Theodore's World: Sadr Re-emerges In Iraq, Bolder Than Ever

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July 19, 2007

Sadr Re-emerges In Iraq, Bolder Than Ever

Displaced Shiites who were forced to leave predominantly Sunni neighborhoods around Baghdad and move into the Shiite district of Shuala waiting for assistance at a distribution center run by Sadr's organization.

Sadr re-emerges in Iraq, bolder than ever
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BAGHDAD: After months of lying low, the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr has re-emerged with a shrewd two-tiered strategy that reaches out to Iraqis on the street and distances him from the increasingly unpopular government.

Sadr and his political allies have largely disengaged from government, thus contributing to the political paralysis noted in a White House report last week. That outsider status has enhanced Sadr's appeal to Iraqis, who consider politics less and less relevant to their daily lives.

Sadr has been working tirelessly to build support at the grass roots, opening new storefront offices across Baghdad and southern Iraq that dispense services that are not being provided by the government. In this he seems to be following the model established by Hezbollah, the radical Lebanese Shiite group, as well as Hamas in Gaza, with entwined social and military wings that serve as a parallel government.

He has also extended the reach of his Mahdi army, one of the armed groups that the White House report acknowledged remain entrenched in Iraq. The militia has effectively taken over vast swaths of the capital and is fighting government troops in several southern provinces. Although the militia sometimes uses brutal tactics, including death squads, many vulnerable Shiites are grateful for the protection it affords.

At the same time, the Mahdi army is not entirely under Sadr's control, and he publicly denounces the most notorious killers fighting in his name. That frees him to extend an olive branch to Sunni Arabs and Christians, while championing the Shiite identity of his political base.

Wild Thing's comment........

Good, let him get bolder, and when his fat ass steps outside from hiding we have a .50 caliber bullet with his name on it. You won’t live to see Rama-lama-ding-dong this year pork boy.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 19, 2007 12:45 AM


Every time I hear that name, I ask myself why he isn't part of some landfill. Gonna mess around and let him become the next Castro, Khomeini, etc.

Posted by: raz0r at July 19, 2007 07:37 PM

razOr, I agree, he will be at least so far one of the bad decisions that was made to let him live.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 20, 2007 12:16 AM