Commenter to Juan: Enough!
Beloved blogger Juan Cole was in full flight this morning (Tuesday April 22), explaining that Maliki is attempting to "reduce the power" of the downscale Sadrists, "in favor of his new ally", the upscale Supreme Council, as if this was some kind of a gentrification program. He wrote:
The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is attempting to reduce the power of the Sadrist political movement, backed by the Mahdi Army, in favor of his new ally, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), headed by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. Al-Hakim's movement is more middle and upper class and more tied to Iran, while the Sadrists are working class or poor slum dwellers and Iraqi nationalists.Commenter Christiane, who reads this stuff regularly, finally had enough:
Day after day [she writes], I'm reading you in this blog telling about the deeds (or the non/deeds) of Al'Maliki's government and of internal Iraqi politics, as if Iraq was a free country. In the end, these kind of sentences (like the one above) are misleading. They give the illusion that the Iraqis and their government are free to act as they wishes. But let's be clear, they don't operate in a vacuum : your country and your military, following a decision taken by your twice elected president, has illegally invaded Iraq and is now occupying it. As a result, one can be quite sure that Al' Maliki can't blink or cough without the US acknowledgement and agreement. Since Al'Maliki was chosen thanks to the support of the Sadrists, why would he go after them, if he wasn't pressured to do so by the US ?
The worst scenario for the US and the one they fear the most is if the Sadrists are able to unite with the Sunnis resistance. It's quite clear that the US autorities fears a Sadrists landslide in the next elections and are manoevring in order to prevent it.
And these manoevres, we can be sure, include intimidations and war crimes : you can't bomb a slum home of 3.5Millions inhabitants [or 2.5 million] without at the same time massacring civilians, especially when resistant fighters merge in the population, as is the case in all guerrilla war.