A powerful anti-American Shiite cleric threatened Saturday to reactivate his feared militia if American soldiers remain in Iraq beyond this year, after a U.S. offer to keep troops on if they are needed.
Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement to his followers on the eight anniversary of Saddam Hussein's ouster that stopped just short of calling for violent action against U.S. forces.
He accused "the occupation" of inciting panic, corruption and unrest among Iraqis. His statement was read aloud at a huge protest of tens of thousands in Baghdad's Mawal Square, near al-Sadr's stronghold in an eastern Baghdad slum. The cleric is in Iran, where he has been studying religion for the last several years.
As we leave, one of the first enemies we fought in Iraq will be left in power, with Iran's support, kicking us out the door.
What a waste.