Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Brilliant Piece on Sadrist Walkout

From AsianTimes.
This piece (written by Syrian analyst Sami Moubayed) cuts through the spin of American media. Left or right.

The key argument is that this is kabuki. Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered the 6 cabinet ministers to PM Maliki from his coalition out. But he has not ordered his parliamentarians to pull out of the United Iraqi Alliance--the Shia fundamentalist theocratic parties that run Iraq with the Kurds.

If Sadr leaves the Maliki coalition, then the UIA falls. Both Maliki and Sadr worry that this would bring in (back) Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia with Baathist ties.

So Maliki now can use Sadr as a bargaining chip against the Americans. He can always tell the Americans that he (Maliki) needs to be kept in power in order to prevent Sadr (the radical) from gaining power.

Then the clincher paragraph:
Ultimately, what unites Muqtada and Maliki is much more than what divides them. Both want a theocracy in Iraq. Both want the Americans to leave - although with different degrees of urgency. And both would dread a post-Maliki regime because most probably it would mean the return of former premier Iyad Allawi, who has promised to launch a deadly war against sectarianism, militias and Muqtada.
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