April 11, 2008

Badder or Sadder?

As a pundit, I'm supposed to act like I know this kind of stuff, but I have to admit I'm pretty baffled why it's terribly important to the United States of America that the Badr Shiites who control the Baghdad government crush the Sadr Shiites who control much of Southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad as well.

After all, from a strategic Game of Nations point of view, the Badr Boys (they keep changing their names, but I'll stick with that) are very closely linked to Iran, where they spent the Saddam years. And Iran, we are told, is the Great Satan. In contrast, Mookie al-Sadr is less tied to Iran, having holed up in the slums of Iraq after Saddam murdered his dad.

So, why are we against Mookie and for Maliki? Possible answers include:

- Mookie wants us to leave Iraq, which makes him anti-American. But the majority of Americans wants America to leave Iraq, so I guess that just means the American people are anti-American, too. It's simple logic.

- The Badr Boys are more middle class, while Sadr's guys are more slummy.

- More Badr Boys than Sadr Slumsters speak English, so that's why we're on their side: we can understand what they're telling us, while Sadr keeps rambling on in that moon man gibberish that people in Iraq seem to speak.

- Badr is weaker than Sadr, so we support them because they need us more, and thus tolerate us more. And, the whole point of our being in Iraq has become our being in Iraq -- we can never leave until we prove that we don't have to leave, because that would show weakness; but we can only prove that we don't have to leave by not leaving. So we are going to be there, roughly, forever. It's simple logic, but Mookie doesn't seem to get it.

- Mookie's Men fought pitched battles with U.S. troops in 2004, so they are our enemy forever and ever. (Meanwhile, the Sunnis spent 2003-2007 trying to kill us, and now we're supplying them with high-powered weapons, and that's considered a brilliant triumph.)

- We need an enemy, or otherwise we'd have have to go home, and now that we've declared both the pro-Iranian Shiites and the Sunnis to be on our side, that basically leaves the Mookster to fill the role of enemy.

- Sadr has terrible halitosis.

- Or what?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought the main reason is that Maliki and his guys initially emerged strongest out of the democratic constitutional process that we are sponsoring. So both the U.S. and Maliki have an interest in seeing that process legitimized and strengthened.

Let's! said...

The phrase "it's simple logic" appears twice in your post. Needless to say, you're more effective when you're not filtering Matthew Yglesias' talking points through your paleocon/War Nerd translation algorithm.

Mike said...

I'm glad you're keeping tabs on Iraqi factions. I've simply lost track.

How stupid this war is makes me think about Obama, and how I think you don't tend to give Obama a fair shake on his war stance. He was against this war (he called it a stupid war), and is for ending it as promptly as safely possible. You're against this war (you called it a stupid war), and are for ending it as promptly as safely possible.

Post on high-fructose corn syrup as corrosive to willpower up on my blog. I'm guessing you'd find it interesting.

dearieme said...

You're too modest, Mr iSteve: you clearly understand more about Iraq than W and Cheney did in '03.

manindarkhat said...

Where's Evil Neo-Con when you need him? Nineteen Eighty-Four might help, tho': "Oceania is at war with Eastasia -- Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia." But remember that Orwell was antisemitic.

Anonymous said...

"No one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have." - John McCain

I agree with poster #1 that the reason is that the US is supporting the Sadr people is they seems to have the biggest share of the vote in the various elections we've held, even the ones that were not boycotted. Their economic status, and the fact they are the only faction that so far have not attacked US troops are the others.

Their closeness to Iran has never been a real issue. If you watch the PBS Iraq special, they have an interview with Brent Scowcroft about Gulf War #1, and he stated again and again the reason we did not go to Baghdad or support the Shite rebellion as the neocons wanted is that a united Iraq was needed to balance Iran.

The McCain/Bush II/Neocon position is that such balance of power stuff is for French faggots. No need for a regional counterweight to Iran if your plan is to invade and occupy the country. In fact, an emboldened Iran is more likely to provide a sufficient provocation to get the bombing started

Anonymous said...

Iraq is boring. Really, really boring. The yapping about it is even worse.

testing99 said...

Steve, when you comment on things like this you are not very insightful, to say the least.

We want things from Iran: principally, to contain their influence in the Gulf and derail if possible their nuclear program. The American dominance of the Gulf has been National Security Policy since 1945, Pat Buchanon isolationism fantasies to the contrary.

Iran and the US are engaged in a very predictable proxy battle over who will influence Iraq. If Iran wins, they can push us out of the Gulf and dominate by threats most/all of the Gulf. This is how tribes operate. If we win, we can use all sorts of counter-terror to Iran's Qods Force, which has been killing our guys and causing terror, fighting with Sadr. This is the proven way to beat tribes: with other tribes.

Yeah, which group of thieves (ours, theirs) matters because it gives us leverage over Iran. With control of Iraq we can aid Baluchi, Azeri, Arab separatists and offer Iran a "deal it can't refuse," i.e. back off the Gulf and nukes or suffer being carved up like a turkey with US help. THAT is how you deal with tribes. [Note it's short of all out war with Iran, playing by their 1979 Embassy hostage rules.]

Or we could just throw away nearly 70 years of US National Security Policy for preening moralism and isolationism.

Perhaps you missed Ahmadinejad's 6,000 new centrifuges going into production and the "threat/promise" to share nuclear technology with the Muslim world. Containing as much as possible proliferation (by degree at least, if not completely which is unrealistic at this point) is a US goal and won't happen by sipping tea with tribal hard guys like Ahmadinejad. But by a credible threat that can be withdrawn, that is how tribes operate.

