Bleg: Help get Zeyad’s brother out of Iraq

posted at 9:27 am on November 27, 2006 by Allahpundit

First I’m going to give you the news, then I’m going to ask you for money.

Newsweek has a superb spread on “the most dangerous man in Iraq,” whose continued existence is the gravest mistake we’ve made there. Never mind how long the piece is; find the time to read it. We saw this train coming from a mile away, but for one reason or another we kept ignoring it — first because we were preoccupied with the Sunni jihad, then because Sistani intervened when we had him in our crosshairs in Najaf, and finally because we thought we could turn him into a political animal a la the IRA. The result is a mafia state where his militias own the streets and his party owns the seats in parliament on which Maliki’s government depends for its majority. It’s a full-bore train wreck and it ends in a Catch-22:

If American troops leave Iraq quickly, militia leaders like Sadr will be unleashed as never before, and full-scale civil war could follow. But the longer the American occupation lasts, the less popular America gets—and the more popular Sadr and his ilk become.

There’s a third option, i.e., crush him now. But it’s not clear that we have the manpower to do so given the size of his following, and at the very least al-Sadr provides a measure of something that’s almost completely extinct in Iraq: control over the violence. The vacuum created by killing him might be filled by Abu Deraa, the “Shiite Zarqawi” known for drilling holes in people’s heads. Even if we do have the manpower, an all-out war on the Sadrists would antagonize Shiites who depend upon the Mahdi army for the basic social services it supplies to complement the gangster violence it doles out to its enemies — and if that reminds you of another fundamentalist Shiite organization with grand designs on power, it should. Like Hezbollah, they even have their own TV station, sort of:

Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis “terrorists” and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms.

The two-hour broadcast from a community gathering in the heart of the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City included three members of al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc, who took questions from outraged residents demanding revenge for a series of car bombings that killed some 200 people Thursday…

Al-Maliki’s administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, “There is no government! There is no state!”

When Maliki stopped by Sadr City today to express his condolences for the victims of last week’s mega-attack, the crowd stoned him.

Solutions? Cheney thinks they might lie with the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terror. Proud, avowed Bush-hater Jonathan Chait has a better idea: he wants to bring back Saddam to crush everyone. Seriously. Why Saddam instead of a Sunni or secular strongman of our choosing? Ostensibly because Saddam’s good at what he does; actually because it would add a deliciously ironic note to America’s humiliation for Chait and the left to savor. Jules Crittenden, meanwhile, thinks it’s time for us to double down, expand the size of the army dramatically, and go for broke. That’s an attractive idea, but Crittenden also thinks most Iraqis still want us there. Not so. As Fareed Zakaria says,

[B]oth sides now see American troops as the problem. The Shiite ruling coalition and the Sunni insurgency both believe that if only the United States were to get out of the way, they could defeat their enemies outright.

If so, the Sunnis are idiots, and they might very well learn that to the tune of electric drills.

The long and short of it, as John Roberts told Howard Kurtz today, is that things are “an absolute mess”:

Howie, I had a perception of Iraq going in, and it was the first time I’d been there in three-and-a-half years, I got out a couple of days after the Saddam statue fell, after the initial invasion. So it was quite a shock to go back and see the chaotic state that the country was in. And as — I guess you could say, as realistic as my perceptions were about going in there, the reality on the ground far exceeded that.

The place is a mess — it’s an absolute mess. There is nowhere you can go in the Baghdad area, as a Western journalist, without an escort, where you could feel safe from being kidnapped, shot at, whatever.

The amount of death that’s on the streets of Baghdad for U.S. forces and for the Iraqi people is at an astronomical level.

So there’s the news. Now I’m going to ask you for money. Not for me. For Zeyad’s brother, Nabil:

I’ve been trying to convince my parents not to send my brother Nabil to school. Young men of his age are the prime target for abductions and reprisal attacks. There hasn’t been much progress in getting him out of the country yet, but if you want to help me with it, please go to his blog and hit the Paypal button.

An op-ed in today’s WaPo calls schools “Iraq’s deadliest zones.” Which makes perfect, perverted sense, actually.

