Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wanna 'Play'? Know Your Players... al-Maliki Tries To "Kick Out The JAMS" In Iraq: The tangled web of Shia politics

OK Ok... Me Bad... The MC5 Would have most likely been Kickin' it WITH the JAMS, considering they were the 'musical wing' of the vehemently anti-imperialist White Panther Party


First... Sitrep & setup from Juan Cole's Informed Comment
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Najaf under Curfew;
As Sadr Brother-in-Law Killed;
13 Killed in Baghdad Clashes

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the Shiite holy city of Najaf is under a strict curfew after a drive by shooting that killed Riyad al-Nuri, the head of the Sadr office in that city. Nuri was Muqtada al-Sadr's brother-in-law, married to one of al-Sadr's sistsers. On of Nuri's sisters is married to Murtada al-Sadr, the younger brother of Muqtada.

Muqtada called on the Iraqi government to conduct an investigation into the death.

Sadrist spokesperson Salah al-Ubaydi called on Sadrists to show restraint.

Al-Zaman says that some have implicated al-Nuri in the murder of Abdul Majid Khoie on April 10, 2003.

Amit Paley at WaPo has more.

McClatchy positions the story with regard to Muqtada al-Sadr's assertion that the US was behind al-Nuri's death. The US denied the charge. McClatchy observes, "The timing of the killing — not even two weeks after more than 120 people died and at least 300 were wounded in fighting between Sadr's militiamen and government forces in the port city of Basra — raises the specter of a wider rebellion that could spread to Sadr's strongholds in Baghdad." In Full

From an ISN Security Watch Paper titled:
The tangled web of Shia politics

Badr Corps vs JAM

Aside from the government-JAM conflict, there is another equally important dynamic at work here. The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and its armed wing, the Badr Corps, are bent on destroying the power of the al-Sadr movement. What has added urgency to this strategy is the crucial provincial elections of October 2008.

In 2005, the Sadrists boycotted the local elections. Consequently, the ISCI won seven out of nine southern Shia governorates (that is, all but Maysan and Basra). Three years of economic mismanagement and graft by ISCI functionaries and their cronies, plus the Sadrists' continuing appeal to the mostly impoverished Shias of the south can easily translate into a huge electoral victory for the al-Sadr movement come this October - a prospect clearly dreaded by both the ISCI and al-Maliki. (Al-Maliki's own Dawa Party has no mass base to speak of.)

From the beginning, in 2003, the two main rival Shia groups - the ISCI and the al-Sadr movement - followed completely different political tracks.

The ISCI, which was formed in Iran in the 1980s, built an institutional alliance with the US to capture strategic positions in the state and security establishments. For example, its control over the Ministries of Treasury and Interior has brought it great political and financial dividends. It also has virtual control over the two holy cities of Karbala and Najaf with all the financial rewards and the prestige that is conferred on the custodians of the shrines.

The ISCI's social base consists of the Shia merchant classes of Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad (they happen to have long-standing links with their Iranian counterparts), Shia nouveau riche developers, and the Shia middle classes, including the secular variety - although the latter's number is dwindling fast thanks to migration.

In contrast, the al-Sadr movement has always oriented itself toward the poor and the disfranchised.

This view is seconded by an anonymous commenter @ Informed comment, and I.

This later round of fighting has clear motives . The populistic ,poor oriented , anti-occupation Mehdi Army is set to win elections by a landslide.

Colaborationist Maliki will try to provoke a civil war he hopes to win with the help of America and the SCIRI militias disguised as iraki soldiers. Maliki's plan is to , instead of elections , give irakis blood and bullets .

Sadr knows democracy will bring him victory , but Mahdi people can not surrender their weapons without been killed or imprisoned in no time . This weapons may be the only hope if America goes for permanent occupation (colonization).

That is why neutral grand ayatollah Sistani is silent about the Mahdi weapons and does not order Sadr to disarm . This weapons are the last hope of freedom for Irak and Sistani knows and remains silent. So Maliki and Bush viciously attack the Mehdi Army hoping Sadr will lift his cease fire and hell will get loose and elections be forgotten .

I pray Sadr will find a peacefull way out , but when the other side is trying to aniquilate (sic) you it is very difficult to find a peacefull outcome . I hope God will give Sadr wisdom for the task. Source

ISN Security Watch - Iraq: The tangled web of Shia politics

No comments: