[Marxism] Decisive showdown

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Mon Apr 5 07:31:35 MDT 2004

Today’s Washington Post describes how nervous US authorities have provoked a
showdown with the radical wing of the Shia movement led by Moqtada al-Sadr,
which could decide the fate of the occupation.

American officials had been hoping to contain and diminish al-Sadr’s
influence, while cultivating the Shia leaders who participate on the
US-appointed Governing Council, which will nominally be handed political
“sovereignty” in several months.

But the Post reports Paul Bremer and his aides have become alarmed by the
rapid growth in size and influence of the Mahdi Army, the Sadrist militia,
and “fear it will compete for power after the U.S. administration of Iraq

According to the Post, the US decided to test the group’s “resolve” by
closing down its newspaper and arresting one of its top leaders, Mustafa
Yaqoubi, suspected in the murder of a rival cleric last year.

The US gamble has triggered a widespread and violent response, and the
occupation forces are now confronted by what the Post calls their “greatest
fear”: an untenable two-front Sunni and Shia insurgency.

Article available on www.supportingfacts.com

Sorry for any cross posting.

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