Monday, August 20, 2007

al-Sadr in his own words

I've written a lot in the past about Muqtada al-Sadr's position in Iraqi politics, because the American media has missed the reality of his position. When the media mentions al-Sadr, it always includes the phrase "radical cleric" in an effort to demonize him. The reality is much more complex, as this statement shows:

"I would support the UN here in Iraq if it comes and replaces the American and British occupiers," he said.

"If the UN comes here to truly help the Iraqi people, they will receive our help in their work. I would ask my followers to support the UN as long as it is here to help us rebuild our country. They must not just be another face of the American occupation."

Just last week, I heard one of our "wise talking heads" on NPR (sorry, I didn't pay attention to which one, and I'm not going to spend a bunch of time looking through transcripts) say of al-Sadr "He's almost certainly hiding out in Iran". Then I read the transcript (in arabic) of the Friday sermon he delivered at a mosque in Kufa (which is in southern Iraq), basically decrying the "persian" intervention. And while the media tries to blame al-Sadr for much of the sectarian violence, he also does this:

Throughout last week a series of influential Iraqi sheikhs, including at least one senior Sunni tribal leader, visited the Sadrist headquarters as part of an effort to heal the rift between Sunnis and Shias. Aides to Mr Sadr said it was a priority to form a united nationalist front against all "foreign elements" in Iraq, with the Americans and al-Qa'ida to be considered equally as enemies.

Mr Sadr praised Iraqi Sunnis who had begun to fight against al-Qa'ida and religious extremists guilty of targeting Shia civilians. "Proud Iraqis in Ramadi have stood against al-Qa'ida and against the Americans and they have written their names into our history books," he said.

Shrugging off recent rumours that he had fled to Iran - he dismissed them as American propaganda designed to discredit him - Mr Sadr denied US claims his
forces were armed by Iran.

Our administration can't seem to see the truth about who are the Iranian allies in Iraq, the SIIC that is the militia of Nouri al-Maliki. That's the guy we're supporting.

The US military hasn't found any Iranian trainers in Iraq or any training camps,
but like Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, that you can't find them doesn't
mean they are not there. What I cannot understand is why the Pentagon needs
Iranians in Iraq as a plot device. The Iraqi Badr Corps, tens of thousands strong, was trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and it has been alleged that some Badr corpsmen are still on the Iranian payroll. It is the paramilitary of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, America's chief ally in Iraq. What would the IRGC know that Badr does not? Why bother to send revolutionary guardsmen when the country is thick with Badr fighters anyway (who have all the same training)? I think the US is just embarrassed because Badr is its major ally in Iraq, and Pentagon spokesmen are over-compensating by imagining Iranian training camps inside Iraq. What an idea. I mean, don't we have, like, satellites that would see them? Wouldn't they be visible on
google earth? Every day the Pentagon b.s. about Iran gets more fantastic and

And, if we really wanted to marginalize al-Sadr, I think fester at The NewsHoggers has the perfect plan:
Yep, really secure; I again want to suggest my plan for marginalizing the Sadrists from their base of support:

Have the US fully embrace him, provide billions in unaccountable dollars, and publicly distribute numerous photographs of top US officials shaking hands and cutting ribbons on freshly painted schools with top Sadrist Movement officials.

This strategy has done wonders in delegitamitizing Allawi, Jaafari, and Maliki, so it should work with Sadr...

And, if you haven"t read it, here's the NY Times editorial written by 7 soldiers. A must read:


Suzy said...

"Our administration can't seem to see the truth about who are the Iranian allies in Iraq, the SIIC that is the militia of Nouri al-Maliki. That's the guy we're supporting."

Or can they? I believe they have no interest in seeing this come to an end or the violence quell, as long as there is money to be made.

pygalgia said...

While it's quite true that they're making a lot of money, they could make a hell of a lot more from a stable Iraq under a puppet government. That was their intent, but they totally messed it up.