In the Arena

Today’s Iraq Roundup

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The ability of Muqtada al-Sadr to bring tens of thousands of people into the streets and his apparent control of the Baghdad police force in Shi’ite neighborhoods leads to an obvious question: Is this guy the de facto leader of Arab Iraq (that is, the non-Kurdish region)? And if so, can we live with him?

Muqtada is clearly a demagogue, and may not have complete control of the Mahdi army, but his family has had a rocky relationship with the Iranians, which offers some grounds for hope for an independent Iraq…if not a free one.