Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Curse of Al-Sadr

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Curse of Al-Sadr

Article excerpt

THE latest upsurge of fighting in Iraq has claimed the life of a British soldier, a young Londoner. Ironically, today we also learn that two of the recruits to the militia responsible for the violence in which he lost his life also come from London.

These two young men, brought up in Britain, are now fighting in what they see as jihad against British troops. Such are the human costs of the latest escalation of the conflict. It has also put the Prime Minister's Iraq policy under renewed pressure, from inside his party as well as from long-established critics of the war. Mr Blair could have justified this war to the naysayers, even in the absence of weapons of mass destruction, if he could point to a more democratic and stable Iraq.

After the latest bout of fighting, such a prospect seems more distant than ever. The most recent violence has been led by forces loyal to the radical young Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, who has for several months been the focus for anti-American sentiment in Iraq. …

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