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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 20, 2008 / 15 Iyar 5768

Spinning Mookie: Al-Sadr is not as big a deal in Iraq as the U.S. press makes him out to be

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Few foreign leaders have received as favorable news coverage in the United States as has the Moqtada al Sadr, with less factual basis for it.


| Mookie, as our troops call him, is the nominal head of the Mahdi Army, a radical Shia militia, and of the Sadrist political movement, which holds 30 seats (of 275) in the Iraqi parliament.


| The Mahdi Army is more a loose alliance of criminal gangs than a guerrilla force, and it is unclear how much authority Mookie has ever actually exercised over it. But it's clear that Iran — where Mookie has been hiding out — is pulling the strings now.


| The Iranians raised Mookie from relative obscurity in 2004 because they had doubts about the reliability of their primary proxy in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and their leader, Abdul Aziz Hakim. The son of a leading Shia cleric, Mr. Hakim took refuge in Iran in 1980 from Saddam Hussein's wrath. He became a member of the government after Saddam's fall.


| "The Hakims had become too invested in, and integrated within the Iraqi state — their revenues from contracts and trade earned inside Iraq exceeded the overall budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which had funded them previously — and could not be counted on to act as Iran's agents of disorder," wrote Nibras Kazimi in the New York Sun.


| "Whereas the Hakims turned independent as they didn't need Iran anymore, the Sadrists were desperate for arms and training, and Iran was more than willing to accomodate them," said Mr. Kazimi, an Iraqi who is a resident scholar at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C.


| Mookie was the logical choice for figurehead because his father, the Grand Ayatollah Muhammad al Sadr, was Iraq's most prominent Shia cleric when he was murdered by Saddam Hussein in 1999. Iran provided the Mahdi Army with money, arms and military training.


| The last couple of months have been dreadful for Mookie everywhere except on the pages of American newspapers and magazines.


| On March 25, the Iraqi Army began an offensive against the Mahdi Army in the port city of Basra. After a faltering start, Iraqi soldiers and police took control of the city, to the great joy of the overwhelming majority of its inhabitants. This was an embarrassment for American journalists, who had declared the operations in Basra a "catastrophe" for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki.


| When Operation Knights' Charge began in Basra, violence erupted in the Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, but the Mahdi Army there was routed quickly.


| With southern Iraq secure, Prime Minister Maliki moved against al Sadr politically. On April 7, all of Iraq's other political parties joined Mr. Maliki in declaring that the Sadrists would not be permitted to compete in provincial elections unless Mookie disarmed his militia.


| When Mookie equivocated, Iraqi and U.S. forces began military operations against the Mahdi Army's stronghold of Sadr City, a sprawling slum in northeast Baghdad. U.S. engineers are walling off the southern third of Sadr City, which, when completed, will keep the Mahdi Army's mortars and rockets out of range of the Green Zone, and more difficult for them to be resupplied with munitions from Iran. (At this writing, the wall is about 80 percent complete.)


| The sporadic fighting has gone badly for the Mahdi Army, which has lost nearly 600 men in Sadr City. This is why Mookie agreed to a conditional surrender on May 10. The Mahdi Army will cease all attacks. Iraqi government forces can enter Sadr City to serve arrest warrants and seize medium and heavy weapons, though the Sadrists may keep their small arms.


| If the terms are lived up to, the Mahdi Army will have lost its last stronghold in Iraq. But in an amazing reprise of the bogus Basra narrative, some journalists described this conditional surrender as a victory for Mookie.


| "Al Sadr wins another round," said Mark Kukis of Time Magazine. Mookie "is still controlling the agenda tactically and politically," he said.


| A more cautious Alissa Rubin of the New York Times said it was "not clear who won," though the Iraqis she quotes make it clear Mookie didn't.


| "They are suffering a lot of losses and defeats, and they are politically isolated," said Jalaluddin al-Sagheer, a member of parliament.


| Their bylines say "Baghdad." But they may as well have been writing from another planet.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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