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It's Not Over Until It's Over

Reported by Eleanor - August 18, 2004 -

Shep Smith on Studio B (Aug. 18, 3:00 p.m.) provided some information about al-Sadr's history and his newspaper that viewers need to remember. (Thanks, Shep)

Introducing the story, Bret Baier stated that al-Sadr has agreed to Iraqi demands to pull fighters out of the Shrine. He had a letter delivered to the Conference demanding to be part of the political process. The U.S. is merely supporting Iraqi forces. Al-Sadr has a history of violence and resistance to authority. Another delegation may travel to Najaf.

When Peter Singer, Brookings Institute, talked about al-Sadr's demands, Shep Smith indicated that al-Sadr was marginal, but he stood up against America, and "when we shut down his newspaper, this gave him more prestige than he should have had." Singer continued with, "He can't be trusted. Trouble is where his popularity comes from." The Iraq defense minister said that al-Sadr must leave immediately, but different Iraqi leaders are saying different things. They need to talk to al-Sadr personally, and not a spokesperson. Shep said that Fallujah was a "debacle," and we can't screw this up. Singer said that Fallujah was the Sunni minority while Najaf is the Shiite majority. Al-Sadr wants amnesty, but his history is one of asking for a cease fire to regroup. So the plot thickens.