The Right Coast

April 07, 2004
Debka on Second Iraq War
By Tom Smith

Characteristically insightful, if gloomy, assessment from, which has good contacts in the Israeli intelligence community.

The third day of Moqtada Sadr’s radical Shiite uprising saw US-led coalition forces under attack by both Sunnis and Shiites and the first extremely dangerous sign of a merger between the two fronts. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that US-led forces, instead of beginning to get a grip on the armed Shiite militia uprising in Baghdad and four cities, appeared to be letting command slip out their hands. There was little indication of US forces executing the arrest warrant out against the Shiite radical cleric since October. He lost no time in slipping underground, possibly in the Shiite holy city of Najef, with the estimated 3,000-strong hard core of his Medhi Army militia.

The failure to move fast enough to nab Sadr may be as costly as was the escape from capture of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in November 2001and of Saddam Hussein in March 2003. Al-Sadr matches neither in stature. He also represents no more than a splinter faction of the Shiite community. Yet if he proves able lead an effective underground resistance to the coalition for a critical period, he could attract a disproportionately large number of Shiite followers to his flag. It might be enough for him to keep going for another five days to a week without being caught or stopped, for the Americans to find themselves in the midst of a full-blown war.

On our side, however, are the Marines, which is exactly the right force to have opposing this uprising, or whatever you want to call it. According to a San Diego reporter embedded with the Second Marines, they entered Fallajuh yesterday with fixed bayonets, which I consider a very good sign.

I think debka's claims of Iran's involvement are plausible, as is al-Queada's involvement and that of other Arab terror groups. I hope we take this opportunity to confront them and kill as many as possible. The Marines are good at that sort of thing.