Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 31, 2006

Dead Lines

The United States agreed yesterday to bend the deadline for Iraq to disarm.
U.S. agrees to bend U.N. deadline for Iraq to disarm fully, Baltimore Sun,  March 12, 2003

Until now, the US attitude has been that the UN's help is welcome as long as it does not interfere with its plans and deadlines.
Face the Facts on the Iraq Deadline, FT,  April 21, 2004

Bush's deadline democracy managed to propel the process forward and appears on the verge of creating a new government with legitimacy earned at the ballot box.
In Iraq, Bush Pushed For Deadline Democracy, WaPo, December 11, 2005

Growing numbers of American military officers have begun to privately question a key tenet of U.S. strategy in Iraq — that setting a hard deadline for troop reductions would strengthen the insurgency and undermine efforts to create a stable state.

U.S. forces ended a five-day-old military blockade of Baghdad's impoverished Sadr City section Tuesday, meeting a deadline set by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki amid tensions between U.S. and Iraqi officials and pressure from the anti-American cleric whose militia controls the sprawling Shiite slum.
Precisely at 5 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EST), the deadline set by Maliki, U.S. armored personnel carriers pulled away from the roadblocks. Young men in pickup trucks drove through the streets waving banners of the Mahdi Army, and drivers of other vehicles honked their horns in celebration.
Maliki Orders Lifting of Checkpoints Around Sadr City, WaPo, October 31, 2006

Posted by b on October 31, 2006 at 20:58 UTC | Permalink


Sadr = Nasrallah

Maliki just fucked the Israeli agenda.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 31 2006 21:06 utc | 1

Maliki will not be much longer in his position - as soon as the election is over ...

Casey and Khalizad must be mad like crazy about him. He scooped them:Iraqi Demands Pullback; U.S. Lifts Baghdad Cordon

The initial American reaction to the order, which was released by Mr. Maliki’s press office, strongly suggested that the statement had not been issued in concert with the American authorities.

“Our commanders have his press release and are reviewing how best to address these concerns,” Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said early Tuesday afternoon, about an hour after the order was issued.

Late Tuesday night, after hours of silence, a senior American Embassy official who had been delegated to return reporters’ phone calls said the prime minister’s order was “the result of a meeting” between Mr. Maliki, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in Iraq. “It was essentially something that Maliki wanted to do and Casey agreed to it,” the official said.

But Mr. Maliki’s announcement may have been a foregone conclusion: the meeting was at 1 p.m., officials said, and the prime minister’s office issued his press release at about 1:20 p.m.

Posted by: b | Nov 1 2006 7:27 utc | 2

"Abandoning our checkpoints around Stalingrad is no major setback to the Wehrmacht. We are still depp in Soviet territory and we indend to stay there until the job is finished..."

-Wehrmacht Press Release after the Fall of Stalingrad

Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 1 2006 7:33 utc | 3

How to cut and run

THE UNITED STATES upset the regional balance in the Middle East when it invaded Iraq. Restoring it requires bold initiatives, but "cutting and running" must precede them all. Only a complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops — within six months and with no preconditions — can break the paralysis that now enfeebles our diplomacy. And the greatest obstacles to cutting and running are the psychological inhibitions of our leaders and the public.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needs to continue to deliver deadlines of his own. Six months seems a reasonable time frame for American troops. They can withdraw into their enclaves prior to their evacuation, in order to avoid more bloodshed.

The deadline that I am still interested in is the December deadline to deliver Iraq's oil to the multinationals that Pepe Escobar mentioned midway through his article.

If I were PM al-Maliki I would be more fearful of the wrath of my countrymen and women than of the wrath of the American occupation forces. Time is not on the occupation's side.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 1 2006 10:06 utc | 4

@ Cloned Poster 1

Sadr = Nasrallah

Not quite, not yet, but you're dead right that's who he wants to emulate. Historically there's a lot of connections between The Jabl Amal and their Iraq brethren too - a few examples for you:

  1. Imam Musa Sadr's family came from Lebanon he himself was born, raised, and studied in Iran.
  2. Hassan Nasrallah studied in both Najaf and Qum.
  3. Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr (Muqtada al-Sadr's grandfather) was Musa al-Sadr's cousin.
  4. Imam Musa Sadr's niece is married to Mohammad Khatami, President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 2, 2005.

