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Guns don't kill - People kill

by Mac McMullen / March 26, 2008 10:20 PM PDT

We?ve all heard the sage - Guns don?t kill - People kill.

That same analogy can apply to the recent outbreak of activity in Iraq by the militia of the radical cleric Mogtada al-Sadr.

Al-Sadr has always demanded the removal of all foreign troops from Iraq. He reads the headlines from the political campaign in the US, and listens as candidates ?promise? to remove American troops if elected. He also knows that American public opinion is growing steadily against the loss of American lives and the amount of money the war in Iraq is costing.

It has been an exercise of plausible deniability, during the al-Sadr cease fire, in claiming that the Shiite attacks on American troops have been rogue elements of his militia. Now with the proclamations of political candidates regarding withdrawal of American troops, al-Sadr is openly attempting to influence the election in the US by an all out war throughout Iraq, particularly against Americans, including recent attacks on the Green Zone. He knows this will play well in his favor with American public opinion as media reports of increasing American casualties plays out.

Is it the al-Sadr militia killing Americans, or is it political statements in the US ?

As fighting between Iraqi military and al-Sadr militia in communities controlled by these militia has increased, the relationship between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Cleric Mogtada al-Sadr has deteriorated sharply.

According to late breaking news, al-Sadr has ordered Maliki out of Basra, where the Prime Minister has been personally overseeing Iraqi military operations to clear the militia from that area.

We can be assured that every time a candidate makes a statement about withdrawing American troops from Iraq, attacks against American troops will increase.

Remember, guns don?t kill - people kill. So, is it the al-Sadr militia killing Americans, or is it political statements in the US ?

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It's the al-Sadr Militia
by Josh K / March 26, 2008 11:37 PM PDT

To believe otherwise would also require us to believe that the US is responsible for 9/11 because of things we've said and done re: Israel. The only people responsible for terrorist acts are the terrorists who commit them.

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(NT) in a nutshell!!....well said
by jonah jones / March 27, 2008 12:39 AM PDT
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was al-sadr a terrorist or is he now a terrorist
by WOODS-HICK / March 27, 2008 1:46 AM PDT

of course one man's terrorist is another's' freedom fighter. different strokes for different sages.

I don't know the answer. did al-sadr terrorize israel? or the USA? or is it 'if you've seen one radical muslim, you've seen them all'? is it guilt by association?

was al-sadr a terrorist before the current invasion of iraq. I always thought he was against hussein and his militia was an underground protection force against that regime. it went above ground after the overthrow of hussein who was a secular dictator.

it seems the important question is why al-sadr is against US forces. what was his flash-point.

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The "important answer" is this:
by Paul C / March 27, 2008 10:19 AM PDT

Moqtada al-Sadr is a Shiite cleric, and is totally owned by Iran's mullahs. We should have eliminated that threat early on by leveling the Sadr City section of Baghdad after giving the innocent say, 72 hours to leave (after being searched for weapons, of course). Instead, we stupidly chose to try buying him off - as if that had a chance of success.

The threat from al-Sadr and his Medhi Army will only BEGIN to ebb when al-Sadr lies dead, and so many of his "soldiers" have joined him in death that the survivors beg to surrender...

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(NT) but not to my question...it is not a debatable question
by WOODS-HICK / March 27, 2008 10:36 AM PDT
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(NT) Hear, hear! ! !
by Dan McC / March 28, 2008 7:26 AM PDT
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.."political statements in the US ?"..
by WOODS-HICK / March 27, 2008 12:11 AM PDT

yes, those that say the USA will not leave Iraq until the 'gun-installed' democracy takes hold. some have alluded that the USA might stay up to 100yrs if necessary. don't forget the fella that says the USA will never leave until his vision of victory is achieved. that might not happen for a 1,000,000 years. hint: he's the one that is quitting before his/the mission is accomplished. the one without any family involvement. he's a sender, not a goer.

Al-Sadr probably just wants his country back. he might still be trying to figure out why Iraqis have been caught up in the hysteria that followed 9-11. he might still be trying to figure out why OBL&co. are still wandering around because of a limited effort, judging by the number of troops deployed, in Afghan/Pakistan.

I live in NY state. I would fight to the death to rid an occupying foreign force from my home. hey it's only been five years. gee whiz, why doesn't Al-Sadr get used to it. doesn't he get the 'program'. guess the USA can't '$$$ buy $$$' his loyalty like so many other compliant 'new-Iraqis'.

what would you do if a foreign occupying force landed where you live?

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"Roadside bombs don't kill. People do."
by Angeline Booher / March 27, 2008 12:41 AM PDT

"Car bombs don't kill. People do."

"Suicide bombers don't kill. People do."

"Grenades lauchers don't kill. People do."

"Rocket launchers don't kill. People do."

"Snipers don't kill. People do."

"Swords don't cut off heads. People do."

And so forth and so on.

Seems these has been going on for over 5 years now, so are nothing new.

Move 'em out of one place, they go to another place. Just keep killing just enough of our men and women to keep us there indefinitely no matter how long indefinitely takes.

I do have a question. In wars past, when there was a draft, we sent our men into battle after what I THINK was less than 6 months training , or less. Can anybody tell me why it takes so long to train Iraqi soldiers????

