Wednesday, August 29, 2007
If Sadr Really Controls the Mahdi Army
His call for a six-month stand-down by his Shia militias will do more than the "surge" ever could to drop the level of violence. He does not control the Badr brigades, but the Mahdi is a bigger force. But it's splintered. Sadr needs time to consolodate power (read: assasinate the worst of his rivals, bribe the least of them, and trade favors with the rest.) He's no friend of America, but we should hope he can make this stick. The chaos brought on by an internal Shia struggle would be far worse than what we have now. If Sadr's call for a time-out fails, we will find ourselves unable to support the Shia we put into power and siding with the Sunni Ba'athists we threw out, even if a few faces have changed. How is America better for having gone into Iraq? How is it better off staying?