Victory in Iraq

Is it just me, or is it clear to everyone who the winner of the war in Iraq is? Is it just a matter of time before he’s identified by everyone else?

I’m writing, of course, about Moqtada al-Sadr.

He and his Mahdi army have been powerful forces and power brokers for a long time.

Was violence down in Iraq in 2007? Yep, but not because of the “surge.” It’s because al-Sadr declared a cease fire.

Is violence suddenly back up in Iraq? Yes, because offshoots from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army are fighting again. And here’s the kicker: if they keep fighting, al-Sadr becomes more powerful in the minds of Iraqis; if they stop fighting because al-Sadr commands them to stop, al-Sadr becomes more powerful in the minds of Iraqis.

The trouble with a lot of American news is they set everything up from the point of view of the American military or American politicians. Reading the news with Moqtada al-Sadr in mind, it’s easy to see how from an Iraqi point of view, he’s becoming more and more powerful.

Frankly, I think he’s winning not only the war but the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Maybe the US should start negotiating with him.

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