Speakeasy Moderator

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On training
by Willy / March 27, 2008 12:58 AM PDT

There are more than a few troopers being taught. Those that do are sent out and get lost or worse. The training process is ongoing, fresh troops all the time. Plus, the willingness factor and any retaliation that can be done, makes anyone think twice. Many new Iraqi recruits are there strictly for the salary income, so that willingness can be overcome on a daily basis. On top of all that, its one tough job/duty. Urban combat and not just a policing force is very difficult, trained or not. -----Willy Happy

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Of course, your points are sensible and
by Angeline Booher / March 27, 2008 5:28 AM PDT
In reply to: On training

.... on target.

In the US, the core of "motivation" (or, if you will, "willingness factor") in battle for each man and woman is the comrade beside them. This is regardless of why they volunteered to serve, whether out of patriotism, for money for college, for the training, for the career opportunities. (It sure isn't for the money.)

(We sent green troops into the African theater under an incompetent leader, and it was disastrous until Patton took over. Seems that our troops also learned jungle warfare on the job.)

Sure, I understand it's been tough on the Iraqi men. They have been blown up while waiting in line at recruiting stations, killed by snipers, etc.

But given the years the training has been underway , it appears that it will be many more years before their military will be capable of providing any decent measure of security for its citizens,

All that has to be done is just keep killing enough Americans.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Training doesn't take long................
by Mac McMullen / March 27, 2008 3:19 AM PDT

It's the showing up for work that is the problem. Looks like they show up
when they want to. If the action is Shia against Shia, the Shia refuse to
go. The same for Sunni or Kurd. They've got the "numbers" trained,
but when it's time to go to work, they have to wait and see who shows up.

Right now in Basra it's inter-Shia. Maliki and al-Sadr belong to different
parties within the Shia. The hundreds of Shieks and Clerics have never
bought into a federal authority.

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Both Willy and Mac are correct.
by grimgraphix / March 27, 2008 4:00 AM PDT

Divided loyalties between government and clan and religious leadership... willingness to actually step up to the fight... are 2 factors. Combine this with the failure to make units multi-ethnic and the redeployment of units away from their home regions and you are left with troops who have little reason to fight when it might mean fighting against their friends, families, and neighbors.

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Angeline, I'm sure you noted..............
by Mac McMullen / March 27, 2008 4:17 AM PDT

....that the "common denominator" in all of your examples was people.

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More important question
by critic411 / March 27, 2008 4:39 AM PDT

How many YEARS does it take to develop a quality officer corp?

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Actually, suicide bombers and snipers are people.
by Kiddpeat / March 27, 2008 1:54 PM PDT

The materials that they use are not particularly out of the ordinary. A bit of dynamite and an accurate rifle. Neither would do what they do without the person. Real snipers have unique talents and specialized training.

Roadside and car bombs are not found lying around. They must be built, placed, and deliberately triggered. So, yes, it's all people doing these things. I am not sure what the original point was, but "Yes, people do."

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I must admit, I used to beat up my little sister...
by grimgraphix / March 27, 2008 3:50 AM PDT

I would sit on her chest and take her hand and smack her in the nose with her own hand, all the while yelling "stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself". To blame her for my stereotypical big brother bullying makes as much sense as the thesis of your comments.

Interesting concept, and a brain teaser if you start following Mac's thread to its' conclusion. Al-Sadr may really believe that his actions can influence US policy based on what he reads in the news. However, one thing that the political and religious powers of the middle east have consistently confused about western culture is how much influence our religious and political leaders actually have on our society. Middle eastern culture accepts political and religious guidance without much discussion whereas our culture loves nothing more than debating the finer details of any plan. Consequently, our news could very well lead al-Sadr to make the afore mentioned conclusions.

However, Mac's argument overlooks al-Sadr's connections to Iran. Al-Sadr is stamped from the very same cloth as the black turbaned mullahs of Iran. His goal in pushing out the US forces would soon be replaced with the overthrow of the secular Iranian leadership. Not because he views that leadership as an American puppet regime, but because they stand in the way of his taking over, and turning Iraq into another Shia state. Al-Sadr may be encouraged by what the US news has to say, but the reality is the US forces are just one road bump along the way for him and his ultimate goals. He would be stepping up attacks at some other opportune time if he wasn't doing it now.

BTW... I never really beat up my little sister, although I did sit on her and made her eat a pickle one time. She still tells that story to this day.

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RE: made her eat a pickle one time
by JP Bill / March 27, 2008 4:15 AM PDT

I got my little sister to stick the barrel of a toy rifle into a light socket.. (no little sisters were injured in this video)

That's when i knew I would work in the electrical trade.

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(NT) Hah !... :-)
by grimgraphix / March 27, 2008 5:20 AM PDT
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what would you do if a foreign occupying force landed where
by WOODS-HICK / March 27, 2008 4:48 AM PDT

"what would you do if a foreign occupying force landed where you live?" from my 1st reply to you.

I answered your question. it would be courteous to answer mine.

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by Mac McMullen / March 27, 2008 7:08 AM PDT

As you might have noticed, over time, I read other opinions, and post
some of mine, but NEVER debate either one.

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I am fully aware now
by WOODS-HICK / March 27, 2008 8:47 AM PDT

but there was not a question to debate.

the question stood alone.

I appreciate that you explained the why/what you do. you did not have to. that answers another question I was not posting. I will respond in the future with your answer in mind.

enjoy the day.

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