Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Uncle Mookie"

By 1942, the one mass murder responsible for more deaths then Hitler was the psychotic Joseph Stalin. Yet he was then being portrayed in our press as "Uncle Joe," a friendly ally beloved of his people. And that is not so different than the way the scorpion Moqtada al Sadr is portrayed today in a fawning peace in today's Washington Post.


Moqtada al-Sadr presents a serious long term threat to the stabiity of Iraq. As I have blogged here and here, Sadr has close ties with Iran. He is attempting to increase his clerical rank by studying the velayat-e-faqi, Khomeini's Salafi bastardization of the Shia religion that breaks with a millenium of contrary tradition to justify and require theocratic rule in Shia countries. Sadr maintains a milia that he has refused to disarm. Sadr has used that militia to attack the central government and to enforce his rule and his views on medieval sharia law on parts of the country, including Karbala. There is a name for a country with a cleric linked to Iran who is in charge of a militia seperate and a apart from the government's forces and who takes other actions like Sadr's. It is called Lebanon.

None of the above facts come out in today's puff piece in the Washington Post. Instead we are told that

. . . American commanders who once considered [Sadr] an enemy . . . now refer to him respectfully . . .

Sadr is expected to announce by Saturday whether the freeze will be extended, his aides said. But interviews with more than a dozen leaders of the Sadrist movement suggest that whether or not it is continued, the freeze has already transformed the militia and its place in Iraqi society.

"The freeze brought many secrets to the surface," said Ahmed Abdul Hussein, 33, a Mahdi Army leader from Sadr City, a vast Shiite district of Baghdad. "Now we know who is good and who is bad. Now everyone thinks of the Mahdi Army in a new light. I think everything will be different now."

. . . In many Sadrist strongholds, the militia's focus has shifted from militancy to providing services to residents, as the Mahdi Army continues recasting itself as a political and social force.

Etc., etc. You can read the drivel here. Have no doubts that the soldiers are referring to him respectfully becasue they do not want to force him to lose face - but the respect being shown is that one would give to a scorpion. That is no more than the respect we showed the Chinese when our guns were pointed at them across from the DMZ in Korea. The reporter does not think it important to ask why the Mahdi Army continues to exist, given the peace that has descended on the Shia areas where it holds sway. Instead we get platitudes and the Mahdi party line.

There are several things I find incredibly upsetting about this piece. One, it is completely superficial, giving a pass to an enemy of the U.S. and a united Iraq, and giving a pass to an Iranian ally. Two, it is quite likely we are going to be fighting Sadr in the foreseeable future. Even our press in World War II did not give good press to Hitler in advance of our entry into the war. Lastly, this piece is ten times the press that is given to our soldiers fighting in Diyala province right now in daily combat missions. To say that our MSM has misplaced priorities and an inability to distinguish friend from foe would be a gross understatement.

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