Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday threatened an "open war" against the Iraqi government unless it halted a crackdown by Iraqi and U.S. security forces on his followers.If Maliki backs down he looks even weaker than he already is. If he calls Sadr's bluff there could be open civil war. What a mess.
The specter of a full-scale uprising by Sadr sharply raises the stakes in his confrontation with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has threatened to ban the anti-American cleric's movement from political life unless he disbands his militia.
A rebellion by Sadr's Mehdi Army militia -- which has tens of thousands of fighters -- could also reverse overall security gains at a time when U.S. forces are starting to leave Iraq.
"I'm giving the last warning and the last word to the Iraqi government -- either it comes to its senses and takes the path of peace ... or it will be (seen as) the same as the previous government," Sadr said, referring to Saddam Hussein's fallen regime, without elaborating.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Sadr Threatens War
This can't be good: