:: 30 minutes ago, Hussain Al-Sadr, a moderate cleric and at the same time Muqtada’s cousin attended the Iraqi National Conference after he news that he visited Najaf yesterday. The conference is having large coverage by Iraqi and Arab media (except poor Al Jazeera as they have no reporter on the ground)
In his words, Hussain stressed that there’s no place for armed militias in the new Iraq but there’s always a chance for everyone to participate in the political process.
He called Muqtada and his men to drop their weapons, leave the holy shrine and disband the Mehdi Army adding that guarantees can be provided by the government that there will be no consequences or penalties waiting for them after they evacuate the shrine.
He called the attendants to send a delegation of at least a hundred members to head to Najaf and tell Muqtada about this proposal and escort him out of the shrine.
There was immediately a vote and the majority agreed on this initiative, so it’s expected that the following steps will take steps in a short time, probably later today.
The core of this new development is that this time it’s not the government that’s offering a solution, it's not one or few men decision, it’s the representatives of almost all the segments of the Iraqi people who are trying to end the conflict peacefully and put an end to the existence of militias.
If this initiative works out, it’s going to be a victory for the will of the Iraqi people but if failed it will mean that Muqtada is refusing the solution suggested and accepted by the representatives of the Iraqi people.
After agreeing on the project there was kind of a mess in the conference hall, something really amusing to see because there wasn’t a 100% agreement this time!. Some members were criticizing the way the vote was performed. However this mess didn’t last for a long time.
::The chairman announced that the latest reports from Najaf indicate that Muqtada is willing to meet the envoys.
I must say that I admire the process regardless of the results.
I still believe firmly that this will not work and that Sadr will fail to seize the chance to get out of his miserable position simply because he and his men are arrogant and ignorant. I think they'll behave just like Saddam did when he was offered a chance for peace, and truly I think this will be the best outcome, as it will remove an anti democracy figure from Iraq and this time no one will dare to say that Sadr represents the majority of Iraqis, as the majority have spoken!