Sadrist spokesman: Shiite clerics have told us not to disband the Mahdi Army

posted at 10:29 pm on April 7, 2008 by Allahpundit

The exciting conclusion to this morning’s epic. It’s big enough news to warrant its own post, but dicey enough — I can’t find one single story elsewhere on the wires to corroborate it — to warrant a chunk of salt. Would Sadr’s guys antagonize the clerical leadership by lying about what they said, though?

Iraq’s top Shiite religious leaders have told anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr not to disband his Mehdi Army, an al-Sadr spokesman said Monday amid fresh fighting in the militia’s Baghdad strongholds.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanded Sunday that the cleric disband his militia, which waged two uprisings against U.S. troops in 2004, or see his supporters barred from public office.

But al-Sadr spokesman Salah al-Obeidi said al-Sadr has consulted with Iraq’s Shiite clerical leadership “and they refused that.” He did not provide details of the talks.

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I thought the Clerics were of a different faction?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on April 7, 2008 at 10:35 PM

The leaders in Qom?

DJ Elliott on April 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Mookie, you’re 35-years-old, right? How would you like to not see your next birthday?

amerpundit on April 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM

So… does that mean Sistani gave the big thumbs up?

Vizzini on April 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM

Well now you die, sorry to disrupt your plans

and I hope now the US and the Iraqis realize it isn’t JUST SADR but its his entire cadre of clerics

Defector01 on April 7, 2008 at 10:40 PM

Iraq’s Shiite clerical leadership

Evidently that’s not Sistani or they would have said so.

Sistani is on record, over and over again, that religion and government don’t mix.

Texas Gal on April 7, 2008 at 10:43 PM

I wish I could believe that GW would act before he leaves, but somehow, after eight years of ho-ho-handshaking, I doubt he will. There is a bit of hope that he’ll just take Cap’n Crunch out before he leaves in January, but just a wee bit.

Limerick on April 7, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Yeah, Iranian Shiites. We know.

danking70 on April 7, 2008 at 10:44 PM

I thought they had a warrant out for his arrest way back when. Why didn’t they take him out a long time ago?

atxcowgirl on April 7, 2008 at 10:45 PM

The problem with Sadr is, I think, that we turned over sovereignty to Iraq before we dropped him. And I can understand the hesitation to kill him given his genealogical linage, he might have been more of a problem dead than alive. Keeping him alive and discrediting him, might be more valuable than killing him and making him a martyr. Nonetheless, he is a disgrace to his father.

Texas Gal on April 7, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Aren’t clerics supposed to be peaceful religious leaders?

What the hell are they doing directing armed militias around?

Damn Christians.

Good Lt on April 7, 2008 at 10:55 PM

I wish I could believe that GW would act before he leaves, but somehow, after eight years of ho-ho-handshaking, I doubt he will.

That’s for Maliki to do. If we were going to do it, we would have done it long ago. But now, if it’s going to be done, and it’s going to be a “good” kill, it needs to be authorized by the leader of Iraq, who is conveniently Shiite. Think of it like a mob hit on a wayward family member. No one complains.

Pablo on April 7, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Pablo on April 7, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Great analogy…..I just wish it didn’t involve our blood in the sand in the meantime.

Limerick on April 7, 2008 at 11:03 PM

……. “or see his supporters barred from public office.”

How about liquidated?

Seven Percent Solution on April 7, 2008 at 11:05 PM

The word I am hearing pretty consistently from Iraqis is that the religious sects are losing support and the people are tired of the religious militias of all stripe. In fact, they are pretty much losing their enthusiasm for Islam altogether. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sistani could gain followers by simply stating he wants the fighting to stop.

crosspatch on April 7, 2008 at 11:22 PM

Good.

exhelodrvr on April 7, 2008 at 11:56 PM

Im sure there are some senior clerics who are telling them not to disband… but Im waiting for what Sistani says…

roblem is that Islam is not a monolithic religion… it does not have a Pope who has authority over all the sects and other Imams…

Romeo13 on April 8, 2008 at 12:52 AM

Aah, fuzzy-brained nation building.

So fun and easy.

And expensive.

alphie on April 8, 2008 at 12:56 AM

Mookie needs a dentist and some whitening strips if he’s going to play in the majors.

a capella on April 8, 2008 at 1:18 AM

Very good video contrasting the Generals on the ground to the people who seem to care about the people in Tibet,but not
the people in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR8p0bro9RM

Baxter Greene on April 8, 2008 at 1:22 AM

The freak-show that is Middle East politics.

labrat on April 8, 2008 at 1:24 AM

Translation: The Iranian government will pull my funding and supplies if I quit. Shortly before they kill me.

Hollowpoint on April 8, 2008 at 2:43 AM

Mookie looks like a brain dead pirate from the Disney movie.

silverfox on April 8, 2008 at 4:49 AM

“Translation: The Iranian government will pull my funding and supplies if I quit. Shortly before they kill me.” – Hollowpoint

Exactly right, it’s like the mafia, you don’t leave the family (jihad), if you try to, you get whacked. This might be another reason why so many sunnis turned on a.q., they wouldn’t let ‘em quit.

O/T: I hope to meet some HotHeads today at the VFF rally in DC!

Tony737 on April 8, 2008 at 6:32 AM

This creep is not going to just step out of the limelight that easily – alive anyway. He’s eating up all this attention.

I think we’re beating a dead camel with this issue.

labrat on April 8, 2008 at 6:50 AM

What a Shiite head you are, Mookie.

That jerk needs to be assigned an orange jump suit and spend some time chillin’ in the Caribbean.

Hening on April 8, 2008 at 7:30 AM

I call him, Fang.

bloggless on April 8, 2008 at 8:44 AM

I think he’s giving himself plenty of wiggle room. Iran is calling the shots, he’s attributing it to Iraqi Shiite clerics (probably some of who say disband & some who say don’t, so he can pick which ones to highlight). Meanwhile Sistani maintains his version of “separation of mosque and state,” so he doesn’t knock Sadr over.

Will Maliki be able to force the issue? If so, Sadr will probably “consult” a bit further, and acknowledge clerics saying “disband” to give him cover. If not, he’ll maintain the militia, and continue to push it as far as he can without crossing the (always moving) line and getting whacked.

Dangerous game he’s playing there, for him, Iraq, and our troops.

cs89 on April 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if all of the clerics in Iran and every other cleric in Iraq says “Don’t disband”–if Sistani says “Disband” or something like it, then Sadr will have to comply or loose an insane amount of credibility with the Shia, and any chance of ever becoming an Ayatolla (except in Iran). So until I hear Sistani say it himself, I’m not buying it.

Immolate on April 8, 2008 at 3:48 PM