Misunderestimating Sadr

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 4/8/07:

“Extremist Shiite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, his followers are not contesting American forces”

Muqtada al-Sadr, 4/9/07:

“‘You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don’t walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy,’ the al-Sadr statement said.

the result:

Najaf – Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi’a burned and trampled on US flags in the holy city of Najaf on Monday at an anti-American rally called by firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Large crowds of men, women and children holding Iraqi flags and anti-US banners massed in Najaf and the nearby city of Kufa to protest against what they said was an American occupation of Iraq.

flashforward to two weeks ago:

His [Sadr’s] influence has been on the wane for a long time.

and again, as time’s joe klein reported:

McCain’s frequent “You don’t know anything” tirades about national security might be more effective if he had a better sense of the war in question. When I asked him about Basra in January, he assured me that it was “not a problem.”

a week’s worth of fighting between sadr’s forces and the iraqi government has left the city in shambles and has created a humanitarian crisis for thousands of iraqis. in fact, the fighting has further emboldened sadr and weakened the central government.

mccain now claims that he understood the situation all along:

I said he was still major player and his influence is going to have to be reduced and gradually eliminated.


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Filed under Flip Flopping, Iraq

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