From my review of Patrick Cockburn's Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq, now up at TAP:
Muqtada represents the Iraq we found, which was not what had been expected. Rather than work with that Iraq, the U.S. has continually tried to reshape reality to its liking. From the beginning, the U.S. occupation consistently treated Sadr's movement as a problem to be solved, rather than a genuine constituency to be accommodated, as demonstrated by Paul Bremer's shocking declaration, as recounted by Ali Allawi, that Bremer "didn't care a damn about the underclass and what they [the Sadrists] represented!" It was the inability and unwillingness of U.S. policymakers to deal with this Iraq, rather than the Iraq of neoconservative hallucination, that fed the chaos and led to the years of staggering violence and humanitarian catastrophe which have scarred a generation of Iraqis.