Monday, August 16, 2004

InstaDouchebag Part IIII - Douchebags On Ice

Anybody remember this from back in May?

ANOTHER BAD DAY for the increasingly irrelevant Sadr.


While the pundits blather, the Army seems to be doing a pretty good job of isolating him and wearing him down.

Once again, the professor has proven to be the most prescient opinion-monger on the web; while others blather, he produces salient commentary. That the man chooses to walk among mere mortals -- rather than ascending Mount Olympus to take his rightful seat alongside mighty Zeus -- is simply another indicator of his benign greatness.

Oh wait.

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - With his militants and human shields holed up inside one of Shi'ite Islam's most sacred shrines, radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is playing a shrewd waiting game before an expected American-led offensive.

Sadr's militiamen were inside the Imam Ali shrine and positioned along alleyways and on rooftops with a seemingly endless supply of AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades intermittently fired at U.S. troops in a nearby cemetery.

But it was about 2,000 impassioned Iraqi civilian "volunteers" cheering Sadr in the marble-floored courtyard of the mosque who made the biggest show of force Monday.

Traveling to Najaf from across Iraq, they are swelling the ranks of Sadr's supporters and could be another reason why U.S. troops may think twice before storming the shrine.


The volunteers said they had no serious military training. But they seem ready to pick up an AK-47 rifle or use any means to try to block an advance by U.S. tanks positioned in neighborhoods near the shrine.

"I will lie on the ground in front of the tanks, or I will kill the Americans to defend Sadr and Najaf," said Fadil Hamed, 30, standing among a group of men who said they walked to Najaf from the southern city of Basra.


As gunfire crackled around the shrine, two large water delivery trucks suggested Sadr and his followers were digging in for the long haul.

Teenage boys with grenades strapped to their backs take cover in small alleyways beside shuttered shops.

The consequences of a raid by Iraqi security forces or Americans that seriously damages the mosque or harms Sadr are clear in the tense streets of Najaf.

"The Americans are applying military pressure on us to try and make us weak so they can get concessions. It will not happen. We are ready to fight and we are very patient," said Shaibani.