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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“They are thugs, thugs, thugs.”

Salam Pax has this to say about the al-Sadir militia.

Remember the days when every time you hear an Iraqi talk on TV you had to remember that they are talking with a Mukhabarat minder looking at them noting every word? We are back to that place.

You have to be careful about what you say about al-Sadir. Their hands reach every where and you don’t want to be on their shit list. Every body, even the GC is very careful how they formulate their sentences and how they describe Sadir’s Militias. They are thugs, thugs thugs. There you have it.

I was listening to a representative of al-sadir on TV saying that the officers at police stations come to offer their help and swear allegiance. Habibi, if they don’t they will get killed and their police station “liberated”. Have we forgotten the threat al-Sadir issued that Iraqi security forces should not attack their revolutionary brothers, or they will have to suffer the consequences.

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26 comments to “They are thugs, thugs, thugs.”

  • Susan

    Well, if Salam Pax wants people to understand that Muqty’s army are thugs, thugs, thugs, he should quit writing columns for the Voice of the Enemy, aka al-Guardian, most of whose readership undoubtedly believes as a matter of faith that Muqty is a brave “freedom fighter” daring to confront the evil Imperialist Amerikkkan occupiers.

  • Charles Copeland

    Susan, at any rate Salam Pax just isn’t in the same class as Zeyad at ‘Healing Iraq’. For the real news, go here: (Link)

  • David Gillies

    Al Sadr’s scumbags need to be extirpated root and branch. If there’s 3,000 of them, as reported, then the death toll from the Coalition’s current counter-insurgency campaign needs to be…3,000. Pussy-footing around is profoundly dangerous. Find where al Sadr is hiding and bonb it flat. Make the rubble bounce. This is much more important than Fallujah. Fortunately I think the powers-that-be recognise this.

  • Mashiki

    Always some power hungry SOB looking to gain some more, does it surprise anyone to think that some wack job of a religious ‘icon’ thinks he can be the next ‘great leader’ of the common man in Iraq? I should hope not, we need to hit this guy hard and quickly…making sure that individuals like him learn that we will not allow another despot to rise in the ranks of Iraq.

    Fallujah on the other hand is just as important as Al Sadr, a different scale but just as important.

  • R C Dean

    Fallujah is over; the Marines are filtering the men from the fleeing refugees and sanitizing the place. It was a tremendous setback for the anti-freedom forces in Iraq. Expect the next round of complaints from the international press to focus on the “massacre” in Fallujah, given the hundreds of Iraqi fighters killed as against only a dozen or so Marines. As the son of a Marine, I can only say the Iraqis may finally be learning that “no better friend, no worse enemy” translates into all languages.

    al Sadr is a dead man walking. He was the Iranian catspaw in Iraq, everyone knows it, and the mainstream Shiites hate him and have disowned him. He tried and failed to displace Sistani as the Shiite boss in Iraq, and will head no popular uprising. No, he is the head of splinter group that has now been targeted by both the Americans and by fellow Iraqis. Sistani will not tolerate Sadr’s existence any longer; Sadr represents the Iranian attempt to take over Sistani’s power base.

    Sadr took his best shot, but the game was up when he left the Golden Mosque after we declined to take the bait and go in after him. Sadr will either wind up underground (six feet underground, that is) or in Iran; there is no other home for him now.

    20 years from now, the events of the past two weeks could well be viewed as a major turning point for the better in Iraq. Two of the biggest threats to its long-term interests have been beaten back decisively, and in the process Sistani, the most influential single Iraqi, was forced off the fence and into support for the American side of things.

  • Frank P

    RCD

    Great positive post! Thanks. Even Fox News didn’t produce anything that optimistic.

  • Charles Copeland

    RCD,

    I’d like to share your optimism. But you may be whistling in the dark. I place more trust in the judgment of on-the-spot experts, such as Zeyad (Link) at ‘Healing Iraq’. Here is an extract from his latest contribution (9 April 2004):

    “What troubles me is that the whole situation has so many parallels with the uprising against the British in 1920 (Thawrat Al-Ishrin). History repeating itself, it troubles me because that would mean that Iraqis have not matured as a people for the last hundred years. That one was sparked by the arrest of a prominent tribal sheikh by the British and then all hell broke loose. Shi’ite Ayatollahs and Sunni Imams called for Jihad and several cities in the south were ‘liberated’. It lasted for a few months and resulted in 2000 British killed and thousands more Iraqis dead.”

    P.S. How come ‘Healing Iraq’ is no longer one of your Samizdata links? Too hot to handle?

  • Scott Cattanach

    Fallujah is over; the Marines are filtering the men from the fleeing refugees and sanitizing the place.

