Friday, December 22, 2006

Another Positive Development In Iraq

UPDATE: The following story is not as positive as I thought now that Iraqi Shi'ite Granad Ayatollah al-Sistani has refused to give his blessing to the multi-lateral coalition being formed in the Iraqi government. Sistani will not permit any policy that would divide the Shi'ite population. In this case, he is not yet ready to cut al-Sadr and his Mahdi militia off at the knees. At this point he is still hoping for a political reconciliation with al-Sadr. He is mistaken in this, of course, but it may have been wise for him to give Sadr a little bit of wiggle-room to make his own decision.

Two senior Shi'ite leaders have had enough of the violence and have declared their support for a united Iraq and have promised to crack down on armed members of their own organization.

News reports say that leaders of the Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) have demanded the same from Sunni and the "other" Shi'ite group led by al-Sadr.

This will have the effect of further isolating al-Sadr from the growing majority of Iraqis, both Sunni and Shi'ite, who are sick and tired of the violence and just want to live their lives in peace . . . without the United States having to keep them alive!

Sadr's "Mahdi Army" militia is the largest single non-governmental armed group in Iraq. Members of this group, including those who have infiltrated the Iraqi security forces, have been implicated in much of the violence against Sunnis.

Now it will be up to Sadr to decide whether he will become a part of the Iraqi political future (which means he will have to give up his militia) or whether to push for continued violence in the hopes of causing a political melt-down, increased "civil war" (meaning that more Sunnis can be killed) and the possibility of a national breakup with Sadr's Iranian-supported minions gaining control over southern Iran, its massive oil reserves and its Persian Gulf ports.

I should think that joining the political process would be his safest bet.

Should he opt for continued violence he will have his civil war . . . and, with much carnage and destruction . . . he will be crushed.

I guess his decision will depend on whether he fears Tehran more or less than he fears Baghdad.

ht: Captain Ed