Muqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq this week with much fanfare after nearly four years in self-imposed exile in Iran.
His return culminated today with a speech to his followers in Najaf.
True to form, his speech was full of denunications of the United States. Yet if it wasn't for the United States, Sadr would not have the power and influence he enjoys.
If Saddam Hussein was alive and still in power, Sadr might have met the same fate as his father and his older brothers. Now I know Sadr would have accepted martyrdom. Yet if Sadr was given the choice between martyrdom and having significant power in running Iraq's government he would choose the latter ten times out of ten. Sadr has the United States to thank for that choice.