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Sunday, May 30, 2004

The people of Najaf are against Sadr

This article in the Boston Globe looks into the attitudes of the common people of Najaf.

Najaf residents described the Shi'ite militants who fought American soldiers as outside rabble. As a result, regardless of the threat still posed by the Mahdi Army and some fallout from damage caused to the shrine of Imam Ali in recent clashes, Najaf's Shi'ite heartland population seems to have responded positively to the US approach. ''When the Americans first came here they played football with us, and dominoes," said Ali Nasser, 25, a gold merchant in Najaf's once-busy bazaar. ''Two months ago it was still a very peaceful town . . . Then all the supporters of Sadr came here from other cities."
Not only has Moqtada al-Sadr failed to gain popular support for his rebellion, he has lost any hope of political power in the new Iraq. This success is a tribute to the patience and professionalism of our armed forces who slowly, deliberately tightened the noose on al-Sadr's militia, ignoring chattering heads of American Media who were either screaming for blood on the streets or immediate retreat


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