Nabil’s blog is here. He lives close enough to the madness that he’s able to snap photos of bodies in the street at night after they’ve been dumped there by death squads. His archives go back to the early days of the war in 2003; the post about Bush’s Thanksgiving visit that year will break your heart.

His PayPal button is in the right sidebar on his site. I didn’t buy anything on black Friday so I’m going to send him what I would have spent. I gently suggest that you do so too if you can spare it. Things are about to get very, very bad, and maybe at least we can save one person in the blog family.

Speaking of which, Zeyad says he hasn’t heard from Omar or Mohammed from Iraq the Model and thinks they might have left their area. Anyone know anything?

Update: Iraq the Model is back today.


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It is a shame that the iraqi’s were handed the oppurtunity to have a country back with some sort of goverment that may have been responsive to the people instead of a dictator, but instead chose to piss it down the drain. A chance like this does not come along very often, especially one which is purchased at the expense of anothers blood, sweat, tears, and treasury. The Iraqi’s are no longer worthy of our efforts. I was one of the staunchest supporters of our actions in Iraq, but now the Iraqi’s have made it clear they are neither deserving of it nor are they able to handle it. The American people are not made of stern enough stuff anymore to do the hard task required, and instead wish to remain with their heads in the sand in some sort of mistaken belief that reason will prevail were force of arms doesn’t. If they (American politicians) had let us use the force necessary. Al Sadr could have dealt with 2 years ago with a 30 caliber bullet at a cost of about 9 cents instead of the untold cost in innocent civillian lives it has exacted.
When the Americans can figure a way to leave without causing undo danger to our forces they need to do it. We do not need to leave anything of military value behind that is usable. Wire all the ammo dumps and bases and let the last man out push the plunger.
Time to come home and get ready for the battles that will come to our shores now that nobody in the Muslim world fears us, and let’s face it, their whole culture is based upon the principle that the biggest, baddest dude gets to rule.
I originally thought that in light of the elections we would have 2 years to make some progress, but it is apparent that our enemies have a different timeline.

LakeRuins on November 27, 2006 at 9:51 AM

Time to come home and get ready for the battles that will come to our shores now that nobody in the Muslim world fears us.

Exactly. This is the sad reality of the war on terror – we can never win unless we’re willing to be as ruthless as our enemies. But if we can’t even waterboard motherf*ckers without the ACLU getting its panties bunched up, there’s no hope.

But look on the bright side – we’ll all be dead eventually.

Enrique on November 27, 2006 at 10:04 AM

OK AllahPundit, you got it. I think this is one of the most worthy causes I can imagine. Come on HOTAIR commenters! Step UP and SAVE A LIFE!

labwrs on November 27, 2006 at 10:41 AM

Democracy in Iraq was an idea a couple of hundred years ahead of its time. I say get our troops redeployed home to our borders – NOW. And start planning to sponsor refugees from Israel and Lebanon.

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 10:45 AM

There’s a third option, i.e., crush him now. But it’s not clear that we have the manpower to do so given the size of his following, and at the very least al-Sadr provides a measure of something that’s almost completely extinct in Iraq: control over the violence.

Control over the violence? Saddam had control over the violence. Why not beat them at their own game and cut the head off that snake? John Abaziad has control of quite a bit of violence too. Eliminating al-Sard would be a judicious application of it, though long overdue.

Nothing is going to change in Baghdad until the sectarian militias types either get their fill of bloodshed or get killed. Frankly, I don’t care how much his followers will dislike his death. They can follow him to hell, AFAIC.

The Bush-Maliki meeting may be the second chance to do this with some political cover. If Sadr does withdraw from the government, becoming a de facto opponent, it’s a good time for him to die.

Pablo on November 27, 2006 at 10:48 AM

Our nation no longer has the character, leadership, persistence or bravery to protect is citizenry. GW Bush is a political coward and buffoon. We must kill Sadr now including any women or children around him. We must fight this as a war…but, we have no courage to do so. Abesaid, the arab general should be fired and investigated as to his allegiance.
We have lost the war against terrorism, with Bush allowing
more arab immigrants into our already compromised nation.
The day will come again when individual states will pull away from the union…..in order to protect themselves. Something, the federal gov. refuses to do.

LZVandy on November 27, 2006 at 11:13 AM

The day will come again when individual states will pull away from the union

You are all invited to Texas.

