Iraqi government members loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called it quits earlier today in protest of the prime Iraq’s prime minister’s unwillingness to set a timetable for an American withdrawal. The significance of this development is that we can almost certainly expect the Mahdi Army, which is nothing more than a group of murderous thugs, to get back to the work of capturing, torturing, and executing citizens of Baghdad and the surrounding areas.

Apparently the Al-Sadr cronies that were allowed to join the Iraqi parliament are dissatisfied with the lack of influence they have within the fledgling government, and their inability to convince Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to order Iraqi defense forces and police to stop arresting members of the Mahdi Army. It seems that al-Sadr, who had ordered his fighters hide their weapons and lay low just days before the U.S. troop surge that began back in February, has decided that the sword is mightier than the pen, and when it comes to getting things done in Iraq, he’s right.

Maybe it’s time to realize that the hearts and minds of these radical extremists will never be won over, and the religious fanatics will never be satisfied with whatever amount political influence they manage to get. As long as there are radical clerics with their own militias ready, willing, and eager to kill everyone that disagrees with their philosophies and religious understandings, there will be no chance for peace. The question that needs to be answered here is: How many civilian executions does it take to justify the elimination of guys like al-Sadr from the equation?

I don’t pretend to be an expert on military strategies or Islamic radicalism, but common sense tells me that since militia members loyal to al-Sadr are already on a mission to kill everyone that isn’t on their side, there is little to loose by simply killing al-Sadr. After all, the militias can’t do any better than reaching their current goal of the complete annihilation of non supporters.

[tags]Sadr, Iraq, Iraqi, military, militia, army[/tags]