When I saw that the movement led by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was the big winner in Iraq’s recent elections, my heart kind of sank. I don’t really care one way or the other about him, but I thought of all the American troops who fought and saw comrades die trying to corral him back in the spring of 2004, and I wondered what they thought.
So I asked around. Here are the responses I got from veterans and some others:
Bill Edmonds, Army Special Forces: “It's like all of the pain and loss were for nothing. Very similar to how I felt when Daesh retook Mosul. But in the case of Daesh, Iraq didn't have a choice. Sadr, however, killed Americans; his rise is a betrayal.”
Brian Berrey, a retired Navy SEAL: “Way too complex and in-depth for any American to grasp unless they were there and remember the kidnappings, bombings/counter bombings, and operated outside the wire (i.e. not FOBits) or lived in the red zone.”
Another security contractor: “The Sunnis aren’t going to like it.”
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba: “This was inevitable.”
Babak Rahimi, director of the Program for the Study of Religion and Third World Studies, University of California-San Diego: “I'm not surprised at all. He has been working for this victory since 2007. He finally did it. But more important are his new ties to Iran and his diplomatic clout in the region.”
Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni: “An answer to Iran's prayers.”
Retired Army Gen. Sean MacFarland, after stating that Sadr may not prevail in post-election bargaining: “Who would support Sadr from outside Iraq given his hostility toward both Iran and the West? The only two candidates are Russia and China. Neither would be good. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
U.S. Air Force officer passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen's Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defenses had brought down a U.S. drone.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.
An E-2D Hawkeye assigned to the Bluetails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 lands on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Will Hardy)
Nobody can be told what The Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself.
More than two decades after The Matrix showed the world what the future of the sci-fi action flick could look like, Warner Bros. Pictures plans on producing a fourth installment of the groundbreaking epic saga, Variety first reported on Tuesday.
Sailors from Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 1 conduct category III qualifications on the M2A1 heavy machine gun at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. CRS-1 is qualifying for future mobilization requirements. (U.S. Navy/Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kenji Shiroma)
The Navy is considering giving Ma Deuce a quiet new update.