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About That Successful Surge — Why Now?
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About That Successful Surge

Update: Suddenly the US thinks Muqtada al Sadr is the greatest, most wonderful individual in Iraq, and he has extended the cease fire for six months. The agitprop people are even using his formal title “Sayyid”, rather than “radical cleric”.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Iraq’s Sadr may not extend truce

BAGHDAD — Aides to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr cast doubt Wednesday on his commitment to extending a six-month cease-fire that expires this month, saying U.S. and Iraqi forces had not necessarily earned Sadr’s continued cooperation.

The comments raised the specter of a return to sectarian violence and an upsurge in attacks on U.S. forces at an especially delicate time in the war. The United States is in the process of drawing down the additional 28,500 soldiers it deployed last year and has banked on a continuation of Sadr’s cease-fire to help keep the peace as American troops depart.

But Sadr loyalists have said their foes are taking advantage of the cease-fire to try to crush the movement politically and militarily.

Sadr has been tied up with his graduate studies, but they won’t matter if his forces are defeated. His group has been attacked by the Badr forces, the Iraqi government forces, and US forces, but have been restrained in response. If his representatives announce at Friday prayers that the cease fire will not be extended, all hell is very likely to break out. The US is about to find out that Sadr’s truce was a considerable part of the “success” of the surge, and things will get very dicey in Iraq, especially in Baghdad.


1 fallenmonk { 02.22.08 at 7:46 am }

There has been little or no mention of the cease fire when all the talking heads and chicken hawks have been crowing over the success of the “surge”. It will not be pretty if Sadr’s militia decide it is time to fight again.

2 Bryan { 02.22.08 at 12:09 pm }

They have a huge presence in Baghdad and Basra, so this can get very messy, very quickly, if Sadr wants it to, or if someone decides to provoke him.

There are elections in October and it looks like he intends to run in as many areas as possible, so he needs to demonstrate his “strength”.