"U.S. intelligence does not quite understand it, but has concluded that anIn a rather sad, pathetic way, I had to laugh at this. Here is the final come-uppance of the Bush "forward strategy of freedom" that somehow believed the mere act of voting -- without regard for ideas or individual rights -- was the magic cure-all in Iraq. Three HUNDRED thousand fighters now oppose us, if this is true (and likely is) -- led by a puppet of the Iranians -- who dwarf the Iraqi government forces, and the only thing saving them is our presence over there. And this build-up of the enemy came at a time Rummy was drawing down the size of our own army to something like 500,000 total -- covering the whole world. Is it any wonder Bush has been using National Guardsmen and Reserves as cannon fodder?
Iranian-sponsored Iraqi militia has grown to a size that now dwarfs the Iraqi
security forces. Over a two-year period, the Mahdi Army has grown from 10,000 to
more than 300,000 fighters. "
And now it was reported today Bush is considering ploughing another bunch of American soldiers into Iraq in the forlorn hope -- his dominant epistemological method -- of turning the tide by "staying the course".
Without going after Iran, et al, this is surely a course headed towards a reef or ocean whirlpool.
Ever read Victor Hugo's "Man Who Laughs"? The U.S. is reprising the role of Gwyneplaine while the House of Lords -- the rest of the world -- is laughing at our frozen smile, the product of putting American foreign policy into the hands of the Comprachicos (see Ayn Rand's brilliant essay on this in "The Return of the Primitive") of altruism and Christian charity.
I keep thinking my disgust with Bush's incompetence can't get any lower, but, well, all I have to do is stay tuned for next week's episode of As the Administration Turns. Same Bat-time, same batty channel.
Iran-financed recruitment drive has made Mahdi Army dominant presence in Baghdad
U.S. intelligence does not quite understand it, but has concluded that an Iranian-sponsored Iraqi militia has grown to a size that now dwarfs the Iraqi security forces.
Over a two-year period, the Mahdi Army has grown from 10,000 to more than 300,000 fighters. Intelligence has concluded that Mahdi engaged in an enormous recruitment effort in 2006, aided by millions of dollars as well as shipments of weapons from Iran.
In its report last week, the Iraq Study Group said Mahdi has risen to 60,000 operatives. The ISG report did not cite evidence to substantiate the claim.
A U.S. Army report said Mahdi has been recruiting unemployed young Shi'ite men, particularly in the Baghdad area. The intelligence said many of them were being indoctrinated and trained for a confrontation against the Sunnis or the U.S.-led coalition. Much of the training has taken place in Hizbullah camps in Lebanon.
"They're [Mahdi members] everywhere," an intelligence source said. "They're on the streets, they're in government, they're in the police, they're in parliament."
Indeed, Mahdi has become so big that its clerical chief, Moqtada Sadr, no longer controls the entire organization. Many operatives have been organizing separate cells, largely for profit.
The report said Mahdi has been heading the ethnic cleansing effort by the Shi'ites in Baghdad. Mahdi operatives scour Baghdad neighborhoods and paint large red Xs on the sides of houses the militia want vacated.
That mark was the signal that the Sunni occupants have 48 hours to leave. Mahdi has used Baghdad's Sadr City as its headquarters. The teeming area of 2 million people has become literally crime-