Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq's gov't is near its end

A top Iraqi Shiite militia leader predicted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government was nearing its end because it has been tainted by its close work with American forces, a British newspaper reported Monday. Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told The Independent newspaper that al-Maliki's government was on the brink of collapse, despite efforts to bolster its base of support. "Al-Maliki's government will not survive because he has proven that he will not work with important elements of the Iraqi people," the cleric was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "The prime minister is a tool for the Americans, and people see that clearly. It will probably be the Americans who decide to change him when they realize he has failed. We don't have a democracy here, we have a foreign occupation."