Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another open invitation?

Omar of Iraq the Model wonders aloud at Pajamas Media about the meaning behind Moqtada Al-Sadr's recent pull-out of the Iraqi government:

What I think is that Sadr is making a decision in which he plan[s] to switch from half-government-half opposition status to all-out opposition.

This has not been declared explicitly so far.

Why? Because while Sadr’s followers are still quite strong, whether in the political wing or in the Mehdi army, they haven’t and appear incapable of acheiving[sic] the level of exclusive dominance they aspire to. They can make serious trouble and occupy the streets for a while when they want, but those periods of time aren’t enough for them anymore.

Thus far, the results of the war between Sadr on one side and the government and the coalition on the other side - particularly in the southern part of the country- have been a disappointment for Sadr. It’s likely that he’s considering adopting a new approach by openly declaring his party in the opposition.

If that is the case, I would reiterate the point I made here. The Mahdi Army and Sadr are a road-block to stabilization in Iraq; a roadblock that must be removed. In fact, as B Dubya says clearly, one that should have been removed years ago. With that, I concur.

Adequate security to foster the necessary political developments means killing the insurgency over time. But it also means that the vigilantism of the militias can no longer--or at least should no longer--be tolerated.

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