Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered six cabinet ministers from his political bloc to leave Iraq's government on Monday, making good on a threat issued last week after the prime minister rejected a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops.
The ministers' withdrawal was confirmed to CNN by Nasser al Rubaie, a spokesman for the bloc.
The parallels to the US domestic debate will no doubt be humorous to the wingnuts. But you can take that parallel another way. Al Sadr risks irrelevance as the folks who support drift away. The Mahdi army is lying low to avoid a conflict in Baghdad with the Coalition forces, meanwhile Sunnis are killing Shi'a left and right. Some of his militia commanders are doing their own thing and not paying a lot of attention to his command. His unfinished Seminary education means he is vulnerable to claims to being a pretend cleric. So Sadr is being pushed to an absolutist stand on the issue to avoid irrelevance.