'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Crushing the Sadrists Then and Now 

From a recent post on Informed Comment:

The serial pleas for US soldiers to sacrifice their lives in Iraq, and the preference for them to fight guerrillas by inflicting massive civilian casualties through aerial and tank bombardment of residential neighborhoods, seem to me to rest on thinner and thinner grounds.

First, Iraqi expatriate politicians alleged that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that threatened the US and was linked to al-Qaeda. And he had killed large numbers of Kurds, and of Shiites in East Baghdad and Najaf.

But after he was overthrown and captured, it turned out that there was no WMD or al-Qaeda connecton. Then the Sadrist Shiites proved hard to control, and the United States was called upon to kill thousands of them and to bombard Sadr City, Kut, Najaf and other places, killing rebellious Shiites just as Saddam had done. So in retrospect was Saddam's crushing of the Sadrist uprising in 1999 really different from the US crushing of the same movement in 2004?

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