It's worthy to note that Iran's HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) cannot be fitted on missiles but can only be delivered by shipping container ("gun-type" Hiroshima "Little Boy" bomb). It's in our interest to contain them, and do so short of all out war.

So who's thug wins matters.

jaakkeli said...

With control of Iraq we can aid Baluchi, Azeri, Arab separatists and offer Iran a "deal it can't refuse," i.e. back off the Gulf and nukes or suffer being carved up like a turkey with US help.

And where exactly will these separatists come from? Saddam Hussein tried appealing to Arab separatists and to say that it didn't work well would be a massive understatement. Given that the neighbouring Arab state failed at it, you have to be pretty amazingly optimistic about the United States' ability to appeal to Arab desires and sensibilities for this plan to make any sense.

And Azeris? Really? Azeris rule Iran. Prominent Azeris start from the Supreme Leader himself. Why would they be so eager to leave when they're rather well off in Iran while Azerbaijan is much worse by almost any measure? The idea that you can just waltz in and use "Azeri separatism" for your own ends is sort of like attacking Florida and expecting to find Cuban separatists as allies.

Anonymous said...

"How stupid this war is makes me think about Obama, and how I think you don't tend to give Obama a fair shake on his war stance. He was against this war (he called it a stupid war), and is for ending it as promptly as safely possible."

It's real easy to oppose action by the federal government when your sitting in a state legislature and hold no national office. If he had been in the Senate when Georgie launched his stupid war, who knows how he would have voted with AIPAC and all sorts of lobbying organizations breathing down his neck. He might have voted for the war just like Hillary and McAmnesty. By the time he got to the Senate in '05, it was clear that the Iraqattaq was a bad idea and therefore it was not hard to keep opposing it.

Besides, domestic almost always trumps foreign policy in its long term impact on the country. We cannot afford any more entitlement programs, activist liberal judicial appointments, activist liberal oppointments to run federal agencies and programs, amnesty for illegals, cession of our legal sovereignty to foreign organizations and nations, or more racial laws and preferences. While Hillary and McAmnesty may be bad in some or all these areas, Barrack is at least as bad in all of them. Besides, it is quite clear that Barrack detests white people and we don't need an anti-white racist in the White House.

rob said...

At least evil neocon. Oops! testing99 managed not say 'Tribes with NukesTM' I think he's a comment bot.

Anonymous said...

testing99 is correct here. When it comes to the fate of nations ISteve is terminally juvenile. Steve is like a Democrat, they hate foreign policy and conflict. Lets just dole stuff out at home to buy votes

manindarkhat said...

testing99 said...

Or we could just throw away nearly 70 years of US National Security Policy for preening moralism and isolationism.

Where was Evil Neo-Con when you needed him? Close at hand.

It's in our interest to contain them, and do so short of all out war.

Short?! You're obviously infected with preening moralism and isolationism yourself, Evil.

airtommy said...

The American dominance of the Gulf has been National Security Policy since 1945, Pat Buchanon isolationism fantasies to the contrary

... yada yada ...


REading TEsting99's comments is easier when you don't know anything about the world. That's why Bush was chosen by the GOP 8 years ago, because he's dumb enough to believe all this garbage.

Of course, back in the real world, Iran and America reconciled in the 1990s (without America having to apologize for its heinous crimes against Iran during 1953-1979). We were on our way to becoming allies and business partners. Massive amounts of money was going to be made by both sides. Then the Israeli lobby intervened with the ILSA act and suddenly Iran became enemy #1.

Martin said...

"testing99 said...

The American dominance of the Gulf has been National Security Policy since 1945, Pat Buchanon isolationism fantasies to the contrary."

Its age does not guarantee its soundness. Having a Department of Education has been national policy since 1979, and it has been a BAD policy for that whole time. In fact, the education department is more than mere policy. It is law - duly enacted by Congress.

Administration policies are not necessarily laws, are often not even legal, and are quite often just stupid. The one you cite is one such. No one has ever made themselves rich or powerful by trying to "control" the middle-east (you would think Saddam Hussien himself would be an object lesson of that). A large number of nations have however made themselves poor trying to do so.

The policies you advocate, Mr. Evil Neocon, are foolish and even disastrous.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I find Steve's comments on international matters interesting and often funny. His posts frequently introduce readers to things they might otherwise never have heard about, such as the Donmeh.

One doesn't have to agree with everything testing99 said to recognize that we are engaged in a strategic game in Iraq. The fact that many iSteve regulars don't WANT us to be so engaged is irrelevant to the question Steve asked.

Isolationist fantasies are just that - fantasies. Has any nation ever voluntarily given up its place on the world stage? I doubt that we'll be the first. Those who want to avoid military actions abroad would better spend their time lobbying for increased funding for the intelligence services, covert actions and proxy wars than dreaming about America withdrawing into itself - something we have never done and most likely will never do.

airtommy said...

One doesn't have to agree with everything testing99 said to recognize that we are engaged in a strategic game in Iraq.

And one does not have to be a genius to see that this strategic game was created by the Neocons with strategic goals that are in direct opposition to American interests.

America was pursuing American strategic interests in the 1990s as we reconciled with Iran. Unfortunately, this policy was reversed by Jews with right-wing Israeli interests in mind.