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Al-Sadr Drops Out Of Politics ‘Due To Failures’

From the Chicago Tribune:

Sadr takes break from politics, cites failures

By Liz Sly

March 8, 2008

Iraq’s elusive Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has decided to drop out of politics for the time being because his disillusionment with the political scene in Iraq has left him sick and anxious, he said in an unusually personal letter to his followers released Friday.

In a written response to a query from a group of followers asking why he hadn’t been seen in public for so long, Sadr said he had decided to devote himself to a period of study, reflection and prayer after failing in his core mission to rid Iraq of the U.S. occupation or to turn it into an Islamic society.

He also cited the betrayal of some followers, whom he accused of falling prey to “materialistic” politics.

“So far I did not succeed either to liberate Iraq or make it an Islamic society — whether because of my own inability or the inability of society, only God knows,” Sadr wrote.

“The continued presence of the occupiers, on the one hand, and the disobedience of many on the other, pushed me to isolate myself in protest. I gave society a big proportion of my life. Even my body became weaker, I got more sicknesses.”

His last public statement came two weeks ago, when he renewed the six-month cease-fire that has been credited with helping bring down the levels of violence in Iraq…

Sadr’s chief spokesman, Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, disputed suggestions that the letter’s doleful tone suggested Sadr is contemplating a prolonged absence from politics.

“He remains actively involved in the political field and will return when the time is right,” al-Obeidi said, citing the fact that most members of the Mahdi Army have obeyed the cease-fire order as evidence that Sadr commands their loyalty…

What great news.

But let’s hope he’s actually dead.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 9th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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