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  •  Here's What Happened: (1+ / 0-)
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    the warning came less than a year ago:

    May 25, 2007:

    Flanked by bodyguards and hailed by weeping loyalists, the 33-year-old Mr. Sadr made his reappearance at a mosque in Kufa, a Shiite holy city 100 miles south of Baghdad. The mosque has been Mr. Sadr’s favorite redoubt since he emerged early in the Iraqi conflict as the leader of the Mahdi Army, a powerful anti-American militia that has made him a crucial player in the struggle for power in Iraq.

    "No, no, no to Satan! No, no, no to America! No, no, no to occupation! No, no, no to Israel!" Mr. Sadr told about 1,000 worshipers, frequently mopping his brow in the 110-degree heat of Iraq’s early summer.

    He renewed earlier demands for a timetable for an American troop withdrawal, saying the Iraqi government "should not extend the occupation even for a single day." But he avoided setting a deadline, perhaps because of widespread fears among Iraqi Shiites that Iraq’s new Shiite-dominated army and police are far from ready to stand alone against the groups aligned with Al Qaeda and the Baathist die-hards who have driven the Sunni insurgency.

    Mr. Sadr coupled his call for an American pullout with an offer of a new alliance with Iraq’s minority Sunnis, thousands of whom have been killed or driven from their homes over the past year by Shiite death squads. Many of the death squads have been offshoots of the Mahdi Army that have struck in revenge for a relentless Sunni insurgent campaign of bombings aimed at Shiite civilians gathering at markets, mosques, weddings and elsewhere.

    "Cigna cannot decide who is going to live and who is going to die." -- Nataline's mother

    by Superpole on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:24:21 PM PDT

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