Muqtada al Sadr, the Shiite Muslim cleric who made his reputation by opposing the American presence in Iraq, will disband the armed wing of his militia if a new Iraq-U.S. security agreement includes a date for an American withdrawal, a key Sadr aide said Friday.
Salah al Obaidi, a spokesman for the cleric, said Sadr's Mahdi Army would review the security agreement closely to see how precisely it spelled out when the U.S. troop presence would end.
"It depends on what this agreement brings us," he said. "When there is no more occupation, there will be no need for these cells."
The pronouncement could give Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki a potent incentive to press the United States for a specific withdrawal date.
Iraqi officials told McClatchy earlier this week that the negotiations on a security agreement are nearing a close and that the current draft of the agreement includes a date of June 30, 2009, for American troops to withdraw from Iraq's cities. U.S. combat forces would be gone "by 2011," said a senior Iraqi official who's been participating in the talks.
The above is from Leila Fadel's "Sadr promises to disband militia if U.S. sets Iraq withdrawal date" (McClatchy Newspapers) and the question to ask is: "Is Moqtada al-Sadr as big a dupe as so many Americans?" If he is, Fadel's summary may excite and delight him. But he represents a movement that wants NO US forces on Iraqi soil. So either he or the movement may grasp that what's being discussed is not withdrawal at all.
Nor is what's being included in the Democratic Party plank. Calvin Woodward (AP) notes, "On Iraq, the draft states that Democrats "expect to complete redeployment within 16 months," reflecting Obama's time frame but not the tone of certainty he brought to it when he was running in the primaries." I see, that clock upon the wall . . . Well it don't bother me at all . . . It's an ever changing time, as Aretha sings. Siedah Garrett recorded it first, for the film Baby Boom, "Ever Changing Times" written by Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Bill Conti. Another movie theme probably best described the mood in The Cult of Obama as they continue to justify one cave after another: "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" (written by Alan and Marilyn Berman and Michel Legrand -- Goldie Hawn and Burt Reynolds' Best Friends).
There is no withdrawal planned by the Democratic 'leadership.' A lot of the Cultists who are semi-known try to lie that Barack, if elected, will be pressured to do more. They couldn't even pressure him to keep his word on FISA. Keep dreaming.
In fact, let's just finish out this movie music thread. Barack's groupies old enough to know better make like a girl group -- day after day. Larry Klein and Gerry Goffin's "Born To Love That Boy" (from Allison Anderson's amazing Grace Of My Heart) probably sums them up best:
He doesn't love me
But I love him so
Always thinking of that boy
But he never thinks of me.
My heart's a toy
And, like a little boy,
He breaks it when he's through.
He fools around
And puts me down.
But there's nothing I can do.
I just live for the moments with him.
His touch is soft
And the lights are dim.
Oh what a trance he puts me in.
I guess that I was born to love that boy.
It's a real shame Tom Hayden, Laura Flanders, et al had to inflict their late-life adolescence on the nation.
Lewis notes Glen Ford's "Obama Won't Address Specific Black Concerns" (Black Agenda Report):
"What about the Black community, Obama?" read the banner held aloft by three young African American men at what was supposed to be the usual campaign pep-rally (nominally a town hall meeting), in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Not far away, in Orlando, National Urban League President Marc Morial, preparing for the organization's annual convention last weekend, vowed that the candidate would be quizzed on "what steps should we take as a nation to alleviate the effects of racial exclusion and racial discrimination?"
Barack Obama has hard-wired himself to avoid answering such questions. His responses, when offered, range from skillful shadings of the truth to outright lies about his own statements on how he would confront the living legacy of American slavery and apartheid - if at all. And, although there is little reason to believe that masses of Blacks are reconsidering their overwhelming support for Obama, there is evidence of growing anxiety at the Illinois senator's determined "race neutrality."
Spouting the same line that endeared him to "centrist" whites and corporate contributors in 2004, Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to put forward any program to address specific historical and contemporary grievances of African Americans. The catechism is always some variation of his "There is no Black America, there is no white America..." speech at the Democratic National Convention, in Boston. He seldom acknowledges, and then only grudgingly, that African Americans continue to be subjected to institutionalized harms that are qualitatively different than those endured by whites of any social strata. He is willing to curb certain racist behaviors, such as racial profiling, but will do nothing to systematically reverse the accumulated assaults that are particular to the African American experience and condition.
In other words, Blacks have no special gripe, as far as Barack Obama is concerned - which is the source of his attraction to unprecedented numbers of white voters seeking, if not absolution for past crimes, at least a muting of Black complaints. That's the kind of "change" they're anticipating, race-wise.
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