Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Cleric, Tells Followers To Stop Attacking U.S. Troops

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Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Cleric, Tells Followers To Stop Attacking U.S. Troops



BAGHDAD — An anti-American cleric is urging his followers to stop attacking U.S. troops in Iraq so that their withdrawal from the country isn't slowed down, a call meant to ramp up pressure on Baghdad's political leaders who are considering asking some American forces to stay.

In a statement posted on his website, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his militias to halt attacks against U.S. forces till the withdrawal is finished at the end of the year as required under a security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.

"Out of my desire to complete Iraq's independence and to finish the withdrawal of the occupation forces from our holy lands, I am obliged to halt military operations of the honest Iraqi resistance until the withdrawal of the occupation forces is complete," al-Sadr said in the statement, posted late Saturday. Sadrist lawmaker Mushraq Naji confirmed the statement on Sunday.

However, al-Sadr warned that "if the withdrawal doesn't happen ... the military operations will be resumed in a new and tougher way."

The statement followed last week's notice by U.S. officials in Baghdad, announcing the start of the withdrawal.

There are currently about 45,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.

However, U.S. and Iraqi leaders are currently weighing whether some American troops should remain past the Dec. 31 deadline as Baghdad continues to struggle with instability and burgeoning influence from neighboring Iran. Last month, Iraqi leaders began negotiating with U.S. officials in Baghdad to keep at least several thousand troops in Iraq to continue training the nation's shaky security forces.

Officials in Washington say President Barack Obama is willing to keep between 3,000 and 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. But with fewer than four months before the final deadline, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament still have not indicated how many U.S. troops Iraq might need, how long they would stay, or exactly what they would be doing.

After more than eight years of war, many weary Iraqis are ready to see U.S. troops go, and staunchly defend their national sovereignty against an American force they see as occupiers. Al-Sadr's followers vehemently oppose a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq, and walked out of last month's meeting where political leaders decided to open the talks on having American troops stay.

"Our goal has been always to fight the occupiers because they are still in our country," Naji said Sunday.

Still, other Iraqi officials privately say they want American troops to continue training the nation's security forces for months, if not years, to come. The president of Iraq's northern Kurdish region this week pleaded for U.S. forces to stay to ward off threats of renewed sectarian violence.

Many Iraqis – both Sunnis and Shiites – share that fear.

"As for me, and the sheiks of Nasiriyah, we want the U.S. Army to stay," Sheik Manshad al-Ghezi of the southern Shiite city of Nasiriyah said in a recent interview. "We are afraid of civil war. All the parties and groups in Iraq are armed and the Iraqi Army cannot manage to bring security to Iraq and stop the fighting among these parties."

In another statement posted Sunday, a Shiite militia controlled by Iran jeered calls for U.S. troops to stay. The group ridiculed a warning last week by Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani that raised the specter of civil war if American forces leave Iraq. Kurds have long depended on U.S. troops to protect them, going back to Saddam Hussein's rule.
Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Cleric, Tells Followers To Stop Attacking U.S. Troops
 
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I don't really believe him though, he was already supposedly holding back his troops from attacking US Troops until the troop deadline, how he is telling them to stop, so he is basically admitting they were attacking US Troops the whole time.:evil:
 
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So, wait.... a good idea is for them to stop attacking us, so we withdraw... and they can destroy Iraq with a civil war? That's good? In what way... exactly? Another terrorist supporting state emerges, hell bent on providing a training ground for the next wave of AQ terrorists to plan and train for the next 9/11.... that's a good thing?

My opinion... we need more rational thought and less emotion-based 'logic'.
 

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I don't really believe him though, he was already supposedly holding back his troops from attacking US Troops until the troop deadline, how he is telling them to stop, so he is basically admitting they were attacking US Troops the whole time.:evil:
He's well respected in Iraq. He's not a "terrorist" in that his call has been always for expelling troops foreign to his nation. This is a good step for Iraq.
 
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I don't really believe him though, he was already supposedly holding back his troops from attacking US Troops until the troop deadline, how he is telling them to stop, so he is basically admitting they were attacking US Troops the whole time.:evil:
He's well respected in Iraq. He's not a "terrorist" in that his call has been always for expelling troops foreign to his nation. This is a good step for Iraq.
This guy recently returned to Iraq this year, he has been living in Iran for the past 3-4 years and his militia is armed and trained by the Iranians, this guy wants US Troops to leave so he can take over and alot of the Kurds and Sunnis in Iraq dislike him. With his track record I don't trust him either.
 

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I think this just proves that Muqtada has a lot less control over his followers than we in the West like to believe.
 
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I think this just proves that Muqtada has a lot less control over his followers than we in the West like to believe.
Alot of this guys followers don't listen to him all the time, but than again who really does have 100% control of their followers?
 

