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Monday, August 23, 2004

Read this account of the situation in Najaf.

An excerpt...

"It appears to me that in April and May we killed the best and brightest [of the Mahdi army]," 1st Lt. Brian Suits of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Najaf, said during a radio interview with talk-radio host Kirby Wilbur on Seattle's KVI radio, last Thursday. "What al Sadr is doing now is sending in the guys who are left behind to make a statement. He's running out of guys. The guys he has are frankly running out of motivation. There are ill-prepared and ill-trained. They are beginning to question their authority. I think they're saying 'wait a minute, you told us that God was going to guide our bullets, but we haven't killed one American soldier in our area and we are dying left and right here.'"

Suits added, "This is not a Shia uprising. It's just the people we are fighting happen to be Shia. But 99 percent of this country think this guy needs to get out of the holiest place in Shia Islam and fight his war somewhere else."

According to Suits, the vast majority of the Arabic-language news outlets in Iraq, "except Al Jazeera," are making the point that al Sadr is hiding behind the American respect for Shia Islam. Iraqis, now granted never-before-realized freedoms, are refusing to buy into the propaganda of the past.

"They're seeing one reality with their own eyes, then they turn to Al Jazeera and see something far different," said Suits, adding that Iraqis also know that many of the remaining Mahdi militiamen are "thugs, thieves, and drug addicts."


.: posted by Dave 2:03 PM

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