by Aaron Glantz
Since President Bush won’t meet with Cindy Sheehan to explain why her son Casey died in Iraq, I thought I would put forward the information I have. Like Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, I was in Baghdad’s Sadr City on April 4, 2004.
I was there as an unembedded journalist. Unlike Casey Sheehan, I wasn’t killed.
I had traveled to Sadr City to cover the Bush Administration’s undemocratic attack on the movement of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada Sadr. It didn’t matter that the cleric had millions of followers or that he was scion to an important political family with a history of standing up to tyranny. (His father was killed by Saddam’s regime for fomenting revolution in 1999. His uncle, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, was killed for leading an insurrection against Ba’ath rule in 1980.)
It didn’t matter that Sadr’s forces were providing food aid to the poor, or organizing traffic patrol and garbage duty in an atmosphere with no basic services.
The problem for Bush and his Iraq Administrator L. Paul Bremer was that Sadr was against American occupation. So he had to be dealt with. First his newspaper was closed. Then his top advisor was arrested. Then, Bremer announced an unnamed judge was demanding Sadr be arrested on charges of murder.
“He’s effectively attempting to establish his authority in place of the legitimate Iraqi government,