Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may let a 6 month cease-fire expire as soon as this coming Saturday. The move could send Shiite militia fighters back into the streets of Bagdhdad and pose a major threat to the recent appearance of success from the U.S. led surge. He ordered the cease-fire last August, and it has been credited for reducing violence in Iraq by as much as 60 percent in the last six months. If the cleric remains silent until Saturday it will be assumed that the cease-fire has been lifted and be seen as an order to commence Shiite guerilla fighting.
We will have to see what this does to the U.S. occupation. If the order ends and the violence rises dramatically, will it be enough for us to finally pull out, declare a loss and bring our boys home? Something like this begs the question, ‘Why are we still there and what are we trying to accomplish?’
Time will tell.
NOTE: THIS IS AN UPDATE. THE CEASE FIRE WAS EXTENDED THURSDAY THE 22ND FOR ANOTHER 6 MONTHS. IT WAS A SIGH OF RELIEF FOR THE AMERICAN MILITARY.