Foreign Policy Blogs

Sadr's City

A spokesman for firebrand Shi’a cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr announced Thursday that he will deliver “a very important speech” Saturday at his home outside the Shi’a holy city of Najaf.  Having returned from nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran, the newly minted kingmaker is expected to announce his personal take on Iraq’s delicate political balance.

Sadr's City

If his security detail (clad in matching gray suits and dark sunglasses worthy of Obama’s secret service) is any indication of his evolution from populist rabble-rouser to political power-broker, it might suggest an evolution toward the mainstream that could help stabilize Iraq. Sadr, whose paramilitary attempted two, high-profile rebellions against US and British military forces in 2008, appears keen to lose his image as a radical and slip into a statesman’s role. Feared, reviled and revered, Sadr has officially staked his claim to his personal legacy and his nation’s future.



Reid Smith

Reid Smith has worked as a research associate specializing on U.S. policy in the Middle East and as a political speechwriter. He is currently a doctoral student and graduate associate with the University of Delaware's Department of Political Science and International Relations. He blogs and writes for The American Spectator.