Mahdi Army members confess: We’re training in Lebanon with Hezbollah

posted at 9:27 pm on August 19, 2007 by Allahpundit

Awfully nice of them to admit it. And to the British left’s flagship paper, too.

Lebanon’s Hizbollah has trained Shia fighters from Iraq in advanced guerrilla warfare tactics, according to Mehdi army militants who have been fighting British forces in the south of the country. Members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s powerful militia said they had received instruction from fellow Shias from Hizbollah, the movement that fought Israel’s vaunted military machine to a bloody standstill in last year’s July War.

One Iraqi militiaman, who asked to be named only as Abu Muhannad, said he had spent a month in Southern Lebanon, Hizbollah’s stronghold. “I was one of the experienced fighters from the Mehdi army to go for training there,” he said. “We learned how to take advantage of an armoured vehicle’s weakness, and how to wait and kill the soldiers who try to escape.”…

Another Mehdi Army fighter, a 26-year-old who asked to be identified as Abu Nasser, said he and 100 other group members travelled to Lebanon in December 2005. “They didn’t teach us anything about suicide bombings, they showed us real tactics and taught our snipers,” he said. Speaking in Tufa in Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of the Mehdi Army, admitted to “formal links” with Hizbollah.

“We have formal links with Hizbollah, we do exchange ideas and discuss the situation facing Shiites in both countries,” he said. “It is natural that we would want to improve ourselves by learning from each other. We copy Hizbollah in the way they fight and their tactics, we teach each other and we are getting better through this.”

Mr Sadr said members of the Mehdi Army had travelled to Lebanon, and would continue to do so.

“We teach each other,” i.e. cross-pollination. The traffic’s not one way, either; follow that last link to refresh your memory. As far as I know, it still hasn’t been conclusively established that Sadr is Iran’s chief proxy in Iraq, although the collusion with Hezbollah and the fact (again, per the Independent) that thousands of JAM members have trained in camps in Iran indicates a high level of nuance to the relationship. Traditionally SCIRI was Iran’s arm inside the country but they seem to have drifted towards the American side in the past year, possibly as a reaction to Sadr’s coziness with the regime. Michael Totten, on the ground in Baghdad, seems pretty clear on what’s what, though:

The Mahdi Army is Iran’s major proxy in Iraq. It is, in effect, the Iraqi branch of Hezbollah.

The Iranians know what they’re doing. Lebanon was their proving ground. The Revolutionary Guards built Hezbollah from scratch along the border with Israel and in the suburbs south of Beirut during the chaos of civil war and Israeli occupation. In Iraq they’re simply repeating the formula, only this time more violently.

Like Hezbollah, the Sadrists are careful to present themselves as nationalists to counter the fact that they’re an instrument of a foreign, non-Arab power. The Independent devotes another full article tonight to the rest of its interview with Sadr, and this passage is notable:

Basra would be a safer place once the British military presence had ended, Mr Sadr insisted. “There will still be some problems in southern Iraq, there will be violence because some countries are trying to influence the situation,” he said in apparent reference to Iran. “But with the occupation of southern Iraq finished we will be freer to live our lives as brothers.”

Yeah, he’s not the only one to suggest that today. The question is, is he just blowing smoke to paint himself as a proud Iraqi “patriot” or is he genuinely annoyed about some double game Iran might be playing by arming the other Shiite militias in the south like Fadhila and SCIRI’s Badr Brigades? Above my pay grade, I’m afraid. Maybe Roggio will have a theory tomorrow. This requires some parsing, too:

“We are at war and America is our enemy so we are entitled to take help from anyone,” he said. “But we have not asked for Iran’s help.” The cleric also said he “welcomed” a recent decision by the UN to expand its role in Iraq. “I would support the UN here in Iraq if it comes and replaces the American and British occupiers,” he said.

“If the UN comes here to truly help the Iraqi people, they will receive our help in their work. I would ask my followers to support the UN as long as it is here to help us rebuild our country. They must not just be another face of the American occupation.”

