If Barak Obama is elected US President, the Mahdi Army and other criminal/terror groups in Iraq will have it made. The people of Iraq will simply have to go back to being irrelevant peasants--as they have always been in Obama's eyes.
At the peak of the militia’s control last summer, it was involved at all levels of the local economy, taking money from gas stations, private minibus services, electric switching stations, food and clothing markets, ice factories, and even collecting rent from squatters in houses whose owners had been displaced. The four main gas stations in Sadr City were handing over a total of about $13,000 a day, according to a member of the local council.Criminal extortion looks the same, whether it is being done by the Mahdi Army, the Sandinistas, Hugo Chavez' FARC, Vladimir Putin, Kwame Kilpatrick, Evo Morales, or Robert Mugabe. The cheap punk way of oppressing ordinary people is the way of the criminal thug.
“It’s almost like the old Mafia criminal days in the United States,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, an Army engineer rebuilding Sadr City’s main market.
Um Hussein, a mother of 10 in Sadr City, the largest Shiite district in the capital and one of the poorest, said her family’s fuel bill had dropped so far that she could afford to buy one of her daughters a pair of earrings with the savings. Others interviewed listed simpler purchases that had now become possible: tomatoes, laundry detergent, gasoline.
One young man said that even though his house was right across from a distribution center that sold cooking gas, he was not allowed to buy it there at state prices, but instead was forced to wait for a militia-affiliated distributor who sold it at higher prices.
“We had to get our share of the cooking gas from Mahdi Army people,” Um Hussein said. “Now, everything is available. We are free to buy what we want.”
Before, the Mahdi Army controlled the 12 trucks that made daily deliveries of cooking gas canisters for the district, because the leader of the Sadr City district council, who was affiliated with the militia, was the one who handled the trucks’ documents.
“We had no idea when they were coming or where they were going,” the council member said, referring to the trucks.
Those who questioned the militia’s authority were dealt with harshly. A gas station worker from Kadhimiya recalled a man in his 60s being beaten badly for refusing to pay the inflated gas price last year. _NYT
Obama comes from the Chicago south side, a haven for criminal thugs and extortionists. Perhaps he has a soft spot in his heart for thugs such as the Mahdi Army, or considers them "his type of people?"