    “Sanitizing” being govt-speak for mass killings, eh, RC?

    Great positive post! Thanks. Even Fox News didn’t produce anything that optimistic.

    I love the way you guys are now reduced to judging postings based on how ‘optimistic’ they are. RCD is now shilling for the govt more than Faux News. Peachy.

    Samizdata’s real opinion has been shouted from the rooftops by their silence. The week w/ the most Iraq news since the invasion, and they’ve had exactly 2 postings on it. Perry’s first one was just a one paragraph drive by.

  • Charles Copeland

    Scott writes:

    “Samizdata’s real opinion has been shouted from the rooftops by their silence.”

    Precisely. Isn’t there just one of you Samizdata guys who has the guts to say: well, perhaps I was just a little bit mistaken, perhaps SOME of the anti-war party had a point, perhaps EVEN ONE OR TWO of the arguments of the anti-war party had some validity, perhaps they weren’t all spittled-flecked anti-American fruitcakes but simply people who considered that this invasion might make things even worse …. that there is such a thing as unintended consequences, that people who are knowledgeable about history who are aware of such matters?

    Not one of you?

  • Scott Cattanach

    Ah, the good-old-days, eh, Perry?

    I know it kills you that I got my way and that I can indeed cry ‘Victory’ at the sight of Ba’athism being overthrown…

    …But as I have always said, I supported the war for my reasons, not Bush’s reasons. I got my primary wish fulfilled… liberation from murderous Ba’athism for the Iraqi people… and so my alliance of common interest with the statist republican in the Whitehouse and the quasi-socialist statist in 10 Downing Street is pretty much over as far as I am concerned. Time for me to get back to my more usual job of screaming at the lesser evils for still being evil….

    Posted by Perry de Havilland at May 28, 2003 01:36 PM

    my alliance of common interest with the statist republican in the Whitehouse and the quasi-socialist statist in 10 Downing Street is pretty much over as far as I am concerned

    Wonder how your newfound neoconservative friends will react to that comment, or is your alliance not over? Its not, because the govt has you on its hook. If you criticize anything the govt does in fighting this war, you’re giving aid and comfort to your shared political enemies. Bush could nuke Baghdad, and you’d praise it, because otherwise you’d have to admit you were wrong in trusting a govt led by him to be the ones to “free” the Iraqis.

    The boldfaced part of the comment above shows just how self-absorbed the War Party is. Basically, like all socialists, they demand govt action to show their own importance and morality (“I’m good and you’re evil because I support this”). The war is just simple identity politics for them. To these jokers, the world is either

    a. The way they want it.
    or
    b. Not the way they want it.

    Since Saddam being in power qualifies as “a”, then no bad can come from invading. Every man, woman, and child in Iraq could die, and it would merely qualify as “no change” in their minds, because that wasn’t what they wanted. We aren’t dealing w/ other people’s lives, just whether it makes the 101st Fighting Keyboards feel powerful, or at least good.

    Perry, how many Iraqis should we “sanatize” (to use RC’s euphemism) just so you can get “your way”?

  • Charles Copeland

    Niall Ferguson in today’s Daily Telegraph:

    “What happened in Iraq last week so closely resembles the events of 1920 that only a historical ignoramus could be surprised. It began in May, just after the announcement that Iraq would henceforth be a League of Nations “mandate” under British trusteeship. (Nota bene, if you think a handover to the UN would solve everything.) Anti-British demonstrations began in Baghdad mosques, spread to the Shi’ite holy centre of Karbala, swept on through Rumaytha and Samawa – where British forces were besieged – and reached as far as Kirkuk.

    Contrary to British expectations, Sunnis, Shi’ites and even Kurds acted together. Stories abounded of mutilated British bodies. By August the situation was so desperate that the British commander appealed to London for poison gas bombs or shells (though these turned out not to be available). By the time order had been restored in December – with a combination of aerial bombardment and punitive village-burning expeditions – British forces had sustained over 2,000 casualties and the financial cost of the operation was being denounced in Parliament. In the aftermath of the revolt, the British were forced to accelerate the transfer of power to a nominally independent Iraqi government, albeit one modelled on their own form of constitutional monarchy.”

    (Link)

  • Scott Cattanach

    Charles, are you implying that previous Western attempts to turn Iraq into a permanent, peaceful democracy failed? That we’ve tried nation building before, and Saddam came to power anyway?

    Why do you hate America so much?

    warmonger mode off…

  • Mashiki

    that there is such a thing as unintended consequences, that people who are knowledgeable about history who are aware of such matters?

    Not one of you?