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 11:16 AM

You are all invited to Texas.

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 11:16 AM

I don’t speak Spanish and have no desire to learn. /

LakeRuins on November 27, 2006 at 11:23 AM

You are all invited to Texas.
RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 11:16 AM

Sorry I don’t speak Spanish and I have no desire to learn.

LakeRuins on November 27, 2006 at 11:25 AM

Sorry I don’t speak Spanish and I have no desire to learn.

Wow! Do you know somewhere in the US where we will *not* have to learn Spanish or are you keeping this marvelous secret to yourself?

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM

Sadamn’s favorite movie and goal in life was The Godfather. This guy picked up where Sa-damn left off, but he’s better at it. Scary M-F.
Al Sadr is the most dangerous guy in Iraq, and he’s NOT hiding in a cave.

700 yards, 9 cents.

shooter on November 27, 2006 at 11:57 AM

700 yards, 9 cents.

It’s a smoking deal at twice the price.

Pablo on November 27, 2006 at 12:07 PM

The Muslim world has no fear of us. They really haven’t in quite some time. We need to just let the Sunni/Shia violence happen and hope that any divisions in Islam are a benefit for the West. I’m just hoping that the terrorists don’t use WMD any time soon.

PRCalDude on November 27, 2006 at 12:21 PM

We must cut the head off the snake, when it grows a new one, cut it off as well. The snake will eventually stop growing new heads.
I’ve never been more serious.
.
.
Now I’ll go help brother Nabil , on your word AP.

shooter on November 27, 2006 at 1:05 PM

RushBaby wrote: “I say get our troops redeployed home to our borders – NOW.”

I disagree.

AP questions if we have the power to put down the insurgency and get the sectarian militias to stop the killing.

Of course we do, if we have the [gum]balls to want to do so.

In the 1920′s, the Brits faced an uprising led by Iraq’s Shiites clergy, but not exclusively Shiia. It took them 5 years to put it down. The Brits destroyed entire villages, and even asked the war office for left over stocks of mustard and cholorine gas (though there is no record of them every using it).

It was brutal, but when the Brits were done, the insurgency was broken and Iraq was a relatively peaceful, but British garrisoned, country until 1955, when the Brits finally pulled out.

The United States could put down this insurgency, if we so wanted, because the USA is using an extremely small percentage of our total power in Iraq. The utter destruction of the insurgency and their supporters (and thousands of innocents as well, unfortunately), could be accomplished in a mere 10 minute MIRV flight from the Med, Red Sea, or less, from the Gulf, if we were to so choose.

Consistently, America has held back using the force necessary to end jihadism in both Iraq and Afganistan/Pakistani tribal lands for what is purely humanitarian reasons — we don’t deliberately target innocent people who have nothing to do with the Jihadi movement. On the whole, I agree with this.

However, by doing so, we send the wrong message to people who have a 7th Century mindset that respects only raw force.

I say, rather than cut and run, we drop the Mr. Nice Guy approach and give the militias, the Ba’athists and Al Qaeda terrorsts a taste of what real power is.

I say we give the Iraqi Prime Minister and his government a deadline to convince the Sunni and Shiia militias to disarm, or we ruthlessly start destroying neighborhoods (such as “Sadr City”) and cities (Ramadhi) that are trouble spots. And that we repeat it until they put down their arms. To show them exactly how impotent they really are, we could do it without losing a single American trooper’s life in the process.

Consider it a 21st Century reprise of Sherman’s March to the Sea, using 21st Century applications of killing power.

In my opinion, we should stop singing “kumbyiah” with these terrorists and killers, who now mistakenly think that they can go toe-to-toe with America. The terrorists live in a medieval fantasy world of jihad and righteous martyrdom. But, they understand the idea of submission to an overpowering overlord — their kind really does understand when it is time to quit when the knowledge has been rubbed in their faces by an overwhelming foe.

That is how the Brits ended the 1920′s insurgency. That’s why Saddam was able to suppress sectarian violence.

I say we remind them what a superpower can do if provoked.

