August 9, 2004

Kill Moqtada al-Sadr

It's long past time to remove the gun from Iraqi politics. The irony is that you have to use guns to do it. If Iraqi liberals (ie, those who wish to replace bullets with ballots) are not willing to kill those who take up arms against them, Iraq will be ruled once again by the ruthless.

Moqtada al-Sadr cranked up his "revolution" and says he wants to fight to his "last drop of blood." Fine, then. Give the man what he wants.

It's one thing to let him throw a gigantic fit and then cut him a deal. It's another thing altogether to let him get away with it twice. Once is excusable. Twice is a pattern. If he gets away with this every crank with a grievance will be encouraged to kill people, too. Hey, if it works it works. Civil society cannot be built if the law of the jungle prevails.

Moqtada al-Sadr is an enemy of the United States and an enemy of the Iraqi government. He and his goons make peace, stability, and democracy impossible. Today's non-violent Iraqis will be a lot more encouraged to pick up guns of their own if al-Sadr and his Mahdi militia run rampant.

I say we go to the infinitely more reasonable Ayatollah Sistani and tell him what time it is. Either Sistani and the other Shi'ite clerics find a way to reign in the insurgency or Moqtada al-Sadr gets toe-tagged.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 9, 2004 6:37 PM
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