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Old 04-20-2008, 02:30 AM  
Taco John Taco John is offline
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Al Sadr threatens "open war until liberation" to/from the Iraqi Government

"So I am giving my final warning ... to the Iraqi government ... to take the path of peace and abandon violence against its people," al-Sadr said. "If the government does not refrain ... we will declare an open war until liberation."



Anti-US cleric al-Sadr threatens new uprising in Iraq

ROBERT H. REID | April 19, 2008 08:39 PM EST

BAGHDAD — Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gave a "final warning" to the government Saturday to halt a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown against his followers or he would declare "open war until liberation."

A full-blown uprising by al-Sadr, who led two rebellions against U.S.-led forces in 2004, could lead to a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq at a time when the Sunni extremist group al-Qaida in Iraq appears poised for new attacks after suffering severe blows last year.

Al-Sadr's warning appeared on his Web site as Iraq's Shiite-dominated government claimed success in a new push against Shiite militants in the southern city of Basra. Fighting claimed 14 more lives in Sadr City, the Baghdad stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

Fighting in Sadr City and the crackdown in Basra are part of a government campaign against followers of al-Sadr and Iranian-backed Shiite splinter groups that the U.S. has identified as the gravest threat to a democratic Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also a Shiite, has ordered al-Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army, Iraq's biggest Shiite militia, or face a ban from politics.

In the statement, al-Sadr lashed back, accusing the government of selling out to the Americans and branding his followers as criminals.

Al-Sadr, who is believed to be in Iran, said he had tried to defuse tensions last August by declaring a unilateral truce, only to see the government respond by closing his offices and "resorting to assassinations."

"So I am giving my final warning ... to the Iraqi government ... to take the path of peace and abandon violence against its people," al-Sadr said. "If the government does not refrain ... we will declare an open war until liberation."

Al-Sadr's statements came as al-Qaida in Iraq announced a one-month offensive against U.S. troops. In a new audiotape released on a militant Web site, a man claiming to be the purported leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, called on followers to attack U.S. soldiers and members of awakening councils, Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents who changed sides and are now fighting al-Qaida.

A week of violence has raised concerns that suspected Sunni insurgents are regrouping in the north. U.S. and Iraqi troops have stepped up security operations in Mosul, believed to be one of the last urban strongholds of al-Qaida in Iraq.

U.S. officials say the awakening councils and al-Sadr's truce were instrumental in reducing violence last year. But the truce is in tatters after Iraqi forces launched an offensive last month against "criminal gangs and militias" in the southern city of Basra.

The conflict spread rapidly to Baghdad, where Shiite militiamen based in Sadr City fired rockets at the U.S.-protected Green Zone, killing at least four Americans. U.S. officials say many of the rockets fired at the Green Zone were manufactured in Iran.

The Iranians helped mediate a truce March 30, which eased clashes in Basra and elsewhere in the Shiite south. But fighting persisted in Baghdad as U.S. and Iraqi forces sought to push militiamen beyond the range where they could fire rockets and mortars at the Green Zone.

The Americans are attempting to seal off much of Sadr City, home to an estimated 2.5 million people, and have used helicopter gunships and Predator drones to fire missiles at militiamen seeking refuge in the sprawling slum of northeast Baghdad.

At a news conference Saturday, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad said his government supports the Iraqi move against "lawbreakers in Basra" but that the "insistence of the Americans to lay siege" to Sadr City "is a mistake."

"Lawbreakers (in Basra) must be held accountable ... but the insistence of the Americans to lay siege to millions of people in a specific area and then bombing them randomly from air and damaging property is not correct," Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi said.

Qomi warned that the American strategy in Sadr City "will lead to negative results for which the Iraqi government must bear responsibility."

At least 14 people were killed and 84 wounded in Saturday's fighting in Sadr City, police and hospital officials said. Sporadic clashes were continuing after sundown, with gunmen darting through the streets, firing at Iraqi police and soldiers who have taken the lead in the fighting.

The U.S. military said its forces in Sadr City killed seven "criminals" _ two in gunbattles and five in two separate airstrikes. The military said it does not engage if civilians are spotted in the area.

According to the Interior Ministry, at least 280 Iraqis have been killed in Sadr City fighting since March 25, including gunmen, security forces and civilians.

In Basra, Iraq's second largest city about 340 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers backed by British troops pushed their way into Hayaniyah, the local stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi militia.

As the operation got under way, British cannons and American warplanes pounded an empty field near Hayaniyah as a show of force "intended to demonstrate the firepower available to the Iraqi forces," said British military spokesman Maj. Tom Holloway.

Last month, Iraqi troops met fierce resistance when they tried to enter Hayaniyah. On Saturday, however, Iraqi soldiers moved block by block, searching homes, seizing weapons and detaining suspects.

Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan said he expected the whole area to be secured by Sunday. He said troops had detained a number of suspects but refused to give details until the area was cleared.

