Thursday, February 08, 2007
Occupiers move against Sadr. posted by Richard SeymourThey've kicked on the door of a Sadrist health minister and taken him down the nick, an obvious attempt to provoke a confrontation. Who knows if the Mahdi Army would have the military strength to face own the occupiers in open combat? There are a couple of things to note in respect of this: first, the US has evidently given up on the idea of trying to integrate the Sadrists into a US client-regime; second, this is the second time in recent days that they have undertaken an operation against opponents in the SCIRI. This fits into a more general strategy of encouraging sectarianism, long supported by neoconservatives.
It comes at the beginning of a new clampdown, or as the BBC puts it: "US and Iraqi forces have announced a major offensive in the Baghdad area, aimed at ending spiralling violence by Sunni and Shia militants." There is no shortage of violence in Baghdad, and much of it is directed at the population of Sadr City in the form of car bombs. It could all be those takfiris, but I personally suspect some modern day Edward Lansdale has a hand in it. The fact that the US is using death squads known as 'Special Police Commandos' and that the current head of the US army in Iraq, Lt Gen Petraeus, was in charge of the SPC while they conducted their worst atrocities, add to the suspicion. This by no means implies that there is no sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni communities, but it does imply that the US is far from above using, encouraging and funding it. Neither are the British, for that matter.
At any rate, one can only expect that the rate of violence in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq is about to drastically increase. The US is facing an increasing rate of casualties, and seven helicopters have been downed in the last three weeks. But the recent massacre in Najaf suggests that the US has a brilliant way to deal with this: bomb their targets from a great height, then send in the cavalry to scoop up the dead and cart the survivors off to a torture camp.