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iraq needs to deal with their own issues without our military intervention.
 

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Alot of this guys followers don't listen to him all the time, but than again who really does have 100% control of their followers?
Grover Norquist?

(Ugh, my repartee needs work...)

I'll dig up the facts when I get the chance, but Al Sadr had a lot of trouble controlling his followers when he first ordered a cease fire in 2007. Dr. Kimberly Kagan believes that much of the Mahdi Army was directed by Iran by that point (although, that's certainly not established fact).

All I know for certain is that prior to 2006, Al Sadr was hostile to Iran and had condemned Nouri al-Maliki's party for being puppets to Iran's clerics. Then, he decides to pledge military support to Iran and eventually goes to live there. I guess he believes in the adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

For what it's worth, our allies have received even more support and training from Iran and make up a large part of the Iraqi Army. Maliki's entire legitimacy as prime minister rests with his ability to have support from Iran-backed factions and the Kurds without being seen as too radical by the Sunnis. But the Iraqi government would fall apart (again) without Iranian support.
 
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Alot of this guys followers don't listen to him all the time, but than again who really does have 100% control of their followers?
Grover Norquist?

(Ugh, my repartee needs work...)

I'll dig up the facts when I get the chance, but Al Sadr had a lot of trouble controlling his followers when he first ordered a cease fire in 2007. Dr. Kimberly Kagan believes that much of the Mahdi Army was directed by Iran by that point (although, that's certainly not established fact).

All I know for certain is that prior to 2006, Al Sadr was hostile to Iran and had condemned Nouri al-Maliki's party for being puppets to Iran's clerics. Then, he decides to pledge military support to Iran and eventually goes to live there. I guess he believes in the adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

For what it's worth, our allies have received even more support and training from Iran and make up a large part of the Iraqi Army. Maliki's entire legitimacy as prime minister rests with his ability to have support from Iran-backed factions and the Kurds without being seen as too radical by the Sunnis. But the Iraqi government would fall apart (again) without Iranian support.
Iran is going to have a relationship and a big role inside Iraq whether we like it or not.
 

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Quite true. We've been trying to manage that relationship for about four or five years now. Our diplomats in Iraq have been in contact with their Iranian counterparts since the last couple years of the Bush Administration. In ways, we've tacitly supported Iranian interference in Iraq, so long as it keeps the violence down.
 
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Quite true. We've been trying to manage that relationship for about four or five years now. Our diplomats in Iraq have been in contact with their Iranian counterparts since the last couple years of the Bush Administration. In ways, we've tacitly supported Iranian interference in Iraq, so long as it keeps the violence down.
Alot of Iraqis, particularly the Sunnis, really don't like this new hand the Iranians now have inside Iraq, alot of the violence from the Sunni Insurgent groups won't stop even when we have left the country.
 

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Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Cleric, Tells Followers To Stop Attacking U.S. Troops



BAGHDAD — An anti-American cleric is urging his followers to stop attacking U.S. troops in Iraq so that their withdrawal from the country isn't slowed down, a call meant to ramp up pressure on Baghdad's political leaders who are considering asking some American forces to stay.

In a statement posted on his website, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his militias to halt attacks against U.S. forces till the withdrawal is finished at the end of the year as required under a security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.

"Out of my desire to complete Iraq's independence and to finish the withdrawal of the occupation forces from our holy lands, I am obliged to halt military operations of the honest Iraqi resistance until the withdrawal of the occupation forces is complete," al-Sadr said in the statement, posted late Saturday. Sadrist lawmaker Mushraq Naji confirmed the statement on Sunday.

However, al-Sadr warned that "if the withdrawal doesn't happen ... the military operations will be resumed in a new and tougher way."

The statement followed last week's notice by U.S. officials in Baghdad, announcing the start of the withdrawal.

There are currently about 45,000 U.S. forces in Iraq.

However, U.S. and Iraqi leaders are currently weighing whether some American troops should remain past the Dec. 31 deadline as Baghdad continues to struggle with instability and burgeoning influence from neighboring Iran. Last month, Iraqi leaders began negotiating with U.S. officials in Baghdad to keep at least several thousand troops in Iraq to continue training the nation's shaky security forces.

Officials in Washington say President Barack Obama is willing to keep between 3,000 and 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. But with fewer than four months before the final deadline, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament still have not indicated how many U.S. troops Iraq might need, how long they would stay, or exactly what they would be doing.

After more than eight years of war, many weary Iraqis are ready to see U.S. troops go, and staunchly defend their national sovereignty against an American force they see as occupiers. Al-Sadr's followers vehemently oppose a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq, and walked out of last month's meeting where political leaders decided to open the talks on having American troops stay.

"Our goal has been always to fight the occupiers because they are still in our country," Naji said Sunday.

