Friday, May 11, 2007

In Iraq, al Sadr pulls the strings while Bush stumbles

While the president and Congress battle over the Iraq supplemental, Muqtada al Sadr has been moving behind the scenes in Iraq to get the Iraqi parliament, itself, to call for a U.S. pullout.

Now that President Bush has explicitly declared that leaving Iraq is the definition of failure, we may face the prospect of being outwitted by a man who fought pitched battles against the Americans in Najaf and emerged intact and politically formidable.

From the Washington Post:
A majority of Iraq's parliament has expressed support for a proposed bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels.

The draft bill is being championed by a 30-member bloc loyal to al-Sadr, and it has gained support from other Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish legislators. As many as 144 lawmakers have signed the proposal, a majority in the 275-member parliament.

"We think that America has committed a grave injustice against the Iraqi people and against the glorious history of Iraq, when they destroyed our institutions, and then rebuilt them in the wrong way," said Hussein al-Falluji, from the largest Sunni coalition in parliament, and a supporter of the timetable proposal.

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