Theodore's World: Al-Sadr Loyalists Take Over Iraqi Television Station

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November 26, 2006

Al-Sadr Loyalists Take Over Iraqi Television Station

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech during prayers in Kufa, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. Followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned Friday they will suspend their membership in parliament and the Cabinet if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets U.S. President George W. Bush in Jordan next week. (AP Photo)

Al-Sadr loyalists take over Iraqi television station
Mercury News

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis "terrorists" and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms.

The two-hour broadcast from a community gathering in the heart of the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City included three members of al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc, who took questions from outraged residents demanding revenge for a series of car bombings that killed some 200 people Thursday.

With Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki relegated to the sidelines, brazen Sunni-Shiite attacks continue unchecked despite a 24-hour curfew over Baghdad. Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia now controls wide swaths of the capital, his politicians are the backbone of the Cabinet, and his followers deeply entrenched in the Iraqi security forces. Sectarian violence has spun so rapidly out of control since the Sadr City blasts, however, that it's not clear whether even al-Sadr has the authority - or the will - to stop the cycle of bloodshed.

"This is live and, God willing, everyone will hear me: We are not interested in sidewalks, water services or anything else. We want safety," an unidentified Sadr City resident said as the televised crowd cheered. "We want the officials. They say there is no sectarian war. No, it is sectarian war, and that's the truth."

Militia leaders told supporters Saturday to prepare for a fresh wave of incursions into Sunni neighborhoods that would begin as soon as the curfew ends Monday, according to Sadr City residents. Several members of the Mahdi Army boasted they were distributing police uniforms throughout Shiite neighborhoods to allow greater freedom of movement. The government announced it would partially lift the curfew Sunday to allow for pedestrian traffic.

In the Diyala province north of Baghdad, Sunni insurgents stormed into two Shiite homes, lined up 21 men and shot them to death in front of women and children, police there said. Later in the day, a Shiite television station showed footage of the victims' burials.

And in the western province of Anbar, a suicide bombing at a checkpoint in Fallujah killed a U.S. serviceman and three Iraqi civilians, according to a U.S. military statement. Another American and nine Iraqis were injured.

Also Saturday, Iraq's most prominent Sunni cleric made an appeal in Cairo, Egypt, for Arab nations to withdraw recognition of Iraq's Shiite-led government and said U.S.-led troops were complicit in Iraq's sectarian crisis. Hareth al-Dhari, leader of the militant Association of Muslim Scholars, declared Iraqi efforts toward a unity government "dead" and said the current violence is political rather than theological.

"The occupying forces have been giving cover to the militias and criminal gangs," al-Dhari said. "The government has been seen setting the atmosphere for them with the curfews to aid them in catching the victims and carrying out their attacks."

Al-Maliki's administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, "There is no government! There is no state!" Several speakers described neighborhoods and well-known Sunni politicians as "terrorists" and threatened them with reprisal.

"We'll obviously try to control them as much as we can, but when they (kill) more than 150 people in bombings, they have the right to speak," said Bassam al Husseini, one of Maliki's top advisers. "What are we going to do? We can't stop this. It's too hot right now."

Sunni politicians vowed to file complaints against the channel for inciting sectarian violence. Ordinary Sunnis were shocked to hear their neighborhoods singled out for attack on the government's station.

"I got four phone calls from friends telling me to change the channel to Iraqiya and see what's happening," said Mohamed Othman, 27, a Sunni resident of Ameriya, one of the districts mentioned in the program. "I think this is an official declaration of civil war against Sunnis. They're going to push us to join al-Qaida to protect ourselves."

Al-Husseini, the government adviser, also affirmed that a meeting between al-Maliki and President Bush would continue as scheduled next week in neighboring Jordan, despite the threats of al-Sadr's allies to withdraw from the government if it occurs. The Cabinet met for more than an hour to hash out an agenda for the trip, he said.

"The meeting will take place. That's the plan," al-Husseini said. "We need to straighten things up."

Al-Husseini said the top two items of discussion would be a report from the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission that will make recommendations for U.S. policy in Iraq, and a timetable for a withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

"We want to talk about it," al-Husseini said, "to ask, `How long are they going to stick around?"

Wild Thing's comment....

7 - 730am: "Good Morning to Death to America", hosted by Mookie and Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad.

But wait, there's more! In addition to the suicide explosives belt, the luxurious leather bound Koran personally signed in blood by al-Sadr, the two twin goats for your personal use, the lovely "I Hate Jews" coaster set, and the "Muqtada Rules" Turban, if you call in the next 12 minutes, you'll receive, absolutely free, al-Sadr's new DVD, "Pleasuring 72 Virgins".

I am not making light of how scary it is there. But I know with all that is in me, that if our military was given the OK, they would blow this al-Sadr to the hell hole that awaits him in 10 seconds. Maybe when Bush is there they can discuss sending Muqtada al-Sadr to his death. I would vote for that. I mean Al-Sadr IS a WMD.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 26, 2006 01:55 AM


The 72 Virgins is that a reward or a punishment ? I mean I am not trying to cast aspersions here, but c'mon, 'Pleasuring 72' women, are you kidding me. Not even Harry Reems on his best day could have accomplished that.

Where do all the virgins come from ? When you look at Muslim Women, it would not be surprising if they were all virgins, but that can't be either, where are all those kids coming from hmmm, No Wonder, Ahmad and the rest of them all have a Camel...Ergo, the 72 virgins, nobody said they would be babes, just 72 of them, but when your camel looks and smells better than your wife. I guess that could be an inducement.

