Tuesday, 7 June 2011

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Mehdi Army

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WELCOME TO THIS PAGE

This page is designed to give information about The Mehdi Army.

This is a group of armed men in Iraq who fought running battles with U.S. military from 2003 to 2008. The Mehdi Army was led by Shia religious leader Seyyed Moktada Al Sadr.

We have presented photos in different series, as well as media news archives which give an account of the war between American forces and the Mehdi Army in Iraq.

We hope this page will be informative about an important historical events after the invasion of Iraq by President Bush of the United States in March 2003.

Thank you.

Further reading:

"Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq" - By: Patrick Cockburn London, 2008)


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Kill or Caprture

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Arrest or Death

AMERICAN GENERAL VOWS TO FINSIH SHIA REBEL

U.S. Pledge to Arrest or Kill Shia Cleric

Rory McCarthy in Baghdad, Owen Bowcott and Sarah Hall
The Guardian, Tuesday 13 April 2004 01.33 BST

The US military last night vowed to "kill or capture" a radical Shia cleric who led an uprising against the occupation authorities, despite warnings that it would unleash yet more violent unrest.

"The mission of US forces is to kill or capture Moqtada al-Sadr," said Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, America's most senior general in Iraq. His threat comes despite concerted efforts by leading Iraqi politicians to negotiate a deal between the authorities and Mr Sadr, 30, whose forces in the past week have led rebellions in Baghdad and towns across southern Iraq.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/apr/13/usa.iraq


U.S. - "Al Sadr Wanted Dead or Alive"

Troops remain under attack in Baghdad

TELEGRAPH - 12 April 2004, 4:35PM BST

The US military has said it will kill or capture radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who incited his supporters to rise up against the coalition in cities across Iraq.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1459087/Sadr-wanted-dead-or-alive.html

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US Justification

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Killing terrorist chieftains is legal

Alan M. Dershowitz - Friday, April 23, 2004

The United States Army was recently given a highly specific military order. According to the top US commander in Iraq, Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, the
mission is to kill radical Shi'ite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

This order to target al-Sadr for extrajudicial killing is perfectly legitimate and lawful under the laws of war. Al-Sadr is a combatant, and it is proper to kill a combatant during an ongoing war unless he surrenders first. It doesn't matter whether the combatant is a cook or bomb maker, a private or a general. Nor does it matter whether he wears an army uniform, a three-piece suit, or a kaffiyeh. So long as he is in the chain of command, he is an appropriate target, regardless of whether he is actually engaged in combat at the time he is killed or is fast asleep. Of course, his killing would be extrajudicial. Military attacks against combatants are not preceded by jury trials or judicial warrants.

Al-Sadr fits squarely into any reasonable definition of combatant. He leads a militia that has declared war on American and coalition forces, as well as on civilians, both foreign and Iraqi. He is at the top of the chain of command, and it is he who presses the on-off button for the killings. Like Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar Mohammed, he is a proper military target, so long as he can be killed without disproportional injury to non-combatants.

If American forces can capture him, they are permitted that option as well, but they are not required - under the laws of war - to endanger the lives of their soldiers in order to spare Al-Sadr's life. Indeed, unless Al-Sadr were to surrender, it is entirely lawful for American troops to kill him rather than to capture him - if it were decided that this was tactically advantageous.

Although US commanders mentioned capture along with killing as an option, it may well be preferable not to capture Al-Sadr, for fear that his imprisonment would stimulate even more hostage-taking in an attempt to exchange hostages for Al-Sadr. The order to kill or capture him may well be a euphemism for "kill him unless he surrenders first" (as Saddam Hussein did).

The world seems to understand and accept the American decision to target Al-Sadr for killing, as it accepts our belated decision to try to kill Bin Laden and Mullah Omar Mohammed. There has been little international condemnation of America's policy of extrajudicial killing of terrorist leaders. Indeed, the predominant criticism has been that we didn't get Bin Laden and Mullah Omar Mohammed before September 11.

How then to explain the world's very different reaction to Israel's decision to target terrorist leaders, such as Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the former leaders of Hamas. Surely, there is no legal or moral difference between Yassin and Rantisi on the one hand, and Al-Sadr on the other. Yassin and Rantisi both personally ordered terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, approved them in advance, and praised them when they succeeded.

Each was responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths and was involved in ordering and planning more terrorist attacks at the times of their timely deaths. They were terrorist commanders, just as Al-Sadr was. They were both killed, along with their military bodyguards, in a manner that minimized civilian casualties, despite the fact that they generally - and unlawfully - hid among civilians, using them as human shields.

Israel waited until they, and their fellow terrorist guards, were alone and then targeted them successfully. There was no realistic possibility of capturing them alive, since they had sworn to die fighting; and any attempt to extirpate them from the civilians among whom they were hiding would have resulted in numerous civilian casualties. (Israel does try to capture terrorist commanders in the West Bank, where it has large numbers of troops on the ground; but it employs targeted killings in Gaza, where it has a far more limited military presence.)

Reasonable people can disagree about whether the decision to target Yassin, Rantisi, Al-Sadr, Bin Laden, or any other terrorist is tactically wise or unwise, or whether it will have the effect of reducing or increasing the dangers to civilians. But no reasonable argument can be made that the decision to target these combatants - these terrorist commanders - is unlawful under the laws of war or under international law.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was simply wrong when he declared that targeted assassinations of this kind - specifically referring to the killing of Yassin and Rantisi - are unlawful and in violation of international law. And he knows it because his own government has authorized the killing of terrorist leaders who threaten British interests.

I challenge Straw to distinguish Israel's killing of Yassin and Rantisi from the coalition's targeting of Al- Sadr, Saddam Hussein and his sons, Osama bin Laden, and Mullah Omar Mohammed.

He could not do so. Any claims that Hamas is divided into military and political (or religious) wings is belied by the fact that Yassin and Rantisi both ordered the military wing of Hamas to engage in acts of terrorism and approved specific murderous acts in advance.

If Straw cannot distinguish these situations, then does he disapprove of the American policy of killing Al- Sadr? If British troops were to have Al-Sadr - or, for that matter, Bin Laden - in their sights, would they hold their fire because Straw has told them it would be illegal to pull the trigger?

We have a right to know the answers to these questions, since American and British troops are supposedly operating under the same rules of engagement. Or would Straw simply (and honestly) say he is not applying the same rules to Israel as he is to his own nation and its military allies?

The international community cannot retain any credibility if it continues to apply a different, and more demanding, standard to Israel than it does to more powerful nations.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/dershowitz/Articles/killingterrorists.html

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Al Sadr








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