Saturday, May 22, 2004
Muqtada has failed. The Mahdi Army has left Karbala. They have slinked out without putting up much resistance, granting the Americans a victory of sorts. All that remains is the wrapup. Al-Sadr's support is now confined to Najaf and Sadr City in Baghdad.
Sistani's triumph is now complete. His deal with the Americans can now move to the political theater, with the handover scheduled for June 30th. For al-Sadr, his rebellion is over. The Shi'a heirarchy will never forgive him for going out of turn, currying favor with the Ayatollahs in Teheran, and sullying the family name of his father, a Grand Ayatollah of some repute who was assassinated by the Mukhabarat in 1999.