Thursday, November 10, 2005

Iraq : Sadr emerging as key political player

11/09/05 "The Telegraph" -- -- Moqtada al-Sadr, whose followers are blamed for the recent killings of British troops in Basra, has emerged as the political kingmaker expected to shape the country's government for the next four years after the election on Dec 15.

In recent days a procession of Iraq's most powerful political leaders has paid homage to the 31-year-old cleric.

A year ago the US military wanted him captured dead or alive after a series of uprisings in the south. Iraqis widely consider the present government, a coalition of religious Shia groups led by Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a failure because of its inability to improve the security situation or guarantee a steady supply of electricity or fresh water.

Sadr, who has more than three million supporters, is likely to hold the balance of power in the new parliament.

At the weekend Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is the dominant partner in the present government, visited Sadr's headquarters in Kufa to try to broker a deal. Even Sunni politicians have begun negotiations with him, based on their shared anti-Americanism and demand for the withdrawal of all coalition troops.

Hussan Bazzaz, of the Centre for Culture and Opinion, in Baghdad, said that by sending conflicting signals Sadr was managing to enter politics while maintaining the image of an outsider on which his popularity largely lies. "Moqtada is moving in a couple of different directions," he said.

"The last election only mattered for a couple of months. This time it determines power for four years. He is wise to become involved." It seems certain that, under whatever deal he cuts, a number of his followers will receive important cabinet posts.

The Americans are insisting that they will work with any legally elected leader in Iraq. But the question as to how Sadr, whose rhetoric is vehemently anti-Western and who saw hundreds of his supporters killed in last summer's gun battles, would manage to work with them remains uncertain.

Surely now people see what happens when you try to bring demcracy by force , you end up with something worse then you started with . If this turns out to be true i feel the US and UK will not have to wait long to get their troops home , Al-Sadr will no doubt tell them to get out of iraq as quick as possible and then invite his friends from Iran around to discuss politics

Is this what british an american troops have been dying for ?

To replace a secular dictatorship with a religous fanatic is better is it ?


Blogger G_in_AL said...

his name reminds me of a Starbucks coffee drink....

By the way, Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corps!

November 10, 2005 6:43 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

LOL , i feel that old starbucks here may be getting a visit from the birthday boys soon ,

If he gets the expected vote then everyones coming home and anyone who declares war on Iran will find the new iraqi army on there side

hmmm , maybe thats why we arent training them very well LOL

November 10, 2005 7:21 pm  

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