Monday, August 09, 2004

Al-Sadar at it Again

Aftering being forced into a cease fire back in June, Muqtada al-Sadr is back at it again. Over three hundred militamen have been killed in The last five days of heavy fighting in the city of Najaf. Ayad Allawi visited Najaf on Sunday calling on an end to the fighting between al-Sadr's militants and U.S forces. However, al-Sadr maintained his intransigency:“I will continue fighting,” he told reporters. “I will remain in Najaf city until the last drop of my blood has been spilled.”

Unfortunately, al-Sadr isn't even willing to consider a negotiated settlement, which could become problematic for U.S forces. al-Sadr's men are disproportionately matched against U.S forces, leading to the general perception of a bloodbath in Najaf. In the process, the Holy city of Najaf is being obliterated, spraking discomfort in some elements of the Shiite majority-- this isn't even to speak of the loss of innocent lives.

The effect this is having, an unwelcome one at that, is that U.S forces seem to be stalemated: The more they persue al-Sadr, the more they destroy the city of Najar and embolden sympathetic Shiites. However, al-Sadr is an opportunistic lout only interested in a cynical power grab. That a majority of Shiites find his continual churlishness unproductive to the cause of a stable and prosperous Iraq is not surprising.

Even if U.S forces wanted to extract al-Sadr, it would come at too great a cost. So for now, even though fighting persists, U.S forces will be restrained in the action they take in Najaf--stalemated, for now.


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