The Corner

Iraqi Intifada?

I’ve been told for some time now that April 9th–tomorrow–is a green-letter day in the Middle East, because the Iranians have planned some sort of nuclear announcement or demonstration (Ahmadinezhad is going to Natanz, it seems) and are also sponsoring what their leaders refer to in private as “a new intifada in Iraq.”

So this story from al-AP caught my attention:

The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate their attacks on American troops rather than Iraqis, according to a statement issued Sunday.

The statement, stamped with al-Sadr’s official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday — a day before a large demonstration there, called for by al-Sadr, to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

“You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don’t walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy,” the statement said. Its authenticity could not be verified.

In the statement, al-Sadr — who commands an enormous following among Iraq’s majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government — also encouraged his followers to attack only American forces, not fellow Iraqis.

I don’t know if it’s true, but it certainly fits; the Iranians love “disappeared” leaders. Their messianic leader is the “vanished Imam;” they “disappeared” bin Laden after he was routed from Afghanistan (he hasn’t even made a virtual appearance for nearly three years, if you’re keeping track) ; and Moqtada has been “disappeared” of late, which would put him in perfect position, Iranian-style, to lead an insurrection.

Don’t overlook the change in terrorist strategy: the attempt to terrify and thus enlist the Iraqi people against the Iraqi government and coalition forces seems to have become counterproductive. Otherwise, why suddenly put the population off limits? That seems important to me.

Michael Ledeen — Michael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

Most Popular

Culture

Jussie Smollett Changes His Story Again

The actor Jussie Smollett continues to talk about the alleged January 29 attack on him during a frigid night in Chicago, giving Good Morning America his fullest description yet of his claims. It differs substantially from what he told police initially after the alleged assault. Smollett told GMA that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

We’ll Regret This

Mitch McConnell says the president will sign the budget deal and he will also declare a national emergency to build the wall, as I expected. We’ll see the legal justifications he uses, but as a political and constitutional matter this is a long-term disaster. Oh, it might be good for Trump according to the ... Read More
White House

The Failure of the Deal

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (But especially Sammie), I had my say on the emergency declaration yesterday, and I’m sure I’ll have to say it all again not very far ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capitalism’s Cold War

The story of capitalism since the 1980s has been that of a kind of cold war between capital and politics. In the decade prior, American government was at the nadir of its prestige and credibility. The so-called War on Poverty, launched with great fanfare and idealism in the late 1960s, quickly collided with ... Read More