Saturday, June 14, 2008


From Bahrain's Gulf Daily News ...

It looks like Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr is going to break with the U.S. permamanently once the UN mandate expires at the end of the year. The hardliner is gearing up for a prolonged U.S. presence in Iraq by setting up a new force to battle US troops, commenting: "We will not stop resisting the occupation until liberation or martyrdom." His Mahdi Militia Army counts in with 60,000+ troops.

Now, I'm not an expert in Middle East politics. But if Al Sadr's Mahdi Army is gearing up to go after U.S. troops after the UN mandate expires doesn't this suggest that the mess in Iraq is not simply driven by Al Qaeda, or other extremist elements? (something those of us in the reality based world already know). And if someone as popular as Moqtada Al Sadr is gearing up to confront U.S. troops in Iraq, what does this tell us about Sen. McCain's plan for keeping us in Iraq indefinitely?

But it appears that things may only get worse.

While the fight against US troops will be waged by Al Sadr's new group, Al Sadr also understands that he needs to address other issues in Iraq if he is going to maintain his position (part of that "hearts & minds" stuff Bush ignores). In a statement that was read at mosques in the holy Shi'ite town of Kufa Al Sadr stated that other members of his organization will "take on a social and religious role."

Fighting foreign occupiers and providing social relief ... It looks like Al Sadr is gearing up to become Iraq's Supreme Political Warlord of the 21st Century. And our presence gives him all the tools he needs.

- Mark

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