Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shiite Cleric al-Sadr Powerful as Ever

For whatever reason, Iraq's defiant Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr went to ground last February. But he and his Mahdi Army are still calling the shots as far as the enormous Shiite faction in Iraq is concerned. In a written statement yesterday, Al-Sadr withdrew his six ministers from the Iraqi cabinet because the government had refused to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops. This is a major complication for George Bush and his flunky government in Iraq who thought they could shut Al-Sadr down, or at least shut him up by giving him a stake in Iraq’s political future. But Al-Sadr, in Iraq or out of Iraq, keeps sticking a finger in George Bush’s eye. He called for a protest march on Monday to demand the resignation of the governor of Basra Province. And last week he called for a protest of tens of thousands in Shiite Najaf to demand that the American military get out of Iraq. Al-Sadr may have any number of reasons for keeping a low profile and/or for staying out of Iraq, but fear of the US so-called surge in Baghdad is not one of them. Shoring up Baghdad security has been one of the bigger failures of the Bush administration’s war. Not only has Bush not been able to protect the people he victimized in Baghdad, but also he is powerless against the influence of a Shiite cleric who isn’t even physically present in Iraq. And this latest demand by Al-Sadr that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government (read, George Bush’s government) set a timetable for American withdrawal, is coming at exactly the same time as many Democrats and some Republicans in Congress are demanding exactly the same thing from President Bush. George Bush and Senator John McCain say we’re making progress in Iraq. It’s becoming ever more clear that they mean progress toward a total pullout.

1 comment:

merjoem32 said...

McCain is hoping that Iraq will improve so that he can impress voters. However, many believe that John McCain on Iraq is a doomed cause. It is clear to many that the troops have to pull out of Iraq.