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Al Sadr likely to extend cease-fire in Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 21, 2008

I noted a while back that Feb 23 was an important day because that was the day that the Mahdi Army cease fire ended and it was unclear whether Moqtada al-Sadr would extend it. He was under a lot of pressure from his commanders to let it lapse because they thought they were being taken advantage of by the Iraqi police as well as criminal elements of the Mahdi Army (which had ignored the cease fire).

According to reports, it appears al-Sadr is likely to extend the cease-fire another 6 months:
Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is expected to extend a six-month truce by his militia, two officials in his movement said on Thursday, a move Washington says is important for maintaining security gains.

They said Sadr had issued a declaration to preachers to be read during midday prayers on Friday at mosques affiliated with the cleric, whose militia was blamed for fuelling a cycle of sectarian violence with minority Sunni Muslims in 2006 and 2007.

"The general idea is that there will be an extension," said a senior official in Sadr's movement in Baghdad, declining to go into detail. "(Sadr) has distributed sealed envelopes to the imams of the mosques... They cannot be opened before tomorrow."

Another senior official in Sadr's movement, speaking from the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf where Sadr has offices, said the cleric would likely extend the truce for another six months.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media about the ceasefire.
This may sound odd, but one of the reasons it appears that he'll extend the cease-fire (other than the obvious statements by anonymous officials) is that it was originally announced that he would have something to say if it the cease-fire was to be extended, but he'd be silent if it was going to be allowed to lapse. The existence of sealed envelops with a message from him to be read tomorrow is an argument that he has something to say and that something is an extension.

Of course, we'll see, but if so, that's very good news for the continued stability of Iraq.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Sadr’s actions don’t matter. Iraq is a failure. The game is over and the final score is recorded. Nothing can change that. The rules as specified in the Political Scientists’ Handbook for US Imperialist Aggression Engagements say that only trained political scientists like me can say when it’s too late, and we’ve already come to a consensus that Iraq is a failure.

Sadr is just waiting until we leave so he can collaborate with the Iranians, because it’s inevitable that they will take over the country. And those Iraqis who have invested enormous effort building peaceful lives won’t put up a bit of resistance. Those legislators that are currently sharing oil revenue among the provinces will gladly hand all that money over to the Iranians, because they recognize their Shi’ite masters. The fact that the Iranians are Persian and the Iraqis are Arab won’t make a bit of difference. Religion trumps everything in the Middle East, and it always will because those wogs just don’t know any better.

Don’t get emotional about this, McQ. You might as well just stop posting all that supposedly good news, because none of it matters. Iraq is a failure. We experts have decided it. You don’t get a vote. Nor do the Iraqis.
Written By: Ott Scerb
Prof. Scerb — When you put it that way, I have to admit that I’ve gotten it all wrong from the beginning.

Guess I’ll go and sit in a corner for a while.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://

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