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By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
Topic - Muqtada Al-Sadr
A timeline of key events in Iraq, beginning with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion up to April 30 national elections. More than 22 million voters will be eligible to cast their ballots to choose 328 lawmakers out of more than 9,000 candidates in the first nationwide elections since the U.S. army withdrawal in 2011.
Iran has played many political roles in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein: spoiler to American-crafted administrations, haven for Iraqi political outcasts and big brother to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government.
Two political leaders who put Iraq's prime minister in power met Thursday to discuss whether they should withdraw their support, now that a bitter sectarian political deadlock has led to calls for secession.
Wearing a U.S. Army uniform and flanked by Iraqi lawmakers, an American citizen announced Saturday that he was being released from more than nine months of imprisonment by a Shiite militia that for years targeted U.S. troops.
The political party loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called Monday for the dissolution of Iraq's parliament and new elections in another move that could escalate the country's growing sectarian crisis.
Five American soldiers died Monday when a barrage of rockets slammed into a base in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad in the largest, single-day loss of life for U.S. forces in Iraq in two years.
Iraqi politicians face the contentious question this year of whether to ask U.S. troops to stay beyond an end-of-2011 deadline for their departure. That decision has become far more complicated with the return to Iraq of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Saturday his followers in Iraq were still resisting the U.S. "enemy" with all means, including force. But he tempered his fiery words by saying the new Iraqi government should be given a chance to get American troops out of the country in a "suitable" way.
Hundreds of raucous supporters celebrated the return of firebrand Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Thursday after his emergence from four years of exile in Iran, drawing a plea from him to show more discipline and restraint.
Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led several Shi'ite uprisings against American forces in Iraq before going into exile in neighboring Iran almost four years ago, returned to Iraq Wednesday.
Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a fierce opponent of the United States and head of Iraq's most feared militia, came home Wednesday after nearly four years in self-imposed exile in Iran, welcomed by hundreds of cheering supporters in a return that solidifies the rise of his movement.
Powerful Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr backed Iraq's prime minister to retain power Friday in a move that could speed an end to the country's seven-month political impasse but could also hand Mr. al-Sadr's anti-American bloc considerable influence in the next government.
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said today that al-Qaeda's network in the country has never been closer to defeat, and he praised Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his moves to rein in Shi'ite and Sunni militant groups. 8:57 p.m.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq´s most influential Shi´ite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance to U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible - a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD - With not a Shi´ite fighter in sight, shoppers pushed through markets and cars packed the streets in Baghdad´s Sadr City yesterday - a positive early sign for Iraqi forces in their bid to impose control after a truce with the militia in its stronghold.
Instead, he said, ministers and members of parliament are busy lining their pockets while others have been accused of murder and leading death squads.
A U.S. attack helicopter struck targets on the ground, he said.