Renegade Iraqi Shi’ite Moqtada al-Sadr is indicating that he may disarm as his stronghold in Najaf is surrounded by heavily armed US and coalition forces.
Sadr knows he’s screwed. The vast majority of Iraqi Shi’ia despise him for being an Iranian puppet trying to impose theocracy on the Iraqi people. He doesn’t have the support of Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and he doesn’t represent anyone but his own small clique – and now that the coalition has forced his hand by shutting off his propaganda machine al-Hawza he has found himself under attack.
The best option would for the coalition to take Sadr alive and put him on trial in Iraq. Killing him is the second best option. In any case, the goal must be to show that any group attempting to use violence to alter the political process must be crushed. Anyone even thinking of following in Sadr’s footsteps should think twice beforehand once all is said and done. It must be made clear that legitimate and non-violent political movements are welcome in the new Iraq, but terrorism is not.