Shia gamesmanship in Iraq

It appears the Shia leadership is using the assault on some terrorist in Baghdad as an excuse to stop denotiating over the makeup of the new government in Iraq.

It is hard to see this as anything but bad a faith negotiating ploy. It is clear that the major assertions by the Shia are false. There was no assault by US forces. Instead it was done by Iraqi special forces. The people caught in the assault had prohibited weapons, bomb making material and a hostage. The facility was not a mosque. It was a former Baath party office building. It is also significant that the terrorist opened fire on the Iraqi forces first.

The bad faith argument for withdrawing from negotiations comes as all the parties were under increasing pressure from the US to form a government. The Shia leadership is tenious at best. Ibrahim al-Jaafari got a bare majority of the votes in his Shia coaliton for the Prime Minister post. He is not respected by the other parties. His association with al Sadr make him more suspect. There is substantial evidence that the men killed were part of Sadr's thug militia. If that is so, the out cry from al-Jaafari should disqualify himn for any leadership post.

So far there is no confirmation of the 80 year old iman's death claimed by the NY Times in their intiial story on the attack on the terrorist.

The use of this incident to withdraw cooperation with the US will have a negative effect on the Shia and their leadership. There should be no attempt to placate this obvious false sense of victimization.

Update: The Belmont Club and Iraq the Model give the facts to refute the Madi madness. The latter thinks the government doth protest too much:


Anyway, footage from the scene shows burned vehicles outside the husseiniya, empty smoke grenades and inside the place there were empty shells of BKC machine gun (the main gun mounted on most of the Iraqi army vehicles) the BKC is not a one-GI carried gun but is rather used as a supportive-fire kind of weaponry and if soldiers were to execute armless people this would not be their gun of choice because AK-47s or pistols could do the job with less noise and are much easier to carry and it makes more sense to think that this weapon was fired by the people who were hiding inside the husseiniya especially that this gun is abundant at the arsenals of militias.
Also the use of smoke grenades means the assault team was expecting-and likely encountered-resistance from inside the target building.
There's also the burned vehicles on the street which indicate there was gunfire coming from inside the building because the MNF report says that Iraqi soldiers were fired at "after they entered their objective" and it makes no sense at all to fire at the street behind you when you're under fire from the building you are already inside.

However, the best evidence that proves that members of Mehdi army were inside the building came from a prominent Sdarist parliamentarian and spokesman of the Sdar trend; Baha' al-Aaraji told al-Hurra this evening that "worshippers from inside the besieged husseiniya talked to us in person on the phone and asked for help…".
So I wonder why would 'innocent ordinary worshippers' have the personal phone numbers of parliament members and Sadr office officials?!!

Still, the most important part of the case is missing that is a statement from the defense ministry whose soldiers were the trigger pullers in this raid and the defense ministry is who can reveal whatever there's to reveal.

The silent dogs of war. It is suprising that the commander of the Iraqi troops who conducted the operation has not spoken for the record.


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