    Perhaps he is, perhaps he is not. Others on these boards on the otherhand are. I am one of them, ancient history if I may be so kind to say. You know the kind where the Romans and Greeks were chunting around, expanding their empire, slaughtering a million people, and in general being ‘kings of the world’. Rather remarkable considering the lack of a real reason for such a development to have happened in that area of the world to begin with wouldn’t you say?

    If you want to make the point that the anti-war parties had a true point then how about we jump ahead abit too? And we can go upto the points were Hitler broke the treaties, does it sound familiar? That he defied the league of nations, does it sound familiar? That he invaded a sovereign nation, does it sound familiar? That no one would do anything until it was too late. Oh yes, tut-tut you can probably jump in and place Pres. Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and a few others in that too…if you really wanted to try. But the UN really is the League all over again…a useless amoral, debating socieity, where dictatorships have as much call and pull as democratic nations. It’s the same ‘types’ of people that allowed the Jews to be slaughtered in Europe, and when we move to the future they allowed the massacre in Iraq, in Rawanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, allows the slavery in the middle east. Quite a ‘great’ soceity….it either needs to be disbanded or massive reorganization.

    We look back 60 years, the words spoken ‘never again’ and yet…they were…not once…not twice, not thrice…but far more. The new League failed in it’s task, another nation invaded, another round of genocide, a new set of NBC’s used on civilians, another group of civilians used for experimentation, another set of treaties and ceasefire’s violated. Yet…no one would do anything. What kind of message does that send to those who would do us harm?

    Bah. I’ve in general become so disgusted by people in the last 8 years that I hate even speaking like this. That ‘left anti-war party’ that people speak so fondly of, east or west of the Atlantic…liberals/socialists. I will say a few things, you turned your backs on your principals, you’ve become so consumed with hate and loathing that your willing to follow any perceived underdog to the gutter.

    That’s not patiotism talking, it’s the simple fact that we have enemies that you can not talk with. Some that will kill you regardless, and some that will always break treaties, agreements unless you remove them permanently.

    Is that enough history? Or would you like abit more in ‘how’ the allied countries are not like the Nazi’s, and even less like the Roman empire.

  • Scott Cattanach

    If you want to make the point that the anti-war parties had a true point then how about we jump ahead abit too? And we can go upto the points were Hitler broke the treaties, does it sound familiar? That he defied the league of nations, does it sound familiar? That he invaded a sovereign nation, does it sound familiar?

    “Hitler was known for a mustache, does that sound familiar? Hitler’s name had 2 syllables, does that sound familiar? Hitler was an oxygen breathing, carbon based life form, does that sound familiar?”

    BTW, didn’t we “defy the League of Nations” (or the UN, at least) and invade a sovereign nation last year, at the urging of people like Mashiki?

  • Charles Copeland

    Come on Scott, don’t be such a sclerotic old party pooper!

    Just because Western attempts to build democratic nations consisting of people like ourselves have failed a few dozen times over the past 50 years doesn’t mean that THIS attempt will fail!

    Just because the sun has risen every morning over the past gazillion years doesn’t mean it’s going to rise tomorrow!

    Cheer up, Scott — this Falluja business is just a little local difficulty. It’s only a matter of time — oh well, perhaps a century or two.

    But who ever said Rome would be built in a decade?

    Talking about sunrise, Happy Easter to all — and in particular to those freedom loving Arab masses who’ve been demonstrating all over Iraq, calling on the coalition troops to hang in there.

    Look on the bright side, folks – just like RCD!

  • Scott Cattanach

    Cheer up, Scott — this Falluja business is just a little local difficulty. It’s only a matter of time — oh well, perhaps a century or two.
    But who ever said Rome would be built in a decade?

    With sufficient government brute force, anything is possible. The earlier problems came from the fact that it wasn’t an Evangelical American Christian running the show. God talks to them, so they’ll do it right.

  • Mashiki

    “Hitler was known for a mustache, does that sound familiar? Hitler’s name had 2 syllables, does that sound familiar? Hitler was an oxygen breathing, carbon based life form, does that sound familiar?

    BTW, didn’t we “defy the League of Nations” (or the UN, at least) and invade a sovereign nation last year, at the urging of people like Mashiki?

    To the first part, I pretty much expected a reply like that…it’s atypical. Try something more cogent next time…perhaps you’d like to draw a comparision of how democratic leaders are equal to genocidal maniac’s? I would hope not atleast. But I’ve been proven wrong before.

