[Marxism] Sadr's popularity

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Tue Apr 6 08:22:26 MDT 2004

Separate first-hand accounts in today’s Guardian and Financial Times
describe why the movement led by Moqtada al-Sadr is attracting support from
Iraqis, particularly among the most oppressed.

The Guardian’s Rory McCarthy says the Sadrists, led by the younger
generation of Shia clerics, have acquired an “astonishing position of
strength… with a large, armed militia and a highly organised militant
political force with roots in several southern cities and in the eastern
Shia slums of Baghdad.”

In Kufa, where Sadr had taken refuge and his partisans controlled the town,
pilgrims and families chanted his name. (AP reports he has since left Kufa).
In Sadr City, east Baghdad’s huge Shia quarter, the Financial Times Nicola
Pelham saw barefoot children throwing stones at American tanks, hospitals
and morgues crammed with civilian casualties, shops shuttered and residents
on strike, police joining the demonstrators, and the “once supportive shanty
town…a seething mass of hostility” in what Pelham suggested was the
beginning of a Shia “intifada”.

Economic deprivation and chaos and the “aggressive” nationalism of the
Sadrists underlie its increasing appeal to poor Iraqis, the Guardian’s
McCarthy writes.

Articles available on www.supportingfacts.com

Sorry for any cross posting.

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