We don’t need secret police, “rape-rooms,” and torture chambers to cow the insurgents. We can do it the way we did it to Germany and Japan. If the policy of constructive engagement, including attempting to rehabilitate their economy and their infrastructure doesn’t work, let them contemplate the success of their holy jihad by reducing them to ruins-inhabiting survivors, picking over what was left of their civilization. Let them, in other words, reap the whirlwind of utter destruction, if they do not cease sowing the winds with their violence in the name of their God.

Yes, I know this idea probably sickens most of you — it sickens me too. But, if the choice is to send my son back to Iraq to street fighting and IEDs OR to send him back to play sentry over the dead ruins of what was once a city that we flattened by use of “daisy cutters” or low-yield nukes as a demonstration of the violence we could deliver to ALL of them if they don’t cease their terrorist ways, I’ll take the latter, and damn the “international community” and the liberals.

The question is not IF we can put the militias down, but if we have the [gum]balls to do so.

georgej on November 27, 2006 at 1:19 PM

It is a shame that the iraqi’s were handed the oppurtunity to have a country back with some sort of goverment that may have been responsive to the people instead of a dictator, but instead chose to piss it down the drain. A chance like this does not come along very often, especially one which is purchased at the expense of anothers blood, sweat, tears, and treasury. The Iraqi’s are no longer worthy of our efforts. I was one of the staunchest supporters of our actions in Iraq, but now the Iraqi’s have made it clear they are neither deserving of it nor are they able to handle it. The American people are not made of stern enough stuff anymore to do the hard task required, and instead wish to remain with their heads in the sand in some sort of mistaken belief that reason will prevail were force of arms doesn’t. If they (American politicians) had let us use the force necessary. Al Sadr could have dealt with 2 years ago with a 30 caliber bullet at a cost of about 9 cents instead of the untold cost in innocent civillian lives it has exacted.
When the Americans can figure a way to leave without causing undo danger to our forces they need to do it. We do not need to leave anything of military value behind that is usable. Wire all the ammo dumps and bases and let the last man out push the plunger.
Time to come home and get ready for the battles that will come to our shores now that nobody in the Muslim world fears us, and let’s face it, their whole culture is based upon the principle that the biggest, baddest dude gets to rule.
I originally thought that in light of the elections we would have 2 years to make some progress, but it is apparent that our enemies have a different timeline.

LakeRuins on November 27, 2006 at 9:51 AM

You seriously think that if Sadr were killed, no-one else would take his place?

I don’t get your logic: you state Iraqis are “no longer worthy” of our efforts. You then state that Americans don’t have what it takes to do “the hard task required”. What task is that? Forcing the Iraqis to be “worthy”? How would that work exactly?

As an aside, I am not aware that the unworthy Iraqis asked for our efforts. It’s interesting that we now blame them for our misjudgment. Well not so much interesting as repugnant.

honora on November 27, 2006 at 1:50 PM

By sparing the innocent women and children near the perpetuators of this violence, ie, Sadr, we condemn more to die. If we kill Sadr and innocent women and children die near him, that IS a tragedy, no one denies that, but hte left refuses to acknowledge that it is Sadr’s fault by using them as human shields, and we as a country have acquiesced to the cries of the cowardly disgustingly mentally-deficient left, who is so spoiled by our freedome they forgot what it takes to keep us free. By taking out Sadr, yes, another snake could rise, and we would have to take him out too. It has been written on this blog many times, by many posters, and I’ll write it again: These people cannot be brought into the political process, they don’t want ot be part of the political process, they must be killed.

And to honora – It takes 6-12 hours to plant a roadside bomb, and you know when it’s being planted outside your house. If the iraqis had reported who was planting the roadside bombs a couple of years ago, when they COULD have, when it was safe to do so, the insurgency would never have gotten to this point because we would have identified it and crushed it. So the iraqis chose to be more loyal to their tribe than to the people who relieved them of Saddam’s rape rooms and human meat grinders. Don’t tell me they weren’t happy to get rid of Saddam and go out and vote, they fell down by not joining in the process of choosing freedom over tribal seculism. They were not willing to turn in the murderers, now the murderers rule.

