Iraqi and coalition troops have found evidence that Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army has been planning the ethnic cleansing of at least Baghdad neighborhood. The campaign named Sunni households that were to be replaced with Shi’ite followers of the Iranian-backed cleric.
Our biggest mistake in this war was not in killing Moqtada al-Sadr the minute he started causing trouble in 2004. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani negotiated a deal that let al-Sadr off the hook and freed Najaf from his occupation, but the costs of that deal have been all too high. Al-Sadr is a danger to Iraq, he is directly responsible for numerous acts of terrorism and violence, and it is clear that he is acting as an Iranian proxy agent trying to disrupt Iraq.
Moqtada al-Sadr needs to be taken out as a sign of good faith to the Sunnis and as a warning to Iran to end their constant attempts to destabilize Iraq. Getting rid of him and cleaning up his band of thugs will be crucial towards the already arduous task of restoring stability and order to Iraq. We cannot achieve that goal so long as he is causing trouble, and he’s already blown the second chance given to him by Ayatollah al-Sistani. It is simply time for the “firebrand cleric” to meet his well-deserved end.