July 1, 2009
THE MAN FROM HOPE:
Iraq Shiite cleric hopeful about US pullback (SAMEER N. YACOUB, 7/01/09, Associated Press)
Anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose followers have been blamed for some of Iraq's worst violence, said the pullback left him "filled with hope." But he expressed concern because some Americans will remain in urban areas as trainers and advisers.
"If the occupation forces breach the claimed withdrawal even with the government's cover, then the people have the right to express their opinion by peaceful means and the right of self-defense in a way that does not harm the Iraqi people or security forces," he said.
Al-Sadr's militiamen fought fierce battles with U.S. forces in 2004 and were believed responsible for brutal retaliatory sectarian attacks against Sunnis.
Which laid the groundwork for Sunni acceptance of the surge. Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2009 12:45 PM