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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Iraq orders US to release Shiite activist

This is why the U.S. is between a rock and a hard place--get it: "IRAQ and a hard place!!!" HAHAHAHAHAHAH...whew! Forgive inappropriate...but the bizarre policies that are Bush inspire inappropriateness.

This story neatly profiles the political, sectarian and military challenges that American Commanders on the ground face. God bless our soldiers, they have an impossible task erected by an incompetent civilian leadership headed by our Supreme Poo-Bah, His Excellency and Protector of the Faith and Oil Reservoirs of Our Beloved Multinational Corporations Commander-in-Jefe Jorge Arbusto!

Here, then is the happy-sad and bittersweet story of a family locked in a loveless relationship by an arranged marriage forced upon them by stupid white guys...


Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has ordered the release of a leading member of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political organisation who was detained by US troops.

Relatives and supporters of Sheikh Mazen al-Saedi confirmed he had been released, while a Sadr spokesman said Iraqi interior ministry vehicles brought him to the Shiite movement's offices in the Kadhimiya district of Baghdad.

Sadr's organisation, which includes several thousand armed fighters, complained Tuesday that Saedi, one of the party's precinct captains in Baghdad, had been arrested by US troops along with five of his supporters.

The US military has thus far refused to confirm or deny the arrest but state television quoted Iraq's national security adviser, Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, as saying the prime minister had ordered his release.

"He was released," confirmed Sadr spokesman Hamdallah al-Rikabi, accusing US forces of trying to provoke the movement into armed confrontation.

"Everybody knows that the Sadr Movement is a patriotic movement seeking to fight terrorism. The occupation forces always choose to detain our members, and only our members, because they want a confrontation.

"We are not too weak to face the occupier, but our leadership wants us to remain quiet," he added, demanding that the Iraqi government issue a statement to explain Saedi's brief detention.

American commanders privately accuse Sadr's Mahdi Army of being one of the main forces behind Iraq's recent descent into sectarian bloodletting, and a rise in the number of fatal attacks on US troops.

Maliki, however, warns it will be difficult to disarm a militia with such popular support and has said that he vetoed a US plan to invade Sadr's stronghold in the impoverished east Baghdad suburb of Sadr City.

Before news of the release emerged, several hundred Sadr supporters gathered in the Shuala district of eastern Baghdad to protest Saedi's alleged detention and demand both his release and "the end of the occupation".

Activists chanted: "No, no to America! No, no to Israel!"

There were no weapons on display at the protest, unlike at some previous rallies in Baghdad, where assault rifles and rocket launchers have been openly paraded by masked Mahdi Army fighters.

"The occupiers have begun arresting the sons of this injured country. The occupiers have never been defenders of freedom," said protest leader Sheikh Hadi al-Mohammedawi, who had not heard the report of the release.

"They arrest the people of this area, which is a shelter for poor and displaced, and leave the regions of terror," he alleged, implicitly comparing Shiite east Baghdad to other areas roamed by Sunni insurgents.

Nevertheless, a threatened strike which was to have been organised in Baghdad's hospitals and schools did not materialise, and the protest leader read out a letter from Sadr himself calling it off.

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