Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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01 April 2008

Gangbusters in Basra

What in the world has been going on in Basra? Sadr's men didn't have to disarm. And yet they were told not to fight. There was a truce between Sadr's organization and the IA, but the IA continued to pursue attacks against Sadrist bad guys. Sadrists were patrolling the streets/hiding in their lairs. Sadr won/lost. Maliki won/lost. Iran won/lost. The US lost/lost, or maybe pulled off a draw. Is there any surprise that European and American observers are confused?

Only Nibras Kazimi appears to have the facts in hand. His explanation is that the Basra expedition was intended to hunt down the gangsters, some of them who have had unserved arrest warrants them since 2004, who had intertwined their criminal organizations with Sadr's Iraqi Shiite nationalist organization, and that it has succeeded to a great extent. Hundreds of the gangster leaders are dead and their organizations are in tatters and will not recover. The rule of law has taken a great step forward in the south of Iraq. The next step is to crush the gangsters in the rest of Iraq. This explains why the Green Zone was getting mortared. The gangsters know that they will soon be taking the worst of it and they wanted to try to throw a wrench in the gears first.
most western media outlets are declaring Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran as the victors of Operation Cavalry Charge. Nothing could be furthest from the truth.

The United Alliance List delegation comprising Ali al-Adib of the Da’awa Party, Hadi al-Ameri of the Badr Organization and (I think…) Qasim al-Sahlani representing a group that had splintered from the Da’awa Party, evidently made al-Sadr an offer he couldn’t refuse when they sat down for a friendly chat in Tehran two days ago: the Iraqi state was willing to go all the way in smashing the Sadrist movement—arresting all the leaders and shutting down all the offices—if he didn’t play along with Operation Cavalry Charge and hand over those operatives whose names appear on the wanted lists.

See Maliki went to Basra with a long-ish list of names comprising all those involved in oil smuggling, drug dealing and the various other crimes that have wracked Basra. It just so happens that many of them claim to be Mahdi Army commanders.

Gangbusting is a great development for Iraq. Go Maliki! Go!

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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16