Larry Kaplow, MSNBC, Why has Sadr
resurfaced in Iraq?
was among those suspected of involvement in the murder in front of the Imam Ali Shrine of Grand Ayatullah Muhammad-Baqer al-Hakim, founder of SCIRI, in August 2003 - although his death was also blamed on the Neo-Salafi terrorist Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi who was killed in a US air strike in June 2006.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, now traveling through the region pleading with Arab leaders to ignore their misgivings about the Maliki government's performance, is gamely trying to sell the idea that the departure of the Sadr
ministers, and their likely replacement by politically neutral technocrats, could actually help stabilize the Iraqi government.
Hurrea was once a mixed neighborhood, but following November car bomb attacks in Sadr
City, the capital's largest Shiite neighborhood, Shiite militiamen from Sadr
's Mahdi Army drove out the remaining Sunnis, burning and occupying mosques and homes.
DANGER: The Sadr
City region of Baghdad from where Rory was abducted; ORDEAL: Dubliner Rory was held for 36 hours
I also clearly stated that Sistani has more political support in Iraq than Sadr
and have written extensively on Sistani's brave and principled calls for elections.
At the time American analysts dismissed Al Sadr
as an over zealous young rebel.
But as the June 30 "handover" to Iraqi control approaches, Bremer now sees Sadr
and the Mahadi as a threat that must be taken out--along with the communities that have grown to depend on them.
Oraib Rantawi, director of the Amman-based Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, told Arab News that Jordan's invitation to Sadr
to meet with the king is part of a regional effort to distance Iraq from Iran.
The Higher Islamic Shiite Council, which Sadr
headed before his disappearance, and the Amal Movement have accused Libya's deposed and late leader Moammar Gadhafi of responsibility for the trio's disappearance.
According to these unidentified sources, Iran offered to put pressure on Sadr
if Maliki agreed against extending the presence of U.
Yet independent analysts doubt that Dr Allawi and Sadr
will finally agree to such an alliance.