As for the Dem’s. I feel that they are quite capable of making plenty of “stupid political move(s)”. Don’t forget, they truly believe they have the majority viewpoint of American voters. They have been “cheated” from election victories since 2000. They will have no compunction against stabbing the military in the back. That’s the majority view. They will do what they can to get us out of Iraq, they will not succeed, but they will try. The thought of the Dem’s holding the House adds to my despair.

Sorry for the wordiness, but oh well, it is Google’s nickel.

Rick Ballard said...

That's a fair analysis of what happened in Germany and Japan, Luther. I would add that the US provided all national security in both countries until '56 in Germany (establishment of the Bundeswehr) and '50-'51 in Japan. We've chosen an entirely different road in Iraq and it remains to be seen whether or not it is the right one. I would say that the President's plan from the beginning had a tremendous element of time compression involved because he sees his deadline as January 19th, 2009. The constitution, elections and behavior of the current government are all close to window dressing in comparison to the rebuilding of the security forces and I can't imagine that those doing the actual strategic planning concerning Iraq have ever seen it differently. The response to the Sadrist "takeover" in Amara is one of the most positive things I've seen in the past two years and I don't believe that Iraqi pols had a thing to do with it.

Gen. Casey says one more year until the Iraqi security forces are trustworthy and I think he's only about six months short. Putting down the Sadrist dogs will go a very long way towards establishing the order upon which a semblance of democracy may be possible. If changing the Iraqi coalition leadership structure is necessary to effectuate the army's actions, so be it.

The Dems aren't going to turn from seditionist rhetoric any time soon but I wouldn't bet on even a takeover of the House today. Congress does not set policy in any event and the key election is '08, not '06.

Cheer up and go plant lawn signs for a Rep. I still haven't counted out Graf down in AZ-08 completely yet.

loner said...

Putting down the Sadrist dogs will go a very long way towards establishing the order upon which a semblance of democracy may be possible.

The Pakistan version, perhaps, and at this point I think even that unlikely while the President is in office. There's not much evidence that he's a realist on this even yet. I'd like to be wrong, but I doubt I am.