I am sure all Iraqis know this, likewise all Americans involved in aiding Iraq to become a stable democratic state where people have some freedom and happiness in their life.Muqtada al-Sadr may be currently holed up in Iran but he remains a huge threat to a peaceful and free future for Iraqis. He has not disbanded his Mehdi army, nor surrendered their medium-heavy weapons.He and his followers demand that all American troops leave immediately, not in three years' time when many feel Iraqis will be ready to maintain their own national security.
Al-Sadr vows to establish an Islamic state in Iraq. Whenever the Americans leave, there is little chance that al-Sadr will obey the laws of the Iraqi Parliament. He will make the old claim that he only obeys the law of his god. In other words, he will be a law unto himself, with the army and weapons to support his ego-lust for power, not for a god, but for himself and his fellow mullahs. Iraqis will be forced to live under religion's yoke, like the poor Iranians, where all joy of life and personal freedoms are snuffed out by black-smocked mullahs and religious thought-police, like some Dark Ages backwater, with women having less rights than the family dog of a Western household.
Personally I'd try to neutralise him with a campaign like that of the atheists/humanists in Britain which says: "There probably are no gods. Just relax and enjoy your life." But that may not be possible in Iraq. One thing I'm sure of: Many good Americans and good Iraqis have died so that Iraqis might have a chance at freedom from oppression. I hope the Iraqis and Americans together can find a way of keeping Iraq free of oppressors, whether despots like Saddam Hussein or the kind that uses religion as an excuse to enslave a people.
Maitland NSW, Australia.