August 5, 2004

SUNNI PAWN:

Uneasy truce evaporates in Najaf: Sadr's Mahdi Army and US forces clashed Thursday. (Scott Baldauf and Dan Murphy, 8/06/04, The Christian Science Monitor )

While Sadr appears to completely control Sadr City, the slum that was renamed in honor of Sadr's father, his position seems much more tenuous in Najaf, where many residents and merchants resent fighting that has cut deeply into religious tourism. Najaf resident Moqdad al-Taraji, speaking after a Mahdi Army member drifts away, says: "Three-quarters of the people in this neighborhood are against them. I think the Iraqi Army is doing a good job."

It's revealing that his strength lies in a Sunni city (though among its Shi'ite population) rather than in the Shi'ite south where he's despised.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 5, 2004 6:46 PM
Comments

He's probably dead meat in the near term, but the important point is not that they have a leader, but that he has followers.

That the south 'despises' him is as meaningless as the 'influence' of Sistani.

They're there, and eventually they'll find a leader they don't despise.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 6, 2004 2:15 PM

Yes, he'll be called President.

Posted by: oj at August 6, 2004 2:25 PM
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