Muqtada: The Only Real Solution is Immediate US Withdrawal
John Daniszewski of the LA Times has an interview with Muqtada al-Sadr about the new plans for a transitional government. Like French President Jacques Chirac, Muqtada thinks it is too little and too far off.
‘Sadr dismissed the proposed hand-over of power by July 1 as inadequate, and rejected any role for what he called the “vicious trinity” of the United States, Britain and Israel in Iraq’s future. “Whatever is related to occupation must be considered as ‘occupation,’ and must be refused by any rational and peace-loving person,” he said, sitting cross-legged on cushions in a reception room near a residence he uses in this central Iraq city. The only real solution, he said, was for U.S. forces to withdraw immediately.‘ . . .
‘Similarly, he rejected the proposed seven-month timetable for setting up the new government, saying, “Leadership and the presidency must be transferred immediately. No one has the right to interfere.”‘
Although the author implies that Muqtada has the ability to thwart the new plan if he chooses, I am not sure that is true. His cadres would rally against it, but his sympathizers seem unwilling to take on the US in any large numbers. Again, it is Grand Ayatollah Sistani who could scuttle the plan.