The head of one of the two city councils in Sadr city told AFP that he's ready to cooperate with the Iraqi forces in implementing the security plan. In the statement that appeared on al-Mada Kareem Hassan said "The presence of popular armed committees [Sadr militias] will end automatically when Iraqi forces enter the city because the need for the committees will cease to exist"
From Omar at Irag the Model blogspot
Could it be true? Sadr City officials willingly happy to replace their Sadr militias with official Iraqi forces for protection? Talk about a leap of faith. Hopefully the US Congress will start actually helping by supplying the Iraqi Army and Police with some ammo instead of demands, threats and lip service.
What else from Omar and Muhammed on the streets of Baghdad? More from Iraq the Model excerpts, and their news quotes below.
We talked earlier about insurgents and terrorists fleeing Baghdad to Diyala, and today there's another report about a similar migration, from al-Sabah:
Eyewitnesses in some volatile areas said that large numbers of militants have fled to Syria to avoid being trapped in the incoming security operations.
According to those witnesses, residents and shopkeepers are no longer concerned about militants whose existence in public used to bring on clashes that put the lives of civilians in danger.
A shopkeeper in al-Karkh [western Baghdad] said that many of them [militants] packed their stuff and headed to Syria to wait and see what the operations are going to be like.
While experts consider this a failure in protecting the plan's secrecy which might lead to the loss of the surprise factor, they also say it indicates the seriousness and resolve in this plan that is already scaring away the militants. PM Maliki pointed out that seeing them run away is a good thing but he returned and said the security forces would chase them down everywhere after Baghdad is clear.
Ah yes, what I call the "cockroach theory" is again in action. The human cockroaches scatter at the presence of US/Iraqi "Raid", only to try and return when the fumes (i.e. troops "holding") clear out. Thus, folks, the new strategy of actually providing enough manpower to truly "clear and hold". You know, the new strategy the US Congress doesn't want to do because... damn... just may work!
And how are the Iraqis themselves feeling about all this?
As we said in the last update, Maliki won unanimous support for his plan in the parliament and despite some opposition from the radical factions the major blocs are expressing their support and approval of the plan:
Spokesman of the Accord front Saleem Abdullah said after the session that the principles of the security plan have the approval of the front and "constitutes a quality leap toward serving Iraq's people".
Hussein al-Sha'lan of the Iraqi bloc stressed on the importance of cooperation among political powers to ensure the success of the plan which he called "realistic and well-thought".
Abdul Khaliq Zangana of the Kurdish alliance said the plan would deal a heavy blow to Iraq's enemies and put an end to the crimes of outlaws and their backers.
On the other hand citizens we talked to after the prime minister made his speech before the parliament say that there's no place for mistakes or weakness this time but they also seemed confident that Maliki has prepared the right tools for success.
If the US Congress was looking for the Iraqi gov't to perform, I can only say they are standing in line behind the Iraqi citizens themselves. And, just as the citizens are giving the gov't another chance to pull their act together, so should the Congress.
I'll hold my breath.... NOT. LOL
But here's da best part to me.
Immediately after president Bush authorized the US military to capture and kill Iran's agents who are involved in the violence in Iraq, the Iranian Khalq opposition group released a list with the names of 31,000 Iraqis the group said are paid agents for Tehran operating in Iraq, story in the same report linked above.
Jawad Dberan the spokesman of the national council of Iranian resistance, the political wing of Khalq duing a press conference in Germany, accused Tehran of sending weapons and millions of dollars in cash to Iraq every month.
Take note, new leaders of Congress. Walking loudly and carrying that big stick produces results - unlike begging the int'l elite for cooperation and "help".
Another example of fruitful results? Remember Libya and their surrender of their WMD program after the US toppled Saddam? Guess they didn't want to see if the Cowboy Prez had them on the list next.
Frankly, I'm happy that there's a President who actually follows up on his promises, and doesn't just lob concrete bombs at the enemy for show. If we are to be a nation of pacifist ninnies, I at least want our leadership to have the balls to protect us.