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US closes in on deal with Iraqi cleric - Moqtada al-Sadr

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:14 AM
Original message
US closes in on deal with Iraqi cleric - Moqtada al-Sadr
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0525/p01s04-woiq.html

Despite battles in two cities Monday, officials say talks are under way to turn Moqtada al-Sadr's army into a political group.

By Orly Halpern | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

BAGHDAD As fighting between Shiite militiamen and US-led coalition forces continued Monday, the outline of a Fallujah-like solution began to emerge.


The death toll rose in Baghdad and Kufa as the Mahdi Army of militant Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr battled US troops. But behind the scenes, direct negotiations were under way to transform Sadr's militia into a political entity and end a violent rebellion.

The coalition has declared repeatedly that it will not negotiate with "militias and criminals." Nonetheless, a deal may be forthcoming with Sadr, said an official close to the talks. The coalition has previously said it wanted the cleric killed or captured.

If the deal pans out, it could bring to an end the seven-week conflict. The hope is that by engaging Sadr politically, the coalition can neutralize him militarily. His militia might also eventually be integrated into the Iraqi national security forces.

Such an accord would reverse previously held coalition strategies - much as happened in Fallujah. In that Iraqi city, the scene of intense fighting in April, militia including many of the same insurgents who were fighting the Marines are now in charge of keeping the peace.

more

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Too bad they failed to consider engaging Sadr politically,...
,...BEFORE losing the war with their one-dimensional approach of death and destruction. Now that so damage damage has been done, I even wonder if the people will care about political engagement.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Perhaps Chimpy should have done the same thing with Saddam...
...before our soldiers took thousands of casualties and spent 200 billion dollars?

Don

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. wasn't there a technique at Abu Ghraib
where they would beat the shit out of a guy, with another watching and tell the other one that they would not "do that" to him, only to "do that" to him?

I wonder how reliable their "negotiations" actually are....
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. "Engaging Sadr politically"?
I thought we'd been shelling Najaf in order to bring a "murderer" to 'murkin justice! Ain't we lookin to try him for a murder from a few years ago? Will that charge go down the memory hole if we "engage him politically"?
Stupid me, looking for congruity.
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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. How many times have we heard this...
each time we do, it fails to happen.

I'll believe it when I see it.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. God, I hope they reach a deal...
...every day that passes without a cease of coaltion operations in the holy cities is another day that we inspire more muslims to turn to terrorism.
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ze_dscherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:22 AM
Original message
These "militants" are part of a political movement
Do these people really believe their own propaganda? Like it or not, Moqtada al-Sadr has a broad base in Iraq, and his agenda is a relious/political one, including armed uprising.

Turning the Mahdi army into a political movement is like - uhm - making the Red Army communists back in 1918.

This news is either propaganda (when in reality fighting continues), or it just says: We've lost the case in Najaf, so we better accept this man and his politics and sell it like we "tamed" him.
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ze_dscherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
7. Uh oh, double click, please delete
Edited on Tue May-25-04 08:23 AM by ze_dscherman
---
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. Wonder what the Rethugs think about this development? n/t
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here is what the results of a "Fallujah-like solution" looks like...
Fallujah Emerging As Islamic Mini-State

FALLUJAH, Iraq - With U.S. Marines gone and central government authority virtually nonexistent, Fallujah resembles an Islamic mini-state anyone caught selling alcohol is flogged and paraded in the city. Men are encouraged to grow beards and barbers are warned against giving "Western" hair cuts.

"After all the blood that was shed, and the lives that were lost, we shall only accept God's law in Fallujah," said cleric Abdul-Qader al-Aloussi, offering a glimpse of what a future Iraq (news - web sites) may look like as the U.S.-led occupation draws to a close. "We must capitalize on our victory over the Americans and implement Islamic sharia laws."

more

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&nci...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Was that "extremism" in place BEFORE the neocon war?
Just curious.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I don't believe so, Iraq was forced by Saddam to be secular...
no religious fundamentalism was tolerated.
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Saddam had made quite a few concessions to the more
fundamentalist elements in the last few years. Iraq wasn't as secular as we'd like to believe.

There's an interesting article in the "letters from Baghdad" from the New Yorker magazine (can't remember which issue, but recent) that talks about this.
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. Wow - Al-Sadr getting a "deal" with the United States . . .
.
.
.

And the United States "word" is good as gold, right? :freak:

Right . . .

That's what I thought.

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