JustTruth101 on November 27, 2006 at 2:22 PM

I was hoping that someone would respond to my pessimism with a little optimism I could use. Thanks for the try, George. I really mean that. The problem is that it is fashionable in this country now to think like honora. Who in Iraq would have asked for our efforts? Well, that would have been Saddam, Uday, or Qusay, and they sure weren’t going to ask, honora, and under their regime the people of Iraq sure weren’t going to ask, honora.

President Bush deposed Saddam in our national interest. He could have, maybe should have, done what the Brits did. Instead, he proceeded on the premise that all people yearn for freedom. It was a noble experiment.

A while back, we turned over a base to the Iraqi army, and as the last jeep disappeared over horizon, the place was overrun by looters while the Iraqi police watched from a distance. This was the incident that convinced me that you might as well try to teach the idea of liberty and rule of law to a school of piranhas.

Sorry for the generalization, Nabil, I know there are exceptions like you.

Back to you, honora. LakeRuins can defend himself (or herself). However, O Repugnated One, we all learned together, in real time (and don’t you DARE suggest that anyone could have predicted), the true nature of people who choose and defend living under oppression because it piously serves their god.

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 2:35 PM

georgej on November 27, 2006 at 1:19 PM

I’m with you george. I’ve been thinking along that track for a while now.
What we could do is to give the Iraqis a chance again, allow them to participate in their freedom efforts more than ever.
We announce that on such and such date (say January 11th, 2007), that we are coming in hard and fast with our Air Force, Marines, Navy, Missiles from the ships and subs, everything. We are coming with everything but boots on the ground…yet. Iraqi’s have until December 20th to get insurgents and terrorists out of their homes and neighborhoods. We will be keeping track of every shot fired, every IED placed, every act of terror and violence up to and beyond that deadline date. BUT, from the 20th of Dec. until the 11th of January we will earmark these points of insurgent violence for destruction. If a gun is fired from a house, the house comes down. If just a BB gun is fired from an apartment building, the entire building comes down. IF someone sets off a firecracker or even farts to loud from inside a mosque, or office bldg. the bldg or the mosque comes down, immediately.
Smart Bombs and 2000 lb bunker busters vs. the insurgents and terrorists remaining in Iraq.

We blitz the airways with radio & TV, millions of print ads, pamphlets, fliers, etc. , everyone will know. This gives the Iraqi’s a choice. Push the insurgents, the Sadr mafia, hizbollah, and the terrorists away from your neighborhoods, your homes, your mosques, or die with them.
And many will die IF they’re near any enemy of Iraqi freedom.
Choices, warnings, no ones fault but the evil ones when we start the bombs. Full cooperation and there
may be very little need for force. If they believe we will do it, …?? It could work.
So up to the 20th, we’re takin’ notes. After the 20th, the notes are real targets that we will start hitting Jan 11th. We don’t stop on the 11th tho, we just keep hitting, HARD, each and every act of insurgency for an undisclosed amount of time. The Iraqi’s WILL help us if we are serious.
The week before the 20th, we cut off the head of a few snakes.

shooter on November 27, 2006 at 4:23 PM

This is most likely a very arhaic reason and thought. But the truth of the matter is, if we are serious about stopping the sectarian violence in iraq for the greater good of the county we must utterly annihalate sader [sp?] city. It is done like this; we seal off the city with existing troops and armor so nobody can escape. Then we follow the sealing of the city with a systematic carpet bombing campaign which utterly and totally anhialates everybody in the slum. While this will prove to be politically and diplomatically unpopular, the truth is that our enemies will not fear us until they learn to fear us more then allah [piss be upon him]. In WWII we did a simular campaign against the city of dresden. Many civilians died (in the hundreds of thousands, if i recall correctly). And the german people did not know to fear us until they learned to fear allied bombs more then they feared the nazi regime. It was in this manner that the fear-induced power of the third reich was greatly diminished and the everyday man at home in germany no longer supported the nazi’s out of a greater fear for the allied bombing. In the long run, this saved more lives in the war then if roosevelt, churchill, and the 8th air force fretted over the casaulties of civilian deaths.
A very hard nut to swallow, with a great many short term repricusions, but the truth of the matter is we have to make them fear us more then the imans. To fail on this point is to willingly lose this battle of the war and concede this short-term defeat to our enemies.

chow on November 27, 2006 at 7:23 PM