Al-Sadr hasn't had the time to get the Jaish upto Hizbullah's standard yet 'though that's the pattern/blueprint he's following. At present the Jaish remind me more of the The Harakat al-Mahrumin ('The Movement of The Dispossessed) which was founded and led by Musa Sadr the 60s and 70s just before they were succeeded by Amal in '75. He's getting a lot of training and consultancy help from the Hizb too. If he can hang on for a while there's no reason why he shouldn't successfully emulate the Hizb.

(PS: While I think of it - if you read reports of groups called Hizbullah in Iraq. There are two of them and neither has any connection to the Hizb in Lebanon or to the Jaish.)

Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 1 2006 15:17 utc | 5

PPS Just to blog you know what again. I can't recommend this chap highly enough:

"Missing Links"

"Badger" goes through the Arab language media and does very solid translations and or summaries and analyses. His blog is well worth hitting every day

Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 1 2006 15:31 utc | 6


what the vietnamese might call a 'diem' moment

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 1 2006 16:39 utc | 7

"Seems like some folks now find out what happened yesterday" says Josh and points to Andrew Sullivan

While the media is obsessed parsing the ad libs of someone on no ballot this fall, something truly ominous has just happened in Iraq. The commander-in-chief has abandoned an American soldier to the tender mercies of a Shiite militia. Yes, there are nuances here, and the NYT fleshes out the story today. But the essential fact is clear. In a showdown for control of Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American serviceman. He is still missing.
So that's the new twist - the search for a missing GI.

I suspected all along that the "missing GI" was only a figleaf for proessing on Sadr and to sucker him into action.

The "missing GI" was an American-Iraqi who worked as translator, secretly married an Iraqi girl some month ago. Slipped out of the GreenZone to be with her during the holidays and is said to have been cought by dark guys in some cars.

Now what if the "missing GI" isn't missing but AWOL. He will have know that the shit hits the fan in the GreenZone pretty soon and might have "arranged" some "abduction" to build a new family life in Damascus.

To start big fight war about this like the US Army tried, Maliki stopped and Sullivan is now crying about that its ended - was and is not justified in any way.

Posted by: b | Nov 1 2006 16:40 utc | 8

Yes r'giap. And B's comment is interesting because it's reminded me of another feature of that war. There were several points in Vietnam during which the US commanders lost control of their forces. In each case it was when a S&R mission for a captured US soldier or a downed US pilot was underway. (That doesn't seem to have happened in Iraq yet) but as the situation deteriorates I expect it to.

Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 1 2006 17:23 utc | 9

mark, i am finding that blog invaluable. yesterday i linked the al-Shahwani story.
jeez, i can't think of a worse person leading the country

Posted by: annie | Nov 1 2006 17:34 utc | 10

It is an excellent resource Annie - ummmmm no I can't either. Eek! I forgot to mention apropos B's post. Does anyone here remember the last big S&R? It was for an American soldier of Lebanese extraction - a transportation specialist IIRC - who went AWOL. He eventually turned up in Lebanon.

Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 1 2006 17:42 utc | 11


wasn't the last - of the two soldiers who died in retaliation for the murder & rape of an iraqui girl - that was a search & rescue operation

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 1 2006 17:44 utc | 12

R'giap - yes you're right. Sorry for the lack of clarity. I was thinking of soldiers from an Arabic background who turned up alive. Should've made that clear

Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 1 2006 18:12 utc | 13

there have been any number of helicopters falling too & their s & r - i do not seem to remember was covered in any way

that no surprise of course -nearly everything that does come out seems to be leaked or is sourced to courageous iraqi bloggers or people like cockburn & fisk

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 1 2006 18:18 utc | 14

public unaware of DU threat of camp falcon explosions

They were spectacular explosions because DU in storage all goes off at once.

You can see the streamers of DU chunks burning through the cloud and the familiar mushroom cloud. It is not Willie Pete or White Phosphorus because they leave white smoke and wobble.

The public is still ignorant of the Depleted Uranium ( DU ) munitions threat and the Pentagon and media have been complicit in this blackout.

Perhaps a reminder of the mounting death toll ( 11,000 U.S. Soldiers ) from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU), which was stored at Camp Falcon, is in order.

Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.

Posted by: annie | Nov 1 2006 18:38 utc | 15

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