    Now for the second part…that is an interesting question…and atleast cogent, didn’t we defy the League and invade a soverign nation? To boil it down to a simple yes or no; No. To expand a bit as I’m pressed for time(it’s 6pm on a saturday here)…we never left the state of war; we never signed a peace treaty with them only a ceasefire. When they fired on our planes enforcing parts of the ceasefire and sanctions we went back under a state of war…a ‘hot’ period, but one without full or meaninful military might. Just bordershots if you’d like to call them as such. A whole pile of other points, on this as well you can read them all in the ceasefire on what was required of him to get them removed. Deviations and breaking of them, are violations of the ceasefire…

    Simple, that those in the UN were unwilling to put meaning behind article VII or enforce the ceasefire is where it failed. As well that we never left a state of war is what most people either don’t want to remember, want to forget, or pretend never happened. That is where the new ‘league’ failed. What is the point of having an international body who is unwilling to do anything?

    In case you forget, we are still at war with North Korea too.

  • Scott Cattanach

    In case you forget, we are still at war with North Korea too.

    Oh, goody; we can invade them, too. That will distract everyone from the idiot warmonger fiasco in Iraq.

  • Frank P

    Mashiki

    When SC and CC get into a mutual masturbation session it’s best to leave them to it, or you’ll eventually find yourself part of a daisy chain. And remember Gresham’s Law.

  • Frank P

    Mashiki

    In case you have not yet seen it, take a look at:

    http://www.stratfor.com/corporate/index.neo?page=basicsample

    It contains an excellent update on the current upsurge in Iraq. And as you tend to have a half full glass rather than a half empty one, you will probably take heart from it – in the long run of course.

  • Scott Cattanach

    When SC and CC get into a mutual masturbation session it’s best to leave them to it, or you’ll eventually find yourself part of a daisy chain.

    Frank, go back to watching tapes of last year’s invasion and pleasuring yourself to them.

  • Charles Copeland

    Frank, thanks for the Stratfor tip: http://www.stratfor.com/corporate/index.neo?page=basicsample(Link)

    According to ‘Strategic Forecasting’:

    worst case scenario: US resorts to enclave strategy, leaves Iraq in chaos, then leaves Iraq. After inevitable civil war, we then get a fundamentalist Islamic government.

    best case scenario: US yields to Shiite demands for immediate elections. Shiites win elections. After inevitable civil war, we then get a fundamentalist Islamic government.

    Tweedledum, Tweedledee …

    BTW, hve you read the latest from ‘Healing Iraq’? Zeyad is another guy who seems to have changed his mind in the face of reality. (Link) :

    “Sunday, April 11, 2004
    One year after Saddam
    A whole year has passed now and I can’t help but feel that we are back at the starting point again. The sense of an impending disaster, the ominous silence, the breakdown of most governmental facilities, the absence of any police or security forces, contradicting news reports, rumours everywhere, and a complete disruption in the flow of everyday life chores.
    All signs indicate that it’s all spiralling out of control, and any statements by CPA and US officials suggesting otherwise are blatantly absurd. ”

    Read on …

  • Er… guys, our position i.e. getting rid of Saddam and trying to make a free country of Iraq is a Good Thing, has not changed and our silence signifies but one thing – we are insanely busy trying to make a living and get our company (Link)off the ground.

    But don’t worry, we will be back… real soon now.

  • Frank P

    CC

    Yep, I read it before. Very interesting. Amazing how many points of view seem to carry validity in this current spat. Almost like life in general. But the time to be pessimistic is on the ol’ death bed. Of course there are those that wait until then to be optimistic. Which is so, so sad, unless of course you believe that oblivion is preferable to the mortal coil.

    I take aboard much of what you say, even though I sometimes exercise the Voltarian prerogative. It’s the Scots Monster Maker that I find a bit rich even for my leathery old gastric sac. It’s a personality clash.
    Smug little bleeder. Incidentally, I get Stratfor second hand now, as my pension won’t stretch to their sub, but it is a good outfit and well worth it if you’re still in active service and can get someone to foot the bill. Highly thought of in the ‘trade’.

  • Scott Cattanach

    our position i.e. getting rid of Saddam and trying to make a free country of Iraq is a Good Thing, has not changed

    You’ll notice their opinion evidently isn’t based on whether the attempt succeeds or fails. The attempt is a good thing no matter what the result, just like I said above.

  • Mashiki

    Ah but Frank, it’s much more interesting to jump in from time to time and allow the baiting to go on and so forth. I’ve seen the stratfor page, interesting stuff tho.

    Scott, an excellent suggestion. Ofcourse we’ll have to wait for the time to be right; that being when NK baits and threatens China enough that they decide that it’s in their best interest to take them out. Sometimes people never think more then a step ahead and if that was chewing gum or a tack.