Hope in the person of Moqtada al-Sadr?
Posted by bosskitty on May 20, 2007
The movement of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has embarked on one of its most dramatic tactical shifts since the beginning of the war.The 33-year-old populist is reaching out to a broad array of Sunni leaders, from politicians to insurgents, and purging extremist members of his Mahdi Army militia who target Sunnis. Sadr’s political followers are distancing themselves from the fragile Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which is widely criticized as corrupt, inefficient and biased in favor of Iraq‘s majority Shiites.
Is this the attitude we have been waiting for? One can only hope.
In recasting himself, the cleric is responding to popular frustration, a widening Sunni-Shiite rift and political inertia, conditions he helped create. The shift is as much a reaction to U.S. efforts to rein him in as it is an admission of unfulfilled visions. His strategy exposes the strengths and weaknesses of his movement as it pushes for U.S. troops to leave and competes with its Shiite rivals in the contest to shape a new Iraq.
Let’s pay closer attention to what Al Sadr is saying. His Sunni counterpart says:
“The Sadrists believe they have political problems, and they are trying new tactics to serve their own interests,” said Mithal al-Alusi, an independent Sunni legislator. “But anyway, we welcome any political group who wants to talk instead of kill.”
If there is a force that will embody both Islamic factions and become inclusive of the Iraqi populace, then there is actually HOPE and our troops can be removed with more dignity. Sadr’s army is the second largest in Iraq after the US. They will be able to stand against Al Qaeda’s intrusions. This is, of course, wanting to believe Al Sadr’s words. He is offering the US an OUT. At the same time he denounces the corrupt government the US placed in charge of Iraq and cannot seem to control.
Don’t forget, good intentions are worthless without good actions to follow.