Friday, August 8, 2008

A Deal To Withdraw

Shi'ite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr stepped back into Iraq's political fray Friday with an offer that (if genuine) Washington would be hard-pressed to refuse: Set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and the Mahdi Army will begin to disband. "The main reason for the armed resistance is the American military presence," said Sadr emissary Salah al-Ubaidi, who spoke to reporters in Najaf Friday. "If the American military begins to withdrawal, there will be no need for these armed groups."

Sadr in the past has vowed to expand the humanitarian work of his movement but promised to maintain fighters from his Mahdi Army militia, which has fought against both the Iraqi government and U.S. forces. Al-Ubaidi's remarks effectively offered the strongest assurances yet that the Mahdi Army is willing to stand down entirely in Iraq, if American military forces back away. -

Again, another reason why we ought to pull out.

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