There’s an irony in that irony (Plus me showing off).

In 2004, “radical Shiite Muslim cleric” Muqtada Sadr took control of the holy places in Kerbala and led a bloody, extended anti-US uprising there. In the end, the US military was compelled by Shiite leaders to allow Sadr’s Mahdi Army to leave the city under the protection of a cease fire. However, the US still vowed to crush Sadr in the future.
I posted this on Edgewise on 11/11/04
The Iraqization Program
DKo: The apparent reliance on former Kurdish militia as backup is explosive…. All of which tends to make Moktada al Sadr the tipping point, hence the kingmaker. Will the US accept that? Can Bush sell it as the success that vindicates the war?
And sure enough, per the NYT this Wednesday, 2/15/06
Radical Cleric Rising as a Kingmaker in Iraqi Politics
Late Saturday night, on the eve of a crucial vote to choose Iraq’s next prime minister, a senior Iraqi politician’s cellphone rang. A supporter of the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr….said that there’s going to be a civil war among the Shia if Mr. Sadr’s preferred candidate was not confirmed….The widely favored candidate lost by one vote, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari…was anointed as Iraq’s next leader.
“Everyone was stunned; it was a coup d’etat”….It was a crowning moment for Mr. Sadr….The man who led the Mahdi Army militia’s two deadly uprisings against American troops in 2004 now controls 32 seats in Iraq’s Parliament, enough to be a kingmaker. He has an Islamist vision of Iraq’s future, and is implacably hostile to the Iraqis closest to the United States–the mostly secular Kurds, and Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister.
So, there’s the first irony.
And, per the LA Times today, 2/16/06
Iraqi Shiite Bloc Showing Cracks
Leaders of [Muqtada Sadr’s] party threaten to break away if the alliance doesn’t reach out to Sunnis and restrain paramilitary groups.
And there’s the second.



, ,