... Gareth Porter wrote on Sunni Resistance Receptive to Sadr Alliance Inter Press Service 05/23/07, concerning Muqtada al-Sadr's (aka, "Mookie") proposal for a Sunni-Shi'a alliance against the Americans. Porter writes:
The talks with Sunni resistance leaders have been coordinated with a series of other moves by Sadr since early February. Although many members of Sadr's Mahdi Army have been involved in sectarian killings and intimidation of Sunnis in Baghdad, Sadr has taken what appears to be a decisive step to break with those in his movement who have been linked to sectarian violence. Over the past three months, he has expelled at least 600 men from the Mahdi Army who were accused of murder and other violations of Sadr's policy, according to Raghavan.Tags: gareth porter, iraq war
The massive demonstration against the occupation mounted in Najaf by Sadr's organisation on Apr. 9, which Iraqi and foreign observers estimated at tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, was apparently timed to coincide with his initiative in opening talks with the Sunnis.
The demonstration not only showed that Sadr could mobilise crowds comparable to the largest ever seen in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, but also made clear Sadr's commitment to transcending sectarian interests. The demonstrators carried Iraqi flags instead of pictures of Sadr or other Shiite symbols. It also included a small contingent of members of the Sunni-based Islamic Party of Iraq.
Sadr's decision in mid-April to pull his representatives out of the al-Maliki government also appears to have been aimed in part at clearing the way for an agreement with the Sunni insurgents. Leaders of those organisations have said they would not accept the U.S.-sponsored government in any peace negotiations with the United States.