The fighting in both Basra and Baghdad is part of a campaign by al-Maliki, a Shiite, to break the power of Shiite militias, especially al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and improve security in southern Iraq before provincial elections this fall.

Al-Sadr's followers believe the campaign is aimed at weakening their movement to prevent it from winning provincial council seats at the expense of Shiite parties that work with the United States in the national government.

Tensions between the Sadrists and other Shiite parties have been rising for months before the Basra crackdown and escalated after parliament last month approved a new law governing the provincial elections.

Clashes also broke out near Nasiriyah, a Shiite city about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, leaving at least 22 people dead, police said. A curfew was clamped on the town of Suq al-Shiyoukh, where the fighting broke out between police and al-Sadr's followers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said an American soldier was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Salahuddin province. The military did not release the soldier's name, pending notification of family.

The military also said Saturday that an Army Special Forces soldier was killed by a burst of small-arms fire while trying to capture an al-Qaida leader in an Iraqi town.

Staff Sgt. Jason L. Brown, 29, was killed early Thursday during a combat operation in Sama Village, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a statement.

At least 4,039 members of the U.S. military have now died since the war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/0...e_n_97571.html
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #2
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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If al Sadr isn't willing to join the Iraqi government and work out a political settlement, then his influence will have to be dealt with by force. The sooner the better, IMO. His previous rebellions haven't been very successful. I don't see any reason to believe he'd be any more so this time around.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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I'd be interested to know what the common Shiite on the street feels about Sadr. This could a defining moment in Iraqi history. Good or bad.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If al Sadr isn't willing to join the Iraqi government and work out a political settlement, then his influence will have to be dealt with by force. The sooner the better, IMO. His previous rebellions haven't been very successful. I don't see any reason to believe he'd be any more so this time around.
crush him like the bug he is.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Why has no one put a bullet between his beady little rat eyes yet?
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:33 PM   #9
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Why has no one put a bullet between his beady little rat eyes yet?
Because he’ll dress like a chick and leave a brown stain all the way to Iran as soon as he’s confronted.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:34 PM   #10
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Why has no one put a bullet between his beady little rat eyes yet?
He hasn't come to the end of his usefulness... yet.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:11 PM   #11
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One thing for sure is that B*sh, Congress and the press are not fully explaining the situation in Iraq to the American public.

Nobody here knows anything about who is who over there doing what and yet we are still asked to send our military support and money over there.

B*sh, Congress and the press are not even trying to explain this situation to us and that is a big problem.

In my opinion, Obama would be the only one of the candidates that would bother trying to explain the situation over there if given the responsibility to decide what our goals and objectives there ought to be.

McCain would not say anything about the full situation, he will just say no surrender, things are going great.

Hillary would say that the generals who have endorsed her candidacy have convinced her to do something different than what she said he would do and say that it is too complicated to explain but to trust her.

Obama would be the only one who would consider describing the situation so that people would know the basis for his decisions.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jettio View Post
One thing for sure is that B*sh, Congress and the press are not fully explaining the situation in Iraq to the American public.

Nobody here knows anything about who is who over there doing what and yet we are still asked to send our military support and money over there.

B*sh, Congress and the press are not even trying to explain this situation to us and that is a big problem.

In my opinion, Obama would be the only one of the candidates that would bother trying to explain the situation over there if given the responsibility to decide what our goals and objectives there ought to be.

McCain would not say anything about the full situation, he will just say no surrender, things are going great.

Hillary would say that the generals who have endorsed her candidacy have convinced her to do something different than what she said he would do and say that it is too complicated to explain but to trust her.

Obama would be the only one who would consider describing the situation so that people would know the basis for his decisions.
I think your faith is misplaced. Obama has shown time and again that he's not really any different than the other politicians.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:42 PM   #13
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I think your faith is misplaced. Obama has shown time and again that he's not really any different than the other politicians.
You are just going by your own prejudiced judgment of the dust-ups on the campaign trail that the press and folks like you with a Romney in the fight like to beat to death.

Folks that know him at Harvard Law, the Illinois and US senate, and in Chicago know him to be a guy that respects other people's viewpoints and one who explains his own positions respectfully.

I would bet that he would try a lot better than B*sh, McCain, or Clinton to explain what is really going on over there and why he makes the decisions that he makes.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:17 PM   #14
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Why has no one put a bullet between his beady little rat eyes yet?
Because like the rest of the chest puffers he's hiding out in Iran. Which begs the question: If he starts the shit up again is he off limits to a predator drone bearing gifts? No doubt he'd be a target of a hit to some extent. They won't set still and let him direct operations from Iran. Their bound to send someone after him.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:25 PM   #15
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Because like the rest of the chest puffers he's hiding out in Iran. Which begs the question: If he starts the shit up again is he off limits to a predator drone bearing gifts? No doubt he'd be a target of a hit to some extent. They won't set still and let him direct operations from Iran. Their bound to send someone after him.
If Sadr is taken out it must be by the Iraqi government, not us IMO. I think it'd be stupid if we did it.
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:48 AM
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