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Commentary: 'A Fraternal And Candid Stand With The Al-Sadri Current' --> Muqtada al-Sadr (AFP) By Abd al-Hadi Ahmad. Published in Baghdad's "Ishraqat al-Sadr" on 2 November 2005.

Ahmad criticizes the al-Sadr bloc for joining the United Iraqi Alliance List to compete in the December parliamentary election.
For the past three years you have been fighting in the red zones while they have been hiding in the green zone. It is not fair for revolutionaries like you to give the honor of the sacred national cause to a handful of people that feed on your blood....

"...Entities are being formed [for the election] while other entities are proclaiming candidates that are not up to the dream or that lived distant from the spirit of Baghdad and the pains and wounds of its people for justice and freedom until the minute the tyrant of Baghdad was overthrown.... Most of those that are leading the alliances and running in the elections do not have a domestic base. But they are confident of winning because of the fanatical instincts that they have been planting over the past three years. They are also exploiting the killings based on identity cards [which note religious sects] in the most ugly manner. They do not suffer the way the children of the victims suffer because their eyes are focused on power and influence, while the eyes of the victims and their children look up to the sky.

The leaders of the Islamic alliances, for instance, never had a realistic relationship with the Iraqi masses when they were abroad. A democratic referendum that may be held among the Iraqis in Iran will show that the leadership of the current [United] Iraqi Alliance never met with an Iraqi gathering and were out of touch with the people's suffering [before the fall of the Hussein regime].... [The election] is a battle for frail power that [candidates] are throwing to one another the way they throw a ball. It has nothing to do with the people."

"I have scrutinized the faces of each and every leader of the [Shi'ite] alliance that appeared on the Arab television screens. I can say that each one of them is as dictatorial or arrogant or cynical of the Iraqis as Saddam Hussein was. We know most of those who attended the meeting of the [United Iraqi] alliance have a conduct that violates the ethics of Islam. Thy think that they are legendary heroes and that they alone represent the Islamic current in Iraq, its roots, the foundations of its culture, and the caravans of its martyrs. If the Iraqis knew them one by one they would have hastened to refer them to [Iraqi tribunal] Judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin to try them for the sins they have committed against the Islamic current, its image, its history, and the lives of its chaste and pious martyrs. Does the rank and file of the honest [Muqtada] al-Sadr current agree to a coalition with an alliance -- some of whose leaders worked day and night to distort the symbolism of the second Imam [Muhammad Sadiq] al-Sadr martyr and to accuse him of being an agent because the imam exposed them and their sins -- that refuted their arguments and exposed their lies so that they fight the regime? These are the real killers of Imam al-Sadr before the terrorist [Hussein] regime and its executioners assassinated him and his two sons on a street in Al-Najaf.

[Addressing al-Sadr supporters: The United Iraqi Alliance] did not form an alliance with you because of your history, your sacrifices, and your cherished martyrs that fell for the sake of Iraq and the imam. They did not form an alliance with you out of love for you. They formed an alliance with you because they do not have a popular base on which they can count. Had [Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali] al-Sistani continued to back them, they would have turned their backs on you and arrogantly ignored you.

"...Until recently, [the UIA] scoffed at your current leadership represented by Al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr. They labeled your leader with the most egregious epithets and they ridiculed your masses that fill the streets. How can you carry them on your shoulders, give them your vote with your violet-colored thumbs, and infuse them with life?

You have every right to form an alliance with anyone you wish in the Iraqi arena. But the blood of the second al-Sadr martyr and the blood of the martyrs that have fallen on this path should prevent you from forming an alliance with murderers and hypocrites that are seeking glory at your expense...

There are other frail entities in the Iraqi arena that do not have your assets among the masses but that will run in the elections on an independent list without forming an alliance with anyone. This means that you should run on a single independent list that is the most noble among all the lists and entities. Who is stronger than the Al-Sadri bloc?

...You should ask yourselves the following question: If these [the UIA] were the genuine leaders with sincere and honest intentions; if they were linked to the religious authority; and if they had a clean record, Al-Sayyid al-Sistani would not have withdrawn his trust in them and he would not have distanced himself from them. My question is: Why did the religious authority decide to withdraw his support? Do not be deceived by the glittering Islamic slogans that [the UIA is] raising these days. They are electioneering cards that they will quickly renege on as soon as the elections are over.... They are mere words that quickly disappear behind their fortified homes in the green zone.

For the past three years you have been fighting in the red zones while they have been hiding in the green zone. It is not fair for revolutionaries like you to give the honor of the sacred national cause to a handful of people that feed on your blood.... How will you sit and come to an understanding with persons that have worked for regional and international intelligence services and that are spiteful against the march of your imam [al-Sadr]? If you think you need an alliance you should be creative and find other political methods...