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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:42 AM
Original message
Sadr aide warns of Najaf clashes
A spokesman for radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr says there is little hope for a peaceful end to the stand-off in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf.

Qais el-Ghazali said talks between Mr Sadr's supporters and US forces had brought no agreement.

He said US-led forces were preparing to strike Najaf and that the cleric's supporters would take all measures necessary to protect themselves. </snip>

more here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3636177.stm
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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. whoops
i have no idea why it posted twice...silly computer glitch. Mods, please delete one of them.
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Aidoneus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sadr's latest Friday sermon in Kufah may be of interest
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 05:10 AM by Aidoneus
Muqtada's Friday Sermon: Marines should Surrender

Muqtada al-Sadr announced in his Friday prayers sermon at Kufa on Friday that "truce negotiations (with the American forces) are useless," and that he will not dissolve the Mahdi Army. He called on the nations that have forces in Iraq to desert the United States "to battle by itself." He demanded that occupation troops surrender themselves and their weapons.

At the same time, mediators announced that the negotiations have stumbled because the Coalition forces have put conditions on them that the religious leadership in Najaf considers "crippling."

In the first sermon he has preached in the Kufa mosque since the outbreak of hostilities between his Mahdi Army and Coalition forces, he said that "These events have brought to light dirty tricks, and have made it possible to distinguish between the truth and falsehood. I say that they intend to stay for many long years and are strengthening their positions, and there is no use to truce negotiations with them." He added, "America does not distinguish between small and large (sins?) under the pretext of freedom and democracy, but what democracy is this, and what liberty? Do not let their words seduce you, for they claim that they are going to surrender sovereignty and form an (Iraqi) government . . . Some accuse me of having delayed the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis and the formation of a transitional Iraqi government. I say, yes, I have delayed the sale of Iraq and the planting of a lackey government . . . We shall never permit these forces to enter this city of Najaf or the holy sites, for they are forbidden to them."

--snip--

http://www.juancole.com/2004_04_01_juancole_archive.htm...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. A brilliant speech, by the sound of it
If Americans would listen, they would hear the echos of Washington and Jefferson.

"I have delayed the sale of Iraq and the planting of a lackey government"
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. from Reuters:
~snip~

Since March 31, at least 94 U.S. soldiers have died in action in Iraq -- more than were killed during the three weeks last year between the invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam.

Tension remained high in Najaf, where 2,500 U.S. troops are poised nearby with orders to kill or capture Sadr.

A spokesman for the fiery cleric said on Saturday that negotiations were at a dead end. A U.S. spokesman denied any direct talks had taken place, although he said Iraq's U.S.-led administration was keen to avoid bloodshed in Najaf.

~snip~
"We know that any assault from the Americans on the holy city of Najaf will be the zero hour for the revolution all over Iraq," said Sadr's spokesman, Qays al-Khazali. "The religious authority has a clear stand in providing us with moral support."

But representatives of Najaf's four grand ayatollahs have distanced themselves from the junior cleric's actions.

"Moqtada did not consult the religious authority when he started this crisis or when he created the Mehdi Army," said a spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ishaq al-Fayadh.

~snip~
more: http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=...
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