Muqtada to Allawi: Resign!
In a press conference on Friday, Muqtada al-Sadr called on the caretaker government of Iyad Allawi to resign: “I advise the dictatorial, agent government to resign … the whole Iraqi people demands the resignation of the government … they replaced Saddam (Hussein) with a government worse than him.”
Muqtada seemed to accept the current de facto truce in Najaf, but warned that his militia would fight to the death rather than leave Najaf. A spokesman conveyed Sadr’s sentiments: “I will not leave this holy city . . . We will remain here defending the holy shrines till victory or martyrdom.”
The report also notes, “Sadr urged supporters in other cities in central and southern Iraq to continue their uprising, saying the truce was restricted to Najaf.”
Obviously, Allawi and the Americans have Muqtada right where he wants them.
Meanwhile, there were large demonstrations in Iraq and throughout the Middle East on Friday protesting the US assault on Najaf.
Protesters at a large rally in Diwaniya occupied and attacked the office of Iyad Allawi’s party, the Iraqi Naitonal Accord. There were also big crowds at Baghdad, Kufa and Samawa. Even strongly Sunni Fallujah had a demosntration in favor of him. At Hilla, the Polish troops are surrounded at the police station and may need the Aemricans to come rescue them. The big crowds chanted, “”Long live Sadr. Falluja stands by Najaf against America.”
There were also big demonstrations in all the major Iranian cities. In Lebanon’s strongly Sunni Tripoli, anti-American protests were held over Najaf.