Why invite the UN in when he’s trying to push the U.S. out? Because the UN has been very, very good to Hezbollah and Sadr’s hoping to work a little of the same magic in Iraq. Part of Hezbollah’s appeal in southern Lebanon, remember, is that it provides certain basic services that the weak Lebanese government can’t; the Sadrists already follow that model in Sadr City and naturally they want some UN money in the mix to expand the operation. Foreign influence is fine, in other words, so long as they can trust the foreigners not to interfere with the business.

Which, I think we can agree, they can.

un-hizb.jpg

Might be a good time to revisit this old post, too, to remind yourself exactly what it means when a group follows the Hezbollah model. Meanwhile, he’s an intriguing report from the Guardian about the probable next Supreme Leader of Iran. A trial balloon from the “pragmatist” wing of Iranian jihad? Or just trying to sell books?


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Is anybody surprised by this? All of these muslim terror groups are all the same. Same ass, different hole. Hezbo, Hamas, A.Q., J.I., Abu Sayef, G.I.A., all the same sh*t, different toilet and they ALL gotta be flushed. The differences between them can be put aside to fight the infidels (you and me), if only the rest of the world could do the same.

Holy crap! Is that a PREVIEW button I just saw? Not that I was one of those asking for it but damn, ask and you shall receive! Nice work Staff!

Tony737 on August 19, 2007 at 9:52 PM

All of these muslim terror groups are all the same.
Tony737 on August 19, 2007 at 9:52 PM

Yeah.. they are all the same… they are all Kafurophobic.

Why invite the UN in when he’s trying to push the U.S. out? Because the UN has been very, very good to Hezbollah and Sadr’s hoping to work a little of the same magic in Iraq.

Apparently the U.N. is not the Kafur……. nuance.

I LOOOVE.. LOVE the preview option AP!!! Good work!!!

Mcguyver on August 19, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Should have crushed this problematic pismire two years ago, and all of his marching zombies.

You only encourage your jihadist enemies by treating them like tractable and honorable opponents.

These are theocratic tyrants who will only be stopped when they are taking a dirt nap.

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Exactly. Of course they’re all working together. The UN / Peace Racket though…that’s only a surprise in that we continue to put up with it. After the UN’s behavior in last summer’s war, if Israel doesn’t just consider the UN to be a branch of Hezbollah, that will be a sign that they value PC more than their lives. America’s own continued presence in and support for the UN basically says the same, unless there’s some deep strategery there that I’m not seeing.

kate q on August 19, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Why invite the UN in when he’s trying to push the U.S. out? Because the UN has been very, very good to Hezbollah….

Why send money to the UN, when we could just send it directly to Hezbolla ?

/Snark: off

Maxx on August 19, 2007 at 10:19 PM

The UN will lay down AND give them all of the money they want, money taken from a variety of infidels. while turning a blind eye to the killing of anyone but the , well, bad guys.

bbz123 on August 19, 2007 at 10:19 PM

Not unexpected… I wonder if the cheese eating surrender monkeys in the democrap party can connect the dots?

Zorro on August 19, 2007 at 10:21 PM

“I was one of the experienced fighters from the Mehdi army to go for training there,” he said. “We learned how to take advantage of an armored vehicle’s weakness, and how to wait and kill the soldiers who try to escape.”

We’re already at war with Iran. When do we take the gloves off? Sure, if we go all out and take care of Iran, and Syria, and Hezbollah, and murderous thugs like Muqtada al-Sadr (and actually Muqtada al-Sadr), they are likely to unleash terror attacks where they can. If we wait until they have a nukes, they will anyway, and they’ll have nukes. I’m wondering how long until Bush pulls the trigger. There sure is justification for a full on war. Allowing our troops to be killed like this is unacceptable. Is there any other way to stop this short of military action in Iran, Syria, maybe Lebanon?

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:23 PM

WHAHOO!!! PREVIEW!!!

On another note, Tony737 is absolutely correct. All these jihadist groups are just different sh*t in the same toilet.

p.s the preview button ROCKS!!!

