Sadr Three Years On
This month is the third anniversary of the 2004 Madhi Army uprising. Is Sadr now winning or losing? Captain Ed notes that Moqtada al-Sadr now openly admits he is losing steam. "In a missive to his forces ... Sadr told his minions to focus their attacks on American forces where possible in order to keep from losing all political standing in Iraq". A few days ago, AP reported that two Iraqi cabinet ministers belonging to Moqtada al-Sadr's party have supported a proposal to turn Kirkuk over to Kurdish control causing Sadr to call for the suspension of the ministers. They switched sides on him.
Sadr has attempted to play both the political and insurgent game simultaneously. However, recent events may be forcing him to choose sides. It seems he can no longer give the politics equal weight with fighting. His recent call to attack US troops and avoid hurting Iraq troops is an attempt to play a kind of armed politics. It remains to be seen if his call will be heeded. If the Iraqi Government/US coalition does not break up, then Sadr may have no other option than to completely thrown in with the Iranians and declare open war not only on the US, but the government in Baghdad.