I just want to piggyback a bit on the excellent post by Neil Stevens at RedState on erstwhile wannabe mullah Muqtada al Sadr's most recent declaration that his "Mahdi Army" will continue its "truce" for another six months with these quick notes:
Sadr keeps extending this "truce" because he has no army, has no more devotees, and has no control whatsoever. He makes these declarations not as a leader, but as a follower -- he has his finger in the air, and has again gotten the clear sense that the militia fighters whom he once counted as allies or minions haven't, at the moment, the stomach for continuing the fight, so he declares postemptively that there will be another "truce."
It's sort of like wandering into the middle of a one-way street, seeing that all the cars are going West, then stepping up to the podium and decreeing that "All traffic on this road shall now move West!"
Every time he does this (I count this as at least the fifth time, but I could be off by a half dozen or so), he risks being entirely outed as the fraud of a "leader" that he is -- each misjudgment of which way the wind is blowing on these issues takes another chunk out of the Wizard of Oz persona that he has presented both to the world and to his own countrymen. There's a man behind the curtain, and that curtain has been steadily drawn back over the last couple years.
In conclusion, I think Neil made an outstanding point when he said the following:
"I find it interesting that the way to gain prestige in Iraq now is to present yourself as a peacemaker, someone trying to help build Iraq back into a thriving country."
- At 11:34 PM, BrianFH said...
SADR and BADR still both have to be dealt with in the South, now that the Brits have finally gotten out of the way.