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    11 May 2004
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    I was asked about this last statement:

    Muqtada al-Sadr's militia had been careful not to
    attack US troops and it had been largely excluded from
    Najaf. On April 3, Bush gave the order for Muqtada's
    arrest, which provoked a massive Shiite uprising
    throughout the South and created the chaotic
    conditions that allowed Muqtada's militia to take over
    the shrine and city center. Muqtada had not done
    anything to provoke such a precipitous move against
    him,and Bush was remiss in not preparing for a
    blow-up if he insisted on moving in this way against
    ?????? this isn't true, is it? I thought he had done some pretty bad things.

    my reply:

    I think that the arrest of a Sadr aid in late march and a warrant for his (Sadr's) death or capture (forced upon Spanish troops that quickly abandoned the quagmire(?) as you may recall see below) forced Sadr to act in defense, hence the insurgency that is now winning back Iraq.


    from the "Dario Malaga" Madrid, Spain on May 11th

    Spanish text:

    "El ministro de Defensa, José Bono, reveló ayer que a las tropas españolas en Irak se les pidió “entregar vivo o muerto” a “determinado líder religioso”, en referencia al radical chií Moqtada Al Sadr, algo a lo que el mando español se negó. De hecho, los máximos responsables militares españoles en el país árabe enviaron a comienzos de abril un informe al mando norteamericano en el que advertían que un mayor acoso a los fieles de Al Sadr desencadenaría un agravamiento de la situación."

    trans to English:

    "The minister of Defense, Jose Bond, revealed yesterday that he asked the Spanish troops in Iraq "to give to them alive or dead" a "certain religious leader", in reference to Moqtada Al Sadr, something to which the Spanish control refused. In fact, the Spanish military people in charge in the Arab country sent at the beginning of April a report to the North American control in which they noticed that greater a harassment to the faithfuls of Sadr would trigger a aggravation of the situation." (not a perfect trans.)

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