Troy Rasmussen on August 19, 2007 at 10:25 PM

Why do our enemies feel confident enough to make these admissions in the media? Is it because the Democrats’ opposition to victory have emboldened Iran and it’s minions?

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 10:29 PM

Hey hey, not so fast, the U.N. will need time to consider this. They will not make a move like this, at least not until they have weighed every possible angle in which the members and their friends might make a profit.

There are personal finance ramifications to consider here.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 10:42 PM

I’d like to start a charity where we can give money to get this Sadr fella to get a set of luminears and a shave. That is about the raggediest beard I’ve ever seen.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 11:08 PM

TheSitRep-

…the U.N. will need time to consider this.

Not to mention the important determination if the local girls are worth raping.

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 11:08 PM

Not to mention the important determination if the local girls are worth raping.

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 11:08 PM

I knows dats right!

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 11:20 PM

…luminears…

?

I’d prefer L.A.W.’s

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 11:25 PM

I’d prefer L.A.W.’s

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 11:25 PM

he he

or a claymore.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 11:28 PM

The intriguing story of a man, a leader and national inspiration could only be told after his death. A secret so secret it would rock Iran to its very foundation. The international saga ‘As the Oil Burns’. Khomeini’s tortured soul held a secret only he an his trusted eunich servant Wally ever knew. News reporters from around the world flocked to Iran to get the scoop. Most were flummoxed with wonderment. Was Khomeini gay like Arafat? Did he die of aids? Did he and Wally have a ‘thing’. Mabey he had nukes. All this only to find Khomeini wanted to stop the madness. He wanted to change the national chant from “Death to America”. This was his dying wish. What a true humanitarian. Rumor has it Rush Limbaugh is nominating Khomeini for the Nobel peace prize this year posthumously. Whats the new chant you ask? Why its ‘Death to Death to America’ of course!

sonnyspats1 on August 20, 2007 at 12:24 AM

All of these muslim terror groups are all the same. Same ass, different hole.

Tony737 on August 19, 2007 at 9:52 PM

You are correct sir! (although I am trying to rid my minds eye of that disturbing image). It’s the same Jihad the world over. Wake up Western nations!

BTW, all you guys that are just now noticing the preview feature, I wanna know what’chu been imbibing so’s I can adjust my shopping list accordingly.

;-)

infidel4life on August 20, 2007 at 12:32 AM

Yak Yak Yak……Yak Yak

I’m getting to the point that I don’t trust anyone in any western government to wake up and smell the coffee. The U.N. is the most corrupt organization since the Holy Roman Empire. All these Borgia Popes that run the west are not asleep at the wheel, they are just plain incompetent.

We cannot…..cannot…use the Reagan model of spending these people into the ground. We either draw a line in the sand that means something or quit and wave the white flag.
No amount of diplomacy or bribery is going to solve this. The only thing the Middle East understands is resolve. The West hasn’t a pint of it.

The U.N. will grovel in the dirt before anyone with a gun that is willing to use it. We won’t use it. Pan-Arabia will. Who cares? Not a single Western government. The U.N. is bought, paid for, and bedded. All that is left is to throw the sheets in the laundry.

Limerick on August 20, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Awfully nice of them to admit it. And to the British left’s flagship paper, too.

Well they thought they were among friends and didn’t they would tell on them. The Iraqis and Iranians are new to this information age thing, ya know. As in it’s Iran and Iraq not iRan and iRaq.

- The Cat

P.S. What they need is a good dose of Stargate. That way they’ll want to fight off their parasitic leaders.

MirCat on August 20, 2007 at 2:21 AM

…flummoxed with wonderment…

Dude, that gets my vote for descriptive phrase of the freakin’ decade.

hillbillyjim on August 20, 2007 at 5:45 AM

The only thing the Middle East understands is resolve.

Funny, that’s the only thing I respect about them. It seems they simply want to win or lose. Why can’t we comply?

JiangxiDad on August 20, 2007 at 8:00 AM

Who didn’t know?

congsan on August 20, 2007 at 9:58 AM

Same s**t, same shovel!

countywolf on August 20, 2007 at 11:47 AM