Iraq: August 15, 2004

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The ceasefire with Muqtada al Sadr and his gunmen has broken down. Sadr demanded control of Najaf in return for a ceasefire he would not promise to abide by. Apparently Sadr believes he can hold out in the Imam Ali shrine long enough for popular support for him to force American and government troops out of Najaf. But Sadr has consistently misjudged his popularity (low) and military capability (also low.) While about ten percent of the population wants a religious dictatorship, most of them don't want Sadr running the show. 

In Baghdad, 1300 local leaders began meeting to form an interim national assembly, to serve until national elections next year choose one.

 

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