The Sadr militia, like any armed force, has challenges with retention and recruiting. One of their most effective tools is an extremely successful series of pop songs. These were recently outlawed by Maliki, but are still easily available. Here's the lyrics for one of these songs, translated into English:
I am the IED
If an armored vehicle passes, I will blow it up
If I get thirsty, I will drink blood from a Hummer
If an armored vehicle passes, it is suicidal
I will become a volcano if a soldier passes
And if a Hummer passes, I will erase it
If the IED will be added to the [rocket-propelled grenade] launcher, the battle day will be stormy
The IED rises with the ground and the Sadr love goes in my pulse
I will plant my eyes for the country
I will tighten my belt in the difficult days
The Hummer starts crying blood
Nobody can dry the Hummer blood
If the Hummer steps on me, we will reach the stars
To American ears, these lyrics are so ridiculous that one's first reaction is that it's a put-on, a joke that someone is playing. But it is not – and if you read the words carefully, putting yourself in the context of a Sadr militia member who finds these lyrics inspiring, then you'll find them very chilling indeed. You can read more of these lyrics, and even view some music videos.
The first thing I thought of, when reading these lyrics, was some of the poems I've read that the Japanese Kamakazi pilots carried in World War II. They smack of the same sort of fanaticism, the (to Americans) alien notion that suicidal attacks in a war were not only acceptable, but desirable, honorable, and attractive.
Then I reflected, for the upteenth time, on the existential nature of the war on terror. Our enemy wants to kill us. They're not interested in negotiation, compromise, treaties, etc. They just want us dead.
But all too many Americans don't seem to understand that...