Muqtada Al-Sadr continues to attempt to insinuate himself into the political landscape of Iraq through the use of his militia. After being beaten to another stalemate by the Iraqi army he issued another statement threatening all out war if the attacks on his people do not cease. I find it pretty funny that he continues to berate Iraqi and American forces for the deaths of innocents, while he issues statements from IRAN.
“He is still living in Iran. I guess it’s all out war for anybody but him,” Rice told reporters. “His followers can go to their death and he will still be in Iran.”
His statement threatening all out war is especially interesting given that the Iraqi army has taken over Sadr City. Perhaps if he was even in the city, he’d know this.
All it does is point to Sadr’s tactics that have been used since 2004. He uses his militia as a political instrument, threatening to unleash violence if he does not get his way. Even now, in apparent defeat, he tries to paint the defeat as his decision.
Both Mr. Sadr’s office in Basra and the Iraqi general in charge of the operation said there had been little resistance from gunmen there. Aides to Mr. Sadr said that that was because the cleric had ordered his fighters to withdraw. “The Iraqi Army entered Hayaniya and the Mahdi Army did not resist because they made a commitment to obey Moktada al-Sadr’s order,” said Harith al-Athari, the head of the Sadr office in Basra.
Only when the Iraqi government refuses to listen to an insurgent leader living in Iran will the rule of law fully take hold.