Posted by: Mark at November 26, 2006 09:08 AM

Like a drunkard, you can't help them until they realize that they are the problem, even then it is usually hopeless. Muqtada al Sadr should have been taken out prior to turning sovereignty back to Iraq.
Such is the policy of appeasement and the true lack of willpower to win that we've become accustomed to for the past 60 years. It's not the fault of our brave fighting forces but the innate gutlessness of the politicians and the halfwits that do not recognize it is they not us that are the threat to civilization. It's time to destroy al Sadr, his city and everything within.

Posted by: Jack at November 26, 2006 10:17 AM

Mark .....LMAO

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 26, 2006 11:33 AM

Jack I agree, al-Sadr is still around only because the policy of appeasement and that appeasement is not coming from our military. They want to do what has to be done. I wish so much our government would let them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 26, 2006 11:36 AM

I am afraid that if Muqtada al-Sadr was eliminated, there would be more radical clerics ready to take his place. Such is the nature of islam. I wish we could isolate islam to the MidEast and let them practice population control on each other. Letting those nut cases immigrate to the West and America is one of the worst mistakes we ever made.

Posted by: TomR at November 26, 2006 01:29 PM

It's almost certainly too late to kill the sonofabitch and have meaningful results. In the face of this catastrophe, has anyone heard ANYTHING from the C in C lately? No, just the usual sound of a pinheads dropping at The White House and State Department. Leadership my ass.

In my opinion, with the information available to me, it's very close to helicopter-on-the-roof time for Iraq, and I still have one son there. The other will probably jump a helicopter in Afghanistan when we eff up that war too. Another generation of American fighters will be sold out by the bastards who sent them to die for a major ef-up. This time it's Mr. Multicultural Bush doing the deed.

I believed in the Neo-con views, but I'm rapidly becoming a Buchananite. Retrench and review. The Sunnis had their chance to work with us, and they blew it; now their extermination is a certainty, and the Shi'a will eventually disappear because they compose only 15% of Muslims worldwide. The failure of Iraq is the disgrace of Islam, not the disgrace of America.

I agree with Ace, who said that the disappearance of all of them would be as troubling as a pizza arriving late from the parlor. BFD. Time for a serious change of strategy.

Posted by: Rhod at November 26, 2006 04:17 PM

Tom, I know waaaa it is just that I wish we could kill him off. pretty please.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 26, 2006 04:35 PM

"I agree with Ace, who said that the disappearance of all of them would be as troubling as a pizza arriving late from the parlor. BFD. Time for a serious change of strategy.".....

AMEN to that!

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 26, 2006 04:44 PM

Rhod - I agree with your assesment of our non-leadership. It is sad. Everybody will be blaming everyone else, but we have no leadership. We have concession making taken to an art form, but resulting in failure.

Why, oh why, can republicans not see what made Reagan the greatest President since Teddy Roosevelt!

Posted by: TomR at November 26, 2006 05:15 PM

Exactly, Tom. And you and I have seen this before. When your leaders fail, you kick them out. Whether it's Bush, or Rice, or God Himself, get out and let someone else do the job.

The Donks are now privy to info which might change things, maybe even for the better. I know that's a contrary view, but as we must adapt to Iraq as a nation, the Donks must adapt to the realities of Islamofascism. They'll have no choice.

This is serious business, and it's also why we will win. It is the process of revising and discovering the right path forward that characterizes The West.

The only thing these animals in Baghdad have proven is that we're predictable within limits, and that they can kill civilians. A goddamn rat has that much intelligence, knowing how to press the button for a food pellet, and when to eat their unprotected young.

What galls me the most is that we're being temporarily humiliated by a bunch of theocratic punks whose only real talent is for savagery. And the guys in charge have nothing to say except the same suffocating, platitudinous bullshit.

Posted by: Rhod at November 26, 2006 07:13 PM

I don't know if it is a lack of leadership or a lack of character or both.

When this thing happened, 9-11, Bush thought he had a mandate, carte Blanche if you will to do what he saw fit. The Re-election of 04' helped re-inforce that but in the advent of Abu Ghrib and Gitmo, which was blown way out of proportion by the Donks and the Main Stream Media, Bush went into hiding.

This was typical of a lot of the Republicans in Congress, they wouldn't respond, Bush wouldn't respond, the major security leaks to the press have gone unpunished. There is no leadership at the top this is true, but more importantly there is no show of a spine either.

There is blame to go everywhere in Washington, from every friggin democrats who called our troops Nazi's and the 'keepers of soviet style Gulags,
to calling Marines, SS for using Gestapo like tactics while looking for the bad guys in house to house searches. And to a lot of spineless Republicans who let these charges go unchallanged.

The lack of security on the border, an open border is an invitation to disaster. Where in the Hell does Bush think we are going to get the money to support, presently, 10 % of Mexico population ?

What kind of a double message is sent when the Border Agents Shoot a drug dealer and they are the ones going to court.

After Somalia, Osama said we didn't have the stomach for a real war, well we do but the forces at work, against what this country stands for, don't. That is the Ted Kennedys and the rest of his gutless ilk who do nothing but undermine the the Country and its foreign policy. Kennedy did the same thing 35 years ago and he is succeeding again.

The most gutless thing to do was to fire Rumsfeld the day after the election, when asked why, Bush said 'well they won the election', well WTF, is this the new policy appeasement ?

If you think Nazi Pelosi is going to make a difference, you got another think coming, their first priority is to pull the troops out as fast as possible, and the sooner she does it, watch for the next fire-fight to be here in downtown NYC.

Posted by: Mark at November 26, 2006 08:52 PM

Mark thank you, excellent.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 27, 2006 03:05 AM