Sadr says Maliki wants to destroy Islam; Update: Shiites kill five U.S. troops?

posted at 3:22 pm on January 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

AKI has more from that interview he did with La Repubblica. I’ve been working off the assumption that Sadr and Maliki are in cahoots and feigning antagonism to bolster American support for the Shiite government, but this seems like unusually incendiary language to toss at a secret ally:

In a long interview with Rome-daily La Repubblica published Friday, Iraqi Shiite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr said he has never trusted prime minister Nouri al-Maliki nor his predecessor Iyad Allawi, whom he described as the brains behind a US-backed plot to destroy him and his militia. Al-Sadr said a crackdown on him and his al-Mahdi Army “has already kicked off.” “Last night they arrested over 400 of my people. But it is not us they want to destroy, it’s Islam,” he said.

Who’s “they,” I wondered. It apparently hasn’t occurred to any western media outlets to translate the La Repubblica interview, but lefty blog “Just World News” has filled the breach thanks to one of their readers (and thanks to our reader, Roboetal, for tipping me to it). Here’s the passage:

[Q1] How is it that al-Málikí, who up until a short time ago even saw to it that there were six ministers of your movement in his cabinet, is suddenly so aware that the religious militias, and especially yours, are the true problem that must be solved?

[A1] Between me and Abú Asárá [al-Malikí] there has never been much good will. I have always suspected he was up to something and I never confided in him. We only met a couple of times. The last time he said to me, “You are the backbone of the country,” and then went on to admit to me that he was “obliged” to fight. Obliged, you see?

=

[Q2] The fact remains that he is on the brink of [?] unleashing an iron fist against his own people.

[A2] It is effectively unleashed already. Yesterday evening they arrested four hundred and some of my people. It is not we that they wish to destroy, it is Islam. We are only one obstacle. For the moment we shall offer no resistance.

It’s in response to a question about Maliki, so presumably “they” means him and Bush.

Here’s more, this time re: Saddam’s execution. If he really believes “they” planted phony Sadrists there, in what ended up as a worldwide, credibility-crushing embarrassment for the Iraqi government, he’s even dumber than he’s rumored to be:

[Q7] It is said that you were present in the crowd at Saddam’s execution. Is that true?

[A7] It’s utter nonsense. If I had been there, they would have killed me also. As for Saddam, I’m certainly not going to cry for the man who massacred my family and my people by tens of thousands. The only thing is, I would have executed him in a public square so that all the world saw it.

=

[Q8] If you were not there yourself, do you deny that there were a lot of your men in that room?

[A8] No, they were not my men. They were people paid to discredit me. To make me look like the person really responsible for that hanging. Listen to the audio again, the proof is that in reciting my prayer they left out some basic passages. Stuff that not even a child in Sadr City would ever have done. The object was to make Muqtadá look like the real enemy of the Sunnis. And they’re getting away with it. At a time when I have been received with full honours in Saudi Arabia! But suddenly after that show under the scaffold, my spokesman al-Zarqání, who was on the pilgrimage to Mecca, has been arrested. A subtle way to let me know that I am no longer on their list of friends.

Al Jazeera reported al-Zarqani’s arrest on January 9.

Exit question: Is the crackdown for real?

Update: Roboetal e-mails to note that Sadr mentions Iyad Allawi as Maliki’s probable successor — and, per this article from Asharq al-Awsat, he’s not the only Iraqi bigwig harboring those suspicions. In fact, those rumors have been circulating since November.

Let it be noted: our hero, Iyad Jamal al-Din, is a member of Allawi’s party.

Update: A Shiite official denies it, but the U.S. military is claiming that a “militia” killed five American soldiers in a firefight today in Kerbala.


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Probably so. Maliki and other government officials have to know that if Iraq breaks up they will be seen as US stoogies no matter who’s side the seem to be on.

The Shiia are no more one unified block than Iraq as a whole. Sadr has a lot of influence in and around Baghdad but many Shiia are in the South. Have to remember that Iraq is not only shiia/kurd/Sunni but also tribal allegances also. Even Saddam was a Tikriti first and formost before he was a baathist.

William Amos on January 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM

Savages

retired on January 20, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Pigs Be Upon Him

Viper1 on January 20, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Is the crackdown for real?

I believe it is and his “they want to destroy Islam” is his ruse, so he garners sympathies.

I don’t trust any of them, but him less than the others.

Entelechy on January 20, 2007 at 3:41 PM

cool, they can both kill each other…

retired on January 20, 2007 at 3:46 PM

“Sadr says Maliki wants to destroy Islam.”

Well, gee, if that were only true, I’d think much higher of Maliki.

I can’t think of one single thing that would make the world a better, safer place at one fell swoop than that.

(Destruction of the concept of Communism would be a close second though.)

