al-Sadr ups the pressure in Iraq:
Under pressure from Iraqi government troops and the American military, Moktada al-Sadr called on his followers to stop the bloodshed, unite with all Iraqis and focus their firepower on driving out the “occupation forces,” meaning the United States military and its foreign allies.
He instructed his followers to “to wage open war against the Americans” but forbade them from “raising a hand against another Iraqi citizen.” He also urged the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police to stop cooperating with the Americans, and he asked the government to purge the militias within the ranks of the police and the army. He said he would oppose any American military bases in Iraq.
He also issued a “final warning” to the Iraqi government to end its crackdown or face an “open war until liberation.”...read on
This is an explosive situation at this point no matter how the article tries to soften it up. And Kevin Drum finds this new piece of info:
Iraq's largest Sunni bloc has agreed to return to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's cabinet after a nine-month boycott, several Sunni leaders said on Thursday, citing a recently passed amnesty law and the Maliki government's crackdown on Shiite militias as reasons for the move.
He wonders if: "Is that good news on the stability front, or does it mean that full-scale war with Sadr and his troops is becoming ever more imminent? Or both? Stay tuned."
I can't say an all out war with the Sadrists is there tactical play at this time, but if it does happens---then like everything else that has transpired in Iraq---it will be a bloody mess.
And the American people are turning against the Iraq war more and more. BushCo once again fails to capitalize on all the usual propaganda the networks shower upon them. Including the calculated BushCo. media presentation of "The Petraeus&Crocker show.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll found that 63 percent of Americans say “the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, a new high mark by one percentage point.” Gallup notes that “majority opposition to the Iraq war is basically cemented.”