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News Link • Iraq

Fareed Zakaria: al-Sadr's Shiite Militia Is Like Iraq's "Own Tea Party"

Form a broad-based inclusive government that reaches out to the Sunnis. That would take away some of the sense of grievance that fuels their support for radical Sunni groups like ISIS that are threatening Iraq's existence as a nation.

So why in the world is Maliki flatly refusing to do this? Partly is because he's a hard line Shiite politician himself whose party draws its support from the Shiites who are not particularly well disposed to the notion of being nice to the Sunnis, their former overlords. But it's probably at least as much because Maliki needs to worry about radical Shiites as much as radical Sunnis. You see, he has his own tea party, and this one has an army of its own.

Last Saturday members of the group formally called the Mahdi Army now called the Peace Brigades paraded through the streets of Baghdad by the tens of thousands displaying their readiness to supposedly protect holy sites and shrines. The group's name might be new but its leader is a well known figure in Iraq and dominated the U.S. media during the American occupation.

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