LegendHasIt on January 20, 2007 at 3:53 PM

I hope it’s real, but I won’t really believe it until I see Mookie’s fat bloated corpse.

This guy has been way past his expiration date for a long time… he’s like milk that’s turned bad, but some dufus keeps putting him back in the fridge hoping that somehow tomorrow he will be fresh. Get rid of him already!

Watcher on January 20, 2007 at 3:57 PM

I wish they pull a “Saddam” on this Sadr. Would solve
some problems, for sure!

sharinlite on January 20, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Results will speak volumes. The situation currently demands skepticism toward everything any Muslim says regarding cooperation with the west (in fact, as we see here in America, few people in power can honestly be trusted to do the right thing, or even what they say). Think possible distraction and misdirection at all times. This is not paranoia, but caution during dangerous times.

However…. If I have to pick one, I’ll say yes the crackdown is real (for now).

RalphyBoy on January 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

The only thing is, I would have executed him in a public square so that all the world saw it.

OK, so what am I supposed to do now that I find myself in agreement with Mookie?

Pablo on January 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

The Saudi arrest of the Sadrist Damascus chief is a message from the Americans and the Saudis.

If Maliki sides with Sadr the Americans will turn to former PM Ayad Allawi and Sadr knows it.

Muqtada: There are at least four armies ready to unleash themselves against us. A “shadow” about which nobody ever talks, trained in great secrecy in the deserts of Jordan by the American armed forces. On top of that, there is the private army of Allawi, the unbeliever who will soon succeed Maliki, which stands ready at the al-Muthanná military airport. On top of that, there is the Kurdish peshmerga and finally the regular American troops.

ganeshpuri89 on January 20, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Maliki says he wasn’t in the loop on the arrest of the top level Baghdad Sadrist even though Iraqi troops were involved.

Question: Were they Iraqis loyal to Allawi?

ganeshpuri89 on January 20, 2007 at 4:24 PM

I would like to think we can attribute the performance of the Iraqi Government to date as growing pains. Of course the U.S. was hands off, I beleive it was an attempt to to let the Iraqi’s have the true experience of governing themselves, also to demonstrate the U.S. has no desire to occupy Iraq. We are making significant inroads with Iraqi people as demonstrated by the numbers of military and police recruits now enlisted. We can bolster confidence and trust in the democratic process, by engaging al-Sadr and his militia now. I think al-Sadr has accessed our intentions correctly . Yes we do want to do away with Islam, but only as a form of government. The fear the tribesman are feeling now must be intense, after centuries of Islam as the know all and be all way of life.

sonnyspats1 on January 20, 2007 at 4:27 PM

It is not we that they wish to destroy, it is Islam

He says that like its a bad thing.

Iblis on January 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

he knows how stupid people can be when they are oppressed for so long.

He is sitting back laughing his arse off at his lowly minions.

tomas on January 20, 2007 at 4:39 PM

I myself am out to destroy a salami. Sorry about the miscommunication. I’m sick and tired of this guy’s shennanigans, irregardless. An Al-Sadr Haiku:

Creepy, short idiot.
Worships Muhammed Ali.
I do not get it.

Let’s send him a naughty candy gram. Not to make friends with him, just to see how he reacts. Just address the envelope, “Muggy McSadr, A Mosk, Iraq.” It’ll get there. Solid infrastructure, that country. Saddam’s keeping the trains running on time. And who likes Kurds, anyway? Ms. Muffet? What’s a kurd? I know that there’s whey in Nesquik products. Kurds, not so much. But then it would be a soylent product, the quality of which varies from person to person. Two snare drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff. BAH-DUM-CHING. Hey! If you were a hot dog would you eat yourself?

Savage on January 20, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Sounds like the page has turned and we have entered a new chapter in this saga.

Do you think Michelle and Bryan’s recent visit had anything to do with this? (Just kidding).

Zorro on January 20, 2007 at 5:26 PM

Fox just reported a militia attack in Karbala (I think)with 5 US casualties. Karbala is a shiite holy city.

csdeven on January 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Yes looks like Mookie himself is willing to take on US trooops.

5 US troops killed in Karbala by “Militia”

The war has begun and Mookie started it.

William Amos on January 20, 2007 at 5:55 PM

Exit question: Is the crackdown for real?

I hope so, only WITH THE GLOVES OFF!!!!!!!

PinkyBigglesworth on January 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM

Savage

What the…?

Back on yer meds, poste haste!

CliffHanger on January 20, 2007 at 9:23 PM

Whoever killed our boys, they are going to die with a burning sensation.

Jaibones on January 20, 2007 at 9:45 PM

OK, so what am I supposed to do now that I find myself in agreement with Mookie?

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

And Hitler:Autobahn::Gore:Internet

The Monster on January 20, 2007 at 9:55 PM