Thursday, August 12, 2004

Let the Iraqis Handle Sadr

[From Katrina, currently in Iraq, doing contractual oversight work for a U.S. contractor rebuilding Iraqi water, oil, electrical, and irrigation systems at waterside facilities and branch systems, mostly in the Shi'ite area.]

Sadr and his thugs will be finished by Iraqis, not American troops, including many of those who have previously been guarding jobsites in the area, and aren't really trained for the work. It might be a bloody affair, but it's really something that Iraqis need to do for themselves. Sadr has followers, undoubtedly. But he stands in the way of a new Iraq that the majority of Iraqis want. Extremists worldwide may call him a martyr. But for the average Iraqi, he's a violent thorn that provokes violence and stands in the way of peace and prosperity. The primary question for Iraqis is and has been, can they build a new Iraq. They all want it, but what kind of Iraq will it be. Sadr promises violence.

Some people in the U.S. seem to be impressed because a neighborhood protests or erupts, or a thousand or so protest in the south. They don't consider the hundreds of thousands who don't, and basically stay inside hoping it will all be over soon.