Still, other Iraqi officials privately say they want American troops to continue training the nation's security forces for months, if not years, to come. The president of Iraq's northern Kurdish region this week pleaded for U.S. forces to stay to ward off threats of renewed sectarian violence.

Many Iraqis – both Sunnis and Shiites – share that fear.

"As for me, and the sheiks of Nasiriyah, we want the U.S. Army to stay," Sheik Manshad al-Ghezi of the southern Shiite city of Nasiriyah said in a recent interview. "We are afraid of civil war. All the parties and groups in Iraq are armed and the Iraqi Army cannot manage to bring security to Iraq and stop the fighting among these parties."

In another statement posted Sunday, a Shiite militia controlled by Iran jeered calls for U.S. troops to stay. The group ridiculed a warning last week by Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani that raised the specter of civil war if American forces leave Iraq. Kurds have long depended on U.S. troops to protect them, going back to Saddam Hussein's rule.
Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Cleric, Tells Followers To Stop Attacking U.S. Troops
LOL at "new and tougher way". :lol:

They've just been holding out on this new and tougher way for the last 7 years waiting for JUST the right time to step their game up :rolleyes:
 

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Another terrorist supporting state emerges, hell bent on providing a training ground for the next wave of AQ terrorists to plan and train for the next 9/11.... that's a good thing?

My opinion... we need more rational thought and less emotion-based 'logic'.
Where was your "less emotion-based logic" when you invaded?
 

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Another terrorist supporting state emerges, hell bent on providing a training ground for the next wave of AQ terrorists to plan and train for the next 9/11.... that's a good thing?

My opinion... we need more rational thought and less emotion-based 'logic'.
Where was your "less emotion-based logic" when you invaded?
What logic is behind your rogue state of Turkey invading Cyprus, or did allah will that, too?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uvGnmpgzfg]The Turkish Invasion of Cyprus - YouTube[/ame]
 
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D'ya think?

War Crimes of Muqtada al Sad'r

My recollection of this murderous figure was that he hated America more than Hussein, who killed his father, his grandfather, etc, even after we helped him, he was continually stabbing us in the back.

imho, it's nice it looks like he's turned over a new leaf, but it's only to get American forces out of Iraq.

These telling them when we're leaving only gives avowed separatists and extremist muslim groups ammunition against other groups in Iraq, and if too many troops leave, our troops become enemy combatants of which to rid themselves.

I don't think Muqtada has forgiven those who participated in his family members' demises.

I would like to know how the man treats women in his sect. Is he fair to them? Will he let women vote? Or is he just another extremist who wants America to leave so he can resume enslaving women instead of liberating them from bad and unjust laws.

There are too many questions in my mind to be comfortable with this.
 
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D'ya think?

War Crimes of Muqtada al Sad'r

My recollection of this murderous figure was that he hated America more than Hussein, who killed his father, his grandfather, etc, even after we helped him, he was continually stabbing us in the back.

imho, it's nice it looks like he's turned over a new leaf, but it's only to get American forces out of Iraq.

These telling them when we're leaving only gives avowed separatists and extremist muslim groups ammunition against other groups in Iraq, and if too many troops leave, our troops become enemy combatants of which to rid themselves.

I don't think Muqtada has forgiven those who participated in his family members' demises.

I would like to know how the man treats women in his sect. Is he fair to them? Will he let women vote? Or is he just another extremist who wants America to leave so he can resume enslaving women instead of liberating them from bad and unjust laws.

There are too many questions in my mind to be comfortable with this.
Moqtada is not turning over a new leaf, he is a liar who says one thing and than does another just like so many others in the region. He came out and told his group to stop attacking US Forces right? well the thing he is said they were in a cease fire already and would not resume fighting us unless we stay past the deadline, so either he doesn't have as much control over his group as he likes to think, which is very likely, or he lied about the ceasefire in the first place and the Mahdi Army was always attacking us, which I think is the case.

As far as womens rights I really don't know what to tell you, I really doubt that is high up on Moqtadas priority, more than likely right now he is counting the days until US Forces leave Iraq so he strike back at his enemies and unleash his Mahdi Army and really start to take control of the country, thats what I'm betting on. Moqtada spent some years in Iran and I am guessing the system he wants to put in place is something very similar to what they have.
 

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He probably would try to establish some sort of Iran-based government. Muqtada has, in the past, rejected Iran, but praised the Velayat-e faqhih. I believe he viewed the Iranian government as corrupt and an improper representation of Islam (or maybe it was bad blood from the decade-long war). But, since he spent nearly half a decade living in Iran, he seems to have changed his mind.

Still, the Kurds would not go for that and Muqtada doesn't have enough national support. His primary base is with the poor, particularly in Sadr City in Baghdad. He's gained a lot of power in the south, but the ISCI is still bigger and more powerful than the Sadrists.
 

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