Key Iraqi cleric and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr has continued with demonstrations against the possible continuation of the US military presence past December. Hundreds of thousands of Sadrists have marched in Baghdad alone over the weekend.
Sadr also issued a statement that was said to include a threat to return to “armed resistance” if the US tries to continue its military presence beyond the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) deadline.
The comments came in the wake of a multi-day visit by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, during which Gates pressed for Iraq to endorse a continued presence and suggested that the US might stay in Iraq for years.
Sadr has repeatedly opposed the US occupation, and the only way his bloc agreed to endorse the SOFA in late 2008 was with the promise of a referendum on the presence, which never came. Now, his increasingly strong faction poses a serious political threat to the Obama Administration’s stated intention of keeping troops in Iraq in 2012 and beyond.
5 thoughts on “Sadr Warns US Against Staying in Iraq”
Never let it be said that Uncle Scam will abide by anything unless he is bleeding from his eye balls. Sadr is damn well within his rights to be pissed and at least he's letting the "clueless" have a heads up warning. All hell will break loose if the lunatics at 1600 Penn push to stay beyond their welcome.
Mr.Sadr is the Shining Light to freedom and dignity respecting people everywhere
Though I'm fairly sure Observator meant this tongue in cheek, it's actually true. After all, he's an arch enemy of the US, the neo-cons, and the Zionists. That's a helluva recommendation right there.
The question that is not getting a clear answer:
Even from an Imperial standpoint, how does extending our stay Iraq beyond the SOFA deadling is justified from a cost-benefit standpoint?
For example, it has not benefited us in terms of favorable oil exploration/exploitation leases; it has not brought us the respect or even acceptance of the Iraqi people; it has not helped our exporters of goods and services; it has not helped our companies to set up operations there; it has not intimidated, let alone endear us to, Iraq's neighbors (Iran has demonstrated by its continued pursuit of nuclear fuel enrichment that it was not intimidated by our threats); it has not prevented people in our Clients' countries in the Middle East from rising against our patrons (their oppressors), etc.
If I was an Iraqi, Sunni or Shi'a or whatever, I'd probably have to be siding with Sadr as well on this- it's becoming clear to the Iraqi street what we've been telling them all along: you cannot trust the US government or the military honor it's agreements in the Middle East, except where it concerns Israel. The US has probably NEVER had a plan for total withdrawal despite what spokespeople say on the nightly news. There's just too much money at stake, and the influence on the US government from Israel is far too great for Joe Politician to make any real headway getting our sons and daughters (and wives and husbands, and grandmothers and grandfathers) out of that region of the world.
So, at this point with Sadr once again staking out his position in no uncertain terms we are setting the stage for the next act in the blood-soaked tragi-comedy that we call ' spreading democracy '.
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