Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Ceasefire with Mahdi Army Over?

The surge is inching closer to the brink of collapse. In the last week 600 were killed, the government looks even more (if this is possible) unable to stop the violence. Condi's vague Middle East plan looks dead in the water. The waters of the Persian Gulf that is.

And now this on Moqtada al-Sadr:

From NYTimes.
Religious leaders commanded by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr delivered a searing speech at Friday Prayer condemning the American presence in Iraq, while militiamen loyal to Mr. Sadr engaged in street battles against Iraqi Army soldiers in southwestern Baghdad, signaling a possible resurgence of the militia. Mr. Sadr has ordered the Mahdi Army, the militia he controls, to lie low during the early days of the new Baghdad security plan so as not to provoke a direct confrontation with the Americans. With the speech on Friday, which the religious leaders attributed to Mr. Sadr, it appeared that he was continuing to walk a tightrope, not openly defying American and Iraqi government attempts to secure the capital, but still sharply criticizing the United States presence in Iraq.
Sadr has shrewdly called for a massive nonviolent street protest against the American occupation on April 9th, 4th anniversary of the war. Expect Sunni insurgents to target civilians--how easy it will be to get a suicide bomber in the crowd. I'm very worried about this development. The Shia are so close to rising up en masse once more, and this time no going back.

tags technorati :
tags technorati :


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