Could be HUGE news: Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish Parties Close Ranks Against Al-Sadr’s Movement in Iraq
Iraq’s major Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties have closed ranks to force anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to disband his Mahdi Army militia or leave politics, lawmakers and officials involved in the effort said Sunday.
Such a bold move risks a violent backlash by al-Sadr’s Shiite militia. But if it succeeds it could cause a major realignment of Iraq’s political landscape.
The first step will be adding language to a draft election bill banning parties that operate militias from fielding candidates in provincial balloting this fall, the officials and lawmakers said. The government intends to send the draft to parliament within days and hopes to win approval within weeks.
“We, the Sadrists, are in a predicament,” lawmaker Hassan al-Rubaie said Sunday. “Even the blocs that had in the past supported us are now against us and we cannot stop them from taking action against us in parliament.”
No doubt this will be spun as yet another win by Sadr.
UPDATE: Dave Price: This Is What Real Political Progress Looks Like