Thursday, August 25, 2005

Channeling Pat Robertson

I'm sure that by now anyone with a televison and at least half alive has heard about the incident, later denied, then kinda admitted and apologized for, wherein Pat Robertson called for Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to be taken care of. If not, here's a link.

But that's not the point of this post. Rather, how about a thinly-veiled suggestion that what Pat suggested for Chavez might, just might, be appropriate elsewhere. I realize that assassination of foreign leaders by United States personnel is illegal. I also realize that some people just need to go. Or be sent on their merry way. Terminated with extreme prejudice.

One such person has been a thorn in the side of our efforts in Iraq from the beginning. First with armed opposition, now with efforts to hinder and derail our mission. That person is Muqtada al-Sadr (info here, here, and here).

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Clashes erupted between rival Shiite groups across the Shiite-dominated south Wednesday, threatening

Iraq with yet another crisis at a time when politicians are struggling to end a constitutional stalemate with Sunni Arabs.
The confrontation in at least five southern cities — involving a radical Shiite leader who led two uprisings against U.S. forces last year — followed the boldest assault by Sunni insurgents in weeks in the capital.


Trouble in the south began when supporters of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tried to reopen his office in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, which was closed after the end of fighting there last year.

When Shiites opposed to al-Sadr tried to block the move, fights broke out. Four people were killed, 20 were injured and al-Sadr's office was set on fire, police said.

That enraged al-Sadr's followers, who blamed the country's biggest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI.

Internal Iraqi politics, that we should stand back and let them sort out amongst themselves? I think not. Muqtada al-Sadr has got to go, and soon, lest we have more of this:

Hundreds of American soldiers and Iraqis died in the two uprisings, which ended late last year. Since then, al-Sadr's top aides have been released, the murder charge effectively dropped, and the fiery young cleric has emerged as a major political figure

The time is long past to render this fiery young cleric fiery indeed! He has got to go! Let him claim his 72 goats!

Targeted assassinations are possible, but would cause a lot of political backlash here on the home front. Since Iraq IS a war zone, and al-Sadr is demonstrably an enemy, this process would not be illegal. But then again, it may not be the most desirable event.

Rather, Coalition and Iraqi forces could begin staging numerous massive operations near where he and his supporters are known to be located. More than likely, he and his supporters would respond in unhelpful (Thanks, Rummie!) ways. Stuff happens during combat. Actually, now that I think about it, just a show of force nearby would provoke them into a foolish and regrettable incident.

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