Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mr. al-Sadr Leaves Baghdad

If I sound like I am repeating myself in these articles at times it is for two reasons: 1) the information being repeated needs to be emphasized and 2) the same stupid shit keeps happening. So today, six ministers of the Iraqi Cabinet who are loyal followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr resigned in protest to the government's refusal to support a pull-out date for the U.S. With tens of thousands of Iraqis marching only a couple of weeks ago in protest to the U.S. occupation and now the resignation of six ministers of the Cabinet, the Iraqi people are getting fed up with us being there. And the majority of Americans recently feel the same way. The U.S. military has become yet another road block in Iraq's progress toward peace.
With the resignation of those six ministers, al-Sadr has shown he still has a firm grip on the Shiite community as a powerful leader. The U.S. has brushed this off suggesting that it will go fairly unnoticed and the government will remain intact. Meanwhile, Iraqis within the government fear that this is a huge setback. As al-Sadr continues to defy the U.S. and Iraqi government for supporting the occupation, he has been slandered more now by these two governments than ever before. The Associated Press wrote that "Forty-two victims of sectarian murders were found in Baghdad the past two days...U.S. and Iraqi officials have blamed much sectarian violence on Shiite death squads associated with the Mahdi Army [of al-Sadr]." But also, "The brazen nature of the targets of the attacks are similar to previous assaults that blamed on al-Qaida fighters..." With so much violence in Iraq, it is difficult to determine who is to be blamed for what.
I hope that al-Sadr is not merely blamed for the violence because he defies the "powers that be". After all, al-Sadr helped Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki get to power and now that he is in that position he has turned his loyalties from his people and toward the U.S. which is helping him keep that power. We should all hope that bias on politics does not promote slanderous propaganda on al-Sadr and that focus aim more toward diplomacy. Though al-Sadr is an enemy of the U.S. occupation he is a pivotal ally in peace within Iraq.

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