Thursday, February 23, 2006
Just when you thought the situation in Iraq could not get any worse, insurgents dressed in paramilitary uniforms entered the Golden Mosque in Samarra, handcuffed guards and set off explosives that blew apart one of the most sacred Shiite shrines. Violence erupted in the streets, as angry Shiite mobs vowed revenge against Sunnis. The country, already as frail as can be, is on the verge of civil war. Furthermore, the Shiite cleric and political leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, the Mahdi militiaman at the center of the U.S.'s most violent battles, appears poised to emerge as the country's most powerful figure. Nice job, George. Keep telling the mothers and fathers of dead soldiers that their sons and daughters have died for a good cause. To the contrary, your ill-conceived and colossally-botched experiment has caused the needless death of tens of thousands of people.
Sadr, the 33-year-old cleric has joined the powerful United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), which won 128 of 275 seats in parliament in Dec 15 polls. His support resulted in the re-nomination of the Dawa party's Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister last week. Sadr also came out strongly against the country's new Constitution and wants an immediate withdrawal of foreign troops.
"I reject this constitution which calls for sectarianism and there is nothing good in this constitution at all," he told al-Jazeera television. He added that the withdrawal of foreign forces "should be the priority of the future Iraqi government."
Sadr's right. Sadly, the U.S. has squandered hundreds of billions of dollars and too many lives naively trying to turn this country into a Democracy. Instead, we'll likely end up with a radical Muslim state and/or a country heavily influenced by "Axis of Evil" Iranian clerics. Either way, the U.S.'s mission, whatever that was, has clearly failed. It's time to be the troops home.