Monday, August 20, 2007

Moqtada al-Sadr, still leading in Iraq

You've got to admit this guy is working it. All this chatter about the surge working or not working, all these dog and pony shows in the greedgreen zone. The reports that the Brits will pull out of Basra in Sept/Oct. and he calls a press conference to rub everybodys nose in it.

RADICAL Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has pledged to commit his forces and followers to help the United Nations if it replaces American and British troops in Iraq, according to an interview published today.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper from his movement's headquarters in Kufa, south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Sadr said that he would "support the UN if it comes and replaces the American and British occupiers".

"If the UN comes here to truly help the Iraqi people, they will receive our help in their work. I would ask my followers to support the UN as long as it is here to help us rebuild our country.

"They must not just be another face of the American occupation."

Sadr, who enjoys popular grassroot support among Iraqi Shiites, is a powerful political player in Iraq's embattled government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

His anti-American views have frequently seen his Mahdi Army militia clashing with US soldiers since the US-led March 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Sadr told the newspaper that the British army's downscaling in Iraq was a sign that it had given up and was defeated, saying: "They are retreating because of the resistance they have faced. Without that, they would have stayed for much longer, there is no doubt."
-- Herald Sun

"Yes, I own Basra, I am responsible for weakening Maliki's government, and I will force the U.S. out oh and by the way, i am a moderate who would work with the UN not against them, would you like some mint tea?"

Al-Maliki's government will not survive because he has proven that he will not work with important elements of the Iraqi people ... The prime minister is a tool for the Americans and people see that clearly," he said.

"It will probably be the Americans who decide to change him when they realise he has failed. We don't have a democracy here, we have a foreign occupation.

Sounds like he has a pretty good media consultant. Time to put another bounty on his head.