The 1975 film, Barry Lyndon, contains a scene where Ryan O'Neal, as Barry Lyndon, fights a pistol duel with his stepson and arch-enemy, Young Bullington. The stepson who takes the first shot misfires his flint lock pistol. This gives Barry Lyndon the next turn to fire in the ritualized duel. Barry Lyndon shows mercy on his stepson assuming that would end the duel with no harm done to either.
Barry Lyndon is stunned when Bullington demands the enforcement of the rules and insists on taking another shot at Barry Lyndon, which according to the rule, is his right. Lyndon survives catastrophic wounds, but for the rest of his life regretted not killing Bullington when he had the chance.
I am certain the US Military regrets their not taking out their young Bullington, anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, when they had the chance. Sadr is turning into quite the powerbroker in Iraq. MPs from the party of the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are establishing an alliance with other parties in the Iraqi parliament to demand the departure of US troops from the country. Six ministers from the party have already left the cabinet in protest at a meeting between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US President George W Bush. The prime minister has asked Mr al-Sadr to rejoin the government.
President Bush has reaffirmed his confidence in Prime Minister Maliki during a visit to the Jordan capital Amman. He denied reports in the US media, which suggested that the White House had doubts whether Prime Minister Maliki was the right man to end the violence in Iraq. But it seems that Sadr has bigger plans . CNN is reporting this:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- One day after suspending participation in Iraq's government, the bloc loyal to anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced a possible new political alliance with Sunnis and Christians.
Calling the group a "national front," the head of al-Sadr's bloc in Parliament -- Falah Hassan Shanshel -- said the groups would target the U.N. Security Council's decision to extend the mandate of the 160,000 multinational force in Iraq for another year.
The formation of such an alliance has been in the works for at least two months, said Saleh al-Mutlag, a prominent Sunni politician and vocal critic of al-Maliki.
He called the alliance a nonsectarian, national patriotic front, drawing from different areas of the country and also including secularists, Kurds, Yazidis, Turkmens and clerics.
The group does not include the Mehdi Army, a militia loyal to al-Sadr, al-Mutlag said, adding that he believes the militia should dissolve. He said that al-Sadr himself is "not negative" about the alliance and that it could be achieved peacefully.
U.S. commanders believe al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia has played a key role in stoking sectarian violence this year, but al-Maliki, who draws his support from al-Sadr's supporters, hasn't targeted them.
CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Erin McLaughlin and Arwa Damon contributed to this report
Saddam must be quite incredulous over this amazing turn of events. He is not alone.