Sadr City — the Baghdad nerve center for the powerful Mahdi Army — is suddenly back on edge as the militia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and Iraq's government lock in a dangerous confrontation over clout and control among the nation's majority Shiites.
The epicenter of the showdown has been the southern oil hub of Basra, where clashes have claimed dozens of lives this week and al-Sadr's forces face a Friday deadline to surrender.
But a more finely tuned measure of the tensions may be found among the one- and two-story homes and shabby storefronts of Sadr City. As the crisis deepened, The Associated Press toured Sadr City on Wednesday to observe its rapid swing from relative quiet to a return of the Mahdi Army swagger before the U.S. military troop buildup in Baghdad last year
Here we have the press doing their usual spin trying to take what is actually a positive development and a necessary step toward lasting peace. Mookie and his organization are beaten and all this talk about their resurgence would be better described as the last gasp efforts of a dying power.
One of the complaints from the usual suspects is that the government and it's security forces have done nothing to stop the Shia militias. Now that they do, the narrative becomes the resurgence of the soon to be dead tangos Mahdi Army.
Mahdi Army commanders have told the AP that the militia has recently taken delivery of new weapons supplied by backers in Iran. The arsenal, they said, included roadside bombs, anti-aircraft guns and Soviet-designed Grad rockets.
They also said an infusion of cash, also from Iran, helped the militia set up new command centers equipped with Internet-linked computers, fax machines and satellite mobile phones. They have also received global positioning system devices, they said.
The United States has long accused Iran of providing Shiite militias in Iraq with arms and training. Iran denies it.
The only positive aspect of this silly enemy talking points memo is that they quote the Mahdi clowns crowing about their Iranian handlers. Anyone who believes that Iran is not the major cause of violence in Iraq, surpassing the defeated al Qaeda, is a naive fool. Now the Iranians have given the mostly leaderless and absolutely clueless Shia militias new toys and they somehow think that will help them against US and Iraqi forces who have spent the past 9 months kicking the living dogshit out of anyone dumb enough to raise a rifle. Terrorists and insurgents died in bunches and these weasels laid up sorry waiting to see what happened.
Well chumps, the good guys won and they are more than ready to finish off one last bunch of untrained jackasses running around in track suits firing unaimed rounds at no one in particular. I direct you punks to your new publicist and film distributor for your demise Uncle J and the Dead Tangos Theatre.