By Pepe Escobar
"....The Sadrists anyway are not convinced. Last month, Muqtada said, "If they tell you that the agreement ends the presence of the occupation, let me tell you that the occupier will retain its bases. And whoever tells you that it gives us sovereignty is a liar."
So what will the Sadrists do in practice? Before the approval Muqtada, in a statement read out by his spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi at the Kufa mosque, said, "If the American forces remain, I will reinforce the resisters, especially the brigades subsumed under the banner of the Judgment Day," Muqtada rallied all these "Bands of the Eternal Truth" to "enlist behind this mujahid banner". This Sadrist version of special forces would only attack American forces, and not the Iraqi military (controlled by the Maliki government).
Muqtada is in a difficult position. He has to confront the problem that strategically Tehran subscribes to not attacking US troops as the best way for the Americans to eventually leave. And Muqtada at the moment is studying in Qom, the spiritual capital of Iran - he could hardly afford to antagonize his hosts. To top it all, the Sadrist movement had been adopting a Hezbollah approach and reconverting from militia activities to being firmly embedded in the Iraqi political landscape. Maliki has made his move. Now it's time for Muqtada's."