April 20, 2008

So. Rice Thinks Al-Sadr Is a Coward.

I'd say that the "man" is coaching from, as they say, some pretty safe sidelines*:

"I know he's sitting in Iran," Rice said dismissively, when asked about al-Sadr's latest threat to lift a self-imposed cease-fire with government and U.S. forces. "I guess it's all-out war for anybody but him," Rice said. "I guess that's the message; his followers can go to their deaths and he's in Iran."

A full-blown uprising by al-Sadr, who led two rebellions against U.S.-led forces in 2004, could lead to a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq at a time when the Sunni extremist group Al Qaeda in Iraq appears poised for new attacks after suffering severe blows last year.

In a warning posted Saturday on his Web site, al-Sadr said he had tried to defuse tensions by declaring the truce last August, only to see the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki respond by closing his offices and "resorting to assassinations."

He accused the government of selling out to the Americans and branding his followers as criminals.

"So I am giving my final warning ... to the Iraqi government ... to take the path of peace and abandon violence against its people," al-Sadr said. "If the government does not refrain ... we will declare an open war until liberation."

Rice praised al-Maliki for confronting al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which had a choke hold on Basra, Iraq's second-largest city. The assault was al-Maliki's most decisive act by far against al-Sadr, a fellow Shiite and once a political patron. Kurdish and Sunni politicians, including a chief rival, have since rallied to al-Maliki, and the Bush administration argues he could emerge stronger from what had appeared to be a military blunder.

h/t: Memeorandum.

* Actually, that phrase is from a piece of fiction, but I simply cannot remember what it is right now. As usual, I suspect J.D. Salinger. Maybe not. It's something I've read a number of times, but that doesn't help me too much.

The source is a piece of dialogue, and it's definitely a male speaker. I'm pretty sure the writer is also male.

I'll probably wake up at 4:00 a.m. and shout the answer into the air, much as one of my mathematician friends yelled "It's Funny Face!" in the middle of the night on a cabin trip once. (There had been some discussion of the Kool-Aid competitor whose flavor names were all kind of cutesy: Choo Choo Cherry, Freckle Face Strawberry, Goofy Grape, Jolly Olly Orange, Loud Mouth Lime, and the like. I was not in on that discussion, by the way: I was in the cool cabin, down the hill. The "pimento" cabin. The cabin in which we ate very well, drank wine, shot pool, watched porn, and raided the other cabin's food supplies on occasion [not because we needed to, but just to demonstrate that we could. What do you want?—our median age was 17 or something like that. We were the smartest people in the world, and we were all going to live forever. Now we're in our forties. We're still the smartest people in the world, and we're still going to live forever, but it hasn't been quite as easy as we once presumed. This is our—well, my—interpretation of maturity.])

Posted by Attila Girl at April 20, 2008 11:01 PM | TrackBack

The correct term, tho it is politically incorrect, is pussy.

As in Mookie is a brave pussie hiding in Iran while his followers lead and bleed in Iraq.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at April 21, 2008 05:17 AM

Yep. It's always smart to call your enemy a pussy. Just like it's smart to urge them to bring on an attack. If only we at least learned from our mistakes.

Posted by: Mischa G at April 21, 2008 10:17 AM

I believe it's called the "flypaper" strategy. It's responsible for the death and capture of a lot of terrorists, by the way. And it's keeping the energies of AQ and affiliated groups away from airplanes and skyscrapers.

Yeah, yeah: I know. If we fight back, we'll only provoke them. So the less we do to defend ourselves, the fewer terrorist attacks there will be. If only the 1990s demonstrated that . . .

Re: the word pussy. I did resist that for a while, since it suggests a rather, um, passive stance that I haven't noticed in . . . well . . . the particular pussy I know best.

But if one thinks of a pussy in its normal state--soft, receptive--that expresses the concept quite nicely of how ineffective some Arab/Persian leadership is these days. Without oil money, a few of these states would be in very sad shape indeed.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 21, 2008 12:04 PM

Just like it's smart to urge them to bring on an attack.

It is. I suspect that a vast amount of problems we and the Iraqi goverment are dealing with because of al Sadr will come to a sudden halt when someone shoots him. In. The. Head. Personally, I'll settle with a Predator firing a Hellfire missle into his squeekhole, but I digress...

In the mean time, his followers are the ones on the bleeding edge and they are bleeding. Well, maybe. Seems that they're realizing that ISF is serious about laying down the law, and even the New York Times reports that Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army has mostly melted away in Basra.

Maybe 'cause the ISF is in the process of turning the Mahdis into blood pudding? Nah, can't be.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at April 22, 2008 09:37 AM

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