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Terrorist Al-Sadr Comes Out Of Hiding In Iraq

From his fans at the Associated Press:


Fiery anti-U.S. cleric reappears in Iraq

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appeared in public for the first time in months on Friday, delivering a fiery anti-American sermon to thousands of followers and demanding U.S. troops leave Iraq.

It was not immediately clear why he chose to return now from Iran to his base in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. His speech had new nationalist overtones, calling on Sunnis to join with him in the fight against the U.S. presence. He also criticized the government’s inability to provide reliable services to its people.

Al-Sadr’s reappearance, four months after he went underground at the start of the U.S.-led Baghdad security crackdown, came as his Mahdi Army lost its commander in the southern city of Basra in a gunbattle with British soldiers, Iraqi police said…

Al-Sadr traveled in a long motorcade from Najaf to the adjacent holy city of Kufa on Friday morning to deliver his sermon before 6,000 worshippers.

No, no for Satan. No, no for America. No, no for the occupation. No, no for Israel,” he chanted in a call and response with the audience at the start of his speech.

He repeated his long-standing call for U.S. forces to leave Iraq.

“We demand the withdrawal of the occupation forces, or the creation of a timetable for such a withdrawal,” he said. “I call upon the Iraqi government not to extend the occupation even for a single day.”

He also condemned fighting between his Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces, saying it “served the interests of the occupiers.” Instead, he said the militia should turn to peaceful protests, such as demonstrations and sit-ins, he said…

Al-Sadr’s associates say his strategy is based partly on a belief that Washington will soon start reducing troop strength, leaving a void in Iraq’s security and political power structure that he can fill…

The timing of Mr. al-Sadr’s reappearance is puzzling. Why now? Does he think he is safe? He should be the number one target of the “surge.”

Al-Sadr traveled in a long motorcade from Najaf to the adjacent holy city of Kufa on Friday morning to deliver his sermon before 6,000 worshippers.

What a target of opportunity.

“We demand the withdrawal of the occupation forces, or the creation of a timetable for such a withdrawal,” he said. “I call upon the Iraqi government not to extend the occupation even for a single day.”

Funny how much al-Sadr sounds like a Democrat.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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