Bad moon rising: Sadr City mayor shot, police chief rumored to be dead

posted at 1:28 pm on March 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

The mayor, Rahim al-Darraji, has been negotiating with us for awhile now, first as a liaison to the Mahdi Army and then to secure safe passage for U.S. and Iraqi troops into Sadr City. Yesterday Michael Moore’s minutemen caught up to him:

Gunmen fired on the vehicle that was carrying al-Darraji just before 4 p.m. in the Habibiyah area of Sadr City, police said. A U.S. military statement said al-Darraji was treated by Iraqi police and nearby American troops before being airlifted to the heavily fortified compound known as the Green Zone.

“Al-Darraji was reported in good condition at a coalition medical facility,” the statement said.

Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a U.S. military spokesman, said the mayor’s driver and another passenger had been killed. He couldn’t confirm Iraqi reports that the passenger was Sadr City Police Chief Mohamed Mutashar.

Senior Mahdi Army leaders, most of whom had fled the area before the security crackdown, couldn’t be reached to confirm the identities of those who died.

No group claimed responsibility. Some of al-Sadr’s political officers said they suspected that disgruntled Shiite militants had staged the attack to register their displeasure with the Mahdi Army’s cooperation with the security plan.

If Pajamas is right about the U.S. trying to talk the Mahdi Army into disarming then al-Darraji’s probably involved in that too, which means Sadr’s got as much of a motive to kill him as “rogue” JAM elements do notwithstanding his own alleged support for the security plan. In fact, a statement from Sadr calling for protests against the occupation generally and the U.S. presence in Sadr City in particular was read after Friday prayers today:

“I’m confident that you consider them (U.S. forces) your enemies,” said the statement carrying Sadr’s seal which was issued by his office in the holy city of Najaf as well as being read out to thousands of worshippers in Sadr City.

“I call upon you all to raise your voices all together and shout with one voice ‘No, No, America’,” the statement said.

And so they did.

Maj. Gen. Fil told Reuters yesterday after the shooting he’s no longer sure if Sadr’s cooperating. He probably is insofar as his guys are still under orders not to confront U.S. troops, but he has to walk a line between lying low and not disappearing so completely that people’s loyalties begin to reorient towards other demagogues. If he was involved in the attempt on al-Darraji, it might be his way of showing that he still owns Sadr City well enough to reach the VIPs even from as far away as Iran.

Or maybe it really was rogue guys trying to pop the mayor for cooperating with the U.S. Shrug.

I’ll leave you on an upbeat note: Iraq’s first criminal court for insurgents outside Baghdad is up and running, and not only aren’t U.S. troops managing it, they’re not even allowed to watch the proceedings.

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Iraq’s first criminal court for insurgents outside Baghdad is up and running,

This is great news. Not for the judges whom I expect will start dropping like flies unless they have some serious security, but great news for the Iraqis and our troops.

csdeven on March 16, 2007 at 1:51 PM

I wish we would just leave Iraq. these people are hopeless.

Screw em.

amish on March 16, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Tattaglia’s a pimp. He could never have taken my Santino head on.

Kid from Brooklyn on March 16, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Maj. Gen. Fil told Reuters yesterday after the shooting he’s no longer sure if Sadr’s cooperating.

I think we should leave the severed head of a camel in Sadr’s bed as a warning……..

PinkyBigglesworth on March 16, 2007 at 1:58 PM

I wish we would just leave Iraq. these people are hopeless.

There’s a reason 80% of the world lives in filth. They don’t want anything better. If they couldn’t export their death cults over here, I wouldn’t really care how they live. Go starve and kill yourselves. I don’t care, just don’t bring it here.

lorien1973 on March 16, 2007 at 2:09 PM

It was Barzini all the time.

Hening on March 16, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Gave him the Moe Greene special.

budorob on March 16, 2007 at 3:23 PM

I wish we would just leave Iraq. these people are hopeless.

I wish we could just leave Iraq. They do indeed seem hopeless. One thing this war has proven for sure is that not everyone wants to live in peace and harmony. This war has more sub-plots than a soap opera. However, the more we kill over there, the less we have to deal with over here. It would be nice if the military could quit fighting a PC war and finish this mess up.

brtex on March 16, 2007 at 3:29 PM

They aren’t hopeless. You can’t let acts like this stop you.

tomas on March 16, 2007 at 3:31 PM

Sadr’s control is pretty loose, according to the Mahdi Army wiki.

I think he’s been hedging his bets all along, and is trying to go political.

TallDave on March 16, 2007 at 4:14 PM

Iraq is chaotic, dog bites man, details at 11.

Let’s hope things get better with time, that our guys can smoke out enough of Mookie’s guys that we can more progress in the civil side of things. If Mookie’s gonna start whacking higher ups, he’s getting nervous and his grasp might be more tenuous, which means you go more aggro.

Bad Candy on March 16, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Yep, I’m done with the Middle East in its entirety pretty much. Actually, I pretty much couldn’t give a rats ass about anyone but our own at this point. We need to retain our democracy. The rest of the world can all kill eachother off, waste away, stew in the juices of their own socialist demise forever, for all I care, these days. Of course, that’s not how I feel in my heart, but my mind is so full of the $hit I’ve been unable to avoid seeing and hearing in every media outlet there is that it’s turned off the ‘I give a $hit’ button.

I support the troops and I support the efforts and I support the intent, but I don’t support the indigenous peoples any longer. They’re hapless, they’re hopeless. We need to get out now, bomb the piss out of the Iranian nuke facilities, or assist Israel in said mission, and be done with them all forever.

Of course, that’s an impossiblility because the U.S. oil companies and the greedy reprobate scum sucking bottom feeder politicians say so. But yeah, I’m sick of seeing stories about Iraq and the bedwetting thumbsuckers out there who are making all the noise and throwing the temper tantrums about it. I wouldn’t piss on anyn one of them if they were on fire.

SilverStar830 on March 16, 2007 at 5:08 PM

Oh yeah, and I’m really tired of this website censoring every single post that has a simple naughty word in it too. Some posts show up, some don’t.

Censorship, it’s not just for dictators anymore.

SilverStar830 on March 16, 2007 at 5:10 PM

We should have done what the moonbats accuse Bush of… “take COMPLETE control of their country and steal all of the oil”!!

gary on March 16, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Censorship, it’s not just for dictators anymore.

SilverStar830 on March 16, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Yeah. They almost take a minute to show up sometimes. There is self-censorship you know.

As was explained to me many moons ago.

It’s a one step process to say a curse word.
Say it.

It’s a 3 step process to type a curse word.
Think it. Type it. Read/Hit Enter.

If your post is delayed because of faulty step 1, don’t blame the site *shrug*

lorien1973 on March 16, 2007 at 5:45 PM

I’ll leave you on an upbeat note: Iraq’s first criminal court for insurgents outside Baghdad is up and running, and not only aren’t U.S. troops managing it, they’re not even allowed to watch the proceedings.

Thank you, Allah, for giving us some hope amidst the chaos.

Troy Rasmussen on March 16, 2007 at 8:10 PM

AP- your captions at the bottom rock! :)

Pam on March 16, 2007 at 9:55 PM

Tell Michael I always liked him. It’s business, not personal.

TheFamousOne on March 18, 2007 at 8:46 AM