Saturday, June 09, 2007

Badger's Friday sermon

Al-Hayat's selection of highlights from the Friday sermons includes emphasis on the usual calls for the government to pull up its socks in the matter of provision of basic services and basic security, but there is also this: A Sunni imam in Baghdad accused the Maliki government of being in league with the Shiite militias and said there are a lot of Sunni mosques still occupied by these militias with the government turning a blind eye. And by contrast an imam in Karbala, described as a representative of Sistani, said, or at least very clearly implied, that the occupation forces, for their part, are in league with the (Sunni) terrorist groups. The Sistani official, Ahmad al-Safi by name, said:
There are a lot of events and circumstances on the ground that indicate that the terror [groups] are operating in Iraq in complete security, confirming the idea that they are operating within the set official framework, while the people of Iraq, for their part, live in a state of absolute fear, and when they call on the police or the army for help, help doesn't come, because of constraints on their activities, or for other reasons...
Moqtada al-Sadr, for his part, said in an interview with Iraqi government TV that he has arranged for a meeting with the (Sunni) Muslim Scholars Association; that he has offered assistance and cooperation with Sunni groups in other ways; and he praised the Anbar Salvation Council adding however that he wished they would stay away from any cooperation with the occupation forces, so that their fight against the takfiiris can be an honorable and a purely national one. He said it is the occupation that is working to tear down any efforts at national reconciliation.

This kind of sermonizing and exhortation naturally falls on deaf ears, if that, in the anglosphere, mainly on the idea that these are all mere words, while the "reality" is supposedly a chaos of pure self-interest. So it is worth noting that the Sunni and the Shiite spokespeople are in agreement about the core problem: The government structure set up and controlled by the occupation, appears to be structurally incapable of protecting obvious common interests, whether this takes the form of Iraqi forces being under unreasonable constraints by the Americans so that the terror groups operate in complete security, or conversely that the Americans' Shiite allies in government turn a blind eye to the activities of the Shiite militias. Moqtada's point about the occupation trying to tear down any attempts at national reconciliation is merely an intensification of the same point, which is really quite self-evident: the aims and objectives of the occupation are not Iraqi-national, but piecemeal, whether you want to focus on the results in this or that sector of Iraqi society, or whether you want to look at the whole picture as a manifestation of occupation strategy.

Abdulbari Atwan, for his part, prints a very sermon-like op-ed piece in Al-Quds al-Arabi, explaining how the Bandar bribery scandal came to light. He says Blair's decision to shut down the official bribery investigation last December was the straw that broke the camels back in the British establishment, referring to the principled people in the judiciary and the civil service and so on, the idea being that the truth was disclosed in order to protect the principles of justice, openness and democracy from the depredations of Blair's political group and its friends including Bandar and so on. It is an interesting way of looking at the issue. Atwan says the disclosures may not be over yet, since already there is an investigation into the involvement of Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in the coverup, and he predicts there could be other names from the Saudi royal family added to this story in the days to come. Treating this as an exemplary case of a principled bureaucracy and press, Atwan says he looks forward to the day when the Arab press can show similar evidence of professional and moral responsibility. Of course we could say the same about the US press, could we not.

1 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

So it is worth noting that the Sunni and the Shiite spokespeople are in agreement about the core problem: The government structure set up and controlled by the occupation, appears to be structurally incapable of protecting obvious common interests, whether this takes the form of Iraqi forces being under unreasonable constraints by the Americans so that the terror groups operate in complete security, or conversely that the Americans' Shiite allies in government turn a blind eye to the activities of the Shiite militias.

Doesn't sound like much of an agreement to me. One side thinks the US is in cahoots with government in order to target Sunnis, while the other side thinks the exact opposite!

In other words, a resolution of the "problem" for one side would be a severe exacerbation of the "problem" for the other. That sounds like an agreement to reach an irreconcilable disagreement.

This kind of sermonizing and exhortation naturally falls on deaf ears, if that, in the anglosphere, mainly on the idea that these are all mere words, while the "reality" is supposedly a chaos of pure self-interest.

It's not that I'm deaf to Sadr's sermonizing, it's that his actions speak louder to me.

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/17347784.htm

Either way, nice to see you back posting again.

-Eric Martin

8:16 AM  

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