ABC Claims Al-Sadr Ran To Iran
ABC News is claiming tonight that Muqtada al-Sadr and his family fled Iraq for Iran 2-3 weeks ago with several senior leaders of his Mahdi Army out of fear that the Bush surge would get him. Of course ABC News is unable to tell us who their military sources are for this story.
Is this utter crap and disinformation from the Pentagon and White House to blame Iran for sheltering al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army? Remember that of the two rival Shiite militias in the country, it is the SCIRI's Badr Corps that is directly tied to Iran, while al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is much more nationalist and not necessarily enamored of Iraq becoming the next Iran. That doesn't stop al-Sadr from taking whatever help he can from the Iranians, but between the two, the tie is much stronger between SCIRI and Iran than it is between the Mahdi Army and Iran. So such a story may not be necessarily surprising from a cabal in the White House that has proven itself capable of manufacturing its own reality to prod events here at home and overseas.
And if al-Sadr has gone to Iran, and his forces have stood down for now back at home, would that really be surprising if in fact this was coordinated with the al-Maliki government to prevent a direct confrontation and give the Iraqi government breathing room without risking their power base?