Hogan's Alley

Monday, April 16, 2007

Moktada al-Sadr Joins Calls For Specific Date For US Withdrawal

Pool photo by Ali Abbas from the NY Times

The six Ministers of the Iraqi government of Nuri al-Malaki who are loyal to the radical Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, today resigned from the government. According to Edward Wong in the NY Times:

Legislators working for Mr. Sadr said that Mr. Sadr was withdrawing his ministers from the 38-member cabinet because the Iraqi government had refused to set a timetable for pulling American troops out of the country.

The move is the first time Mr. Sadr has followed through with a threat to cut some of his ties with the government and with Mr. Maliki, a conservative Shiite whose grip on authority largely rests on Mr. Sadr’s political support.

In this respect, it seems that al-Sadr and his people share with most Democrats and many others in America the view that the withdrawal of US troops by a date certain is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

That alone doesn't make the concept wrong. But it surely should lead to some assessment of the reasons that the goals of the Shiite radicals in Iraq and those in America oppose to Bush's policy are congruent. Clearly both parties cannot have the best interests of the United States in mind. Let us not forget that al-Sadr recently ordered his followers to attack and resist American forces.

al-Sadr claims that he has withdrawn his ministers, note the absolute control he exercises over these civilly elected officials, so that al-Malaki can appoint others, more compatible with the makeup of the balance of the cabinet. How magnanimous.

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