Thursday, March 27, 2008

The great fear of what might happen in Iraq is a pitched civil war between Shiite and Sunni militias. So, let's start with the good news: that's not happening right now. What's happening right now is that the Shiite militias are fighting each other.

So, who are these militias? Well, roughly speaking, there are two sides. One is a group of militias that started out as Iranian proxies, back when Iran and Iraq were doing their damnedest to fill the Persian Gulf with the blood of each others' soldiers. These former proxies maintain close ties to the Iranian regime. The other side, while Shiite, is led by an Iraqi with strong nationalist tendencies and a lingering deep suspicion of Iran.

Given the way Dubya's crew is still trying to blame Iran for everything that goes wrong in Iraq, it's only natural that we're on the side of the Iranian puppets.

So, why are we on the side of these guys --- al-Dawa, and the Badr brigades of the former SCIRI, whose political wings are the backbone of the government we have endorsed? Matthew Yglesias suggests that we oppose the nationalist (Muqtada al-Sadr, much vilified in the American press for having backed armed attacks on civilians, which is also a favored pastime of the people we support) because he's popular enough to rule the country without our assistance, and we want puppet rulers that need us. It's not that Matt particularly likes the policy (nor do I), but he's still taking a more favorable view of the occupation than I do. Given that we're putting out stuff like this:

The Pentagon on Wednesday said an eruption of violence in southern Iraq, where US-backed government forces were battling Shiite militias, was a "by-product of the success of the surge."
I have trouble believing that they've put in that much coherent thought...

More: Yglesias now relays another explanation --- that we don't want to speak to the Sadrists because they don't speak English, and Iran's best friends, by happenstance, do. Now that's the kind of clear thought I expect from our Republican leadership...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home