It is good to hear, that secretary of defense, Robert Gates indicates in his speech what I would describe as a sensible approach to the people like Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq. If the US were not allying with those whose families were victims of Saddam’s regimes, then who would be the US’s allies in the region?
Al-Sadr is an extremely charismatic figure. One can recognise that even from his photographs. This guy clearly thinks he speaks with God, that is the impression I got from what they have shown of him. If it is true, he is going to be a difficult negotiator for the US, but, IMHO, it is certainly worth consistently trying to win the guy over.