Fred Kagan Defends John McCain’s Version of Maliki’s Trip to Iran

Fred Kagan has his ear to the Iraqi street, and he says that the commander of the Iranian Quds brigade asked al-Sadr to “stand down.” The reason al-Maliki went to Iran was to help the Iranian official persuade al-Sadr to give up the fight.

Armchair general Kagan’s “street” analysis is grossly oversimplified. Maliki’s government in fact traveled to Iran to “win the support of the commander of Iran’s Qods brigades” for a cease-fire (revealing his dependence on Iran), to which Sadr agreed. Maliki’s government then issued a statement praising Sadr, after the PM insisted days earlier there would be “no negotiation.”

Earlier in the segment, Lt. Gen. William Odom (ret.) of Yale University explained the possible outcome of the fighting — that the future government in Iraq will not be “one of our allies”:

ODOM: It showed how impossible it is to expect anything productive out of the Maliki government. Let me make a key point about this government: When this is all over, the people in the Green Zone now and the Maliki government will not be in charge. The future successful government in Iraq is not one of our allies. It will be somebody who wins the civil war. And we’re trying to ally with all sides to prevent it.

Today, the press is reporting that Sadr has threatened to end the cease-fire he imposed on his militia last year, “raising the prospect of worsening violence.” Of course, Kagan probably sees this as characteristics of a defeated Sadr.

Oh, and if you don’t buy this, you’re a Sadrist.

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