Iraqi Boy Wonder Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Madhi Army Militia, withdrew his forces this week, but now he is organizing a little tiny protest, the Million Iraqi March, to the holy city of Najaf to protest American occupation. He wagged his index finger at al-Maliki (which was painted like a bearded finger-puppet wearing a tiny white turban) and warned him again not to continue to break the terms of their “contract” made when Moqtada agreed to withdraw his troops. No one knows what this contract contained.
The spokes-mouths for our military assure us that most of the Iraqis who went AWOL were not officers. So what? Of course most of them weren’t officers – aren’t there fewer officers than enlisted men in any army? This really is tending toward the ludicrous.
American military on the scene also offered that some of the deserters probably didn’t want to fight other Shia. Now that is what I call insightful. But does that mean that al-Maliki should turn them against Sunni instead? I seem to recall that they lived in peace with each other before we invaded Iraq. Well, maybe it was forced peace. Why not have forced war instead?
Mastermind that he is, and in an attempt to mollify his troops – al-Maliki was quick to guarantee that all deserters would end up in military courts. That, I assume, is a sure way to keep them on your side. The New York Times quoted him as saying, “Joining the army or police is not a trip or a picnic, there is something that they have to pay back to commit to the interested of the state and not the party or the sect.”
Okay, I am not certain that joining the Iraqi military can be considered “not a trip.” It would be sort of trippy don’t you agree? Picnic no. Not with those rations. Yet the only payback I’ve heard of is the graft taken by Iraqi recruiters such as a percentage of the recruit’s American-paid salaries.
Not to be outdone, Moqtada al Sadr – whom Beltway denizens like to call “Mookie” – started making his own demands and predicting that the Koran guarantees “doom” to anyone who breaks a promise. It’s funny how everyone blames the Koran.
Of course, since we turned Southern Iraq over to al-Maliki and Iraqi forces, we aren’t helping….(much) except for a few airstrikes here and there shot from our multimillion dollar war-craft, not affordable to Iraq…yet.
The United States, through our infallible Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, excuse me Ryan “C.” Crocker, gives Mr. al-Maliki three thumbs up for his work recruiting only people from his own religious sect.
Although I must say that al-Maliki is not really “recruiting” these fellows. He is buying them from Sheiks who he pays off in one way or another. This is not a criticism. After all we Americans do the same. Instead of paying off sheiks though, we pay our guys and their families and promise potential recruits the world and deliver what appears to be a sinking island of despair, maltreatment, low wages, and poor health care. So who am I to criticize? One need only sit in a congressional hearing on how to save money within the Veteran’s Administration to see how that goes.