From  Cox and Forkum:


From The Australian today: Sadr told: drop your guns and join us.

IRAQ’S national conference, charged with charting a course to democracy, yesterday urged rebel Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to disband his Mehdi Army militia and join the mainstream political process. The conference voted to send a delegation to meet Sadr in the besieged holy city of Najaf as Iraq’s hostage crisis worsened with the kidnapping of an American journalist.
Participants approved a proposal by a Sadr relative, Baghdad Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Hussein al-Sadr, who said: “There are inviolable conditions in civilised countries … there is no place for armed militias. … We must work together to convince Moqtada Sadr and the dear brothers in the Mehdi Army to transform (the militia) into a political party, whatever its leaning.”

From a weekend AP report (via LGF):

[Iraq’s chief negotiator, Mouwaffaq] Al-Rubaie said he had proposed that al-Sadr’s militia be disbanded and become a political movement.

And from a report last week:

But as [Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi] demanded that al-Sadr disarm his militia, Allawi left maneuvering room for the cleric himself. He repeated a longstanding invitation to al-Sadr to take part in elections due by the end of January.

It’s bad enough that al-Sadr — an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist — is being treated as a reasonable being, but to offer him political power? Our soldiers are not supposed to be getting killed for al-Sadr’s appeasement. This is the danger that came from quickly handing over sovereignty to the Iraqis. The handover did not appease al-Sadr and his thugs, who still consider us “occupiers” and the interim Iraqi government “U.S. puppets.”

Worse still, we no longer have ultimate authority to pursue our security interests in Iraq. We have to ask permission of the Iraqis. Maybe they will let us; maybe they won’t. It should never have been left up to them to decide, as evidence by how al-Sadr is now being treated (though it must be noted that Bush also pursued an appeasing tack in April). A glimmer of hope that the Iraqis will allow (!) us to take out al-Sadr appeared in the first article:

Sporadic fighting continued in Najaf last night as US-led forces prepared for another offensive on the city. “A major assault by forces will be launched quickly to bring the Najaf fight to an end,” Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim said.

Then again, we’ve heard that before.

In today’s TIA Daily, Robert Tracinski commented on the broader issue, “Democracy vs. Liberty in Iraq”:

Recent events in Iraq show the folly of promoting “democracy” — in the form of unlimited mob rule — as the ideal political system for Iraq. At a conference gathered to decide on election rules, a mob of al-Sadr’s sympathizers have demanded an end to military action against the Mahdi Army and seem to have succeeded in forcing yet another delay of Sadr’s long-overdue demise. This kind of “democracy” will only serve to deliver Iraq to a new variant of tyranny: al-Sadr’s Iranian-backed theocracy.

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