What is going on in Iraq? was Re: [Marxism] US military BOASTS of killing 300 in Najaf as fighting spreads

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Aug 6 17:15:08 MDT 2004

At the rate things are going, there may  be a victory parade 
down Wall Street to celebrate the next My Lai. Maybe Lynndie 
England should replace Cheney on the Bush ticket.

Fred Feldman

Events in  Iraq seem continually to dip below the radar of 
rational analysis.  Why pick this fight now with Sadr?

I can only think that the tried and true formula in Iraq (and 
elsewhere) is to have a right wing pro-western thug/strongman 
in charge.  The last one they had was called Saddam Hussain.  
Having flirted with the neo-con fantasy of a market driven, 
right wing voting, pro-Israeli Iraq, the USA seems to be 
reverting to the strongman model - Allawi is his name.  

His credentials as pro-West spook and torturer are 
impeccable. The problem is that he cannot be sold to the 
Shia. Even though he himself is nominally a Shi'ite.  Hence 
perhaps the attack on Sadr.  This is designed to take out the 
most vocal of the Shia and is also, possibly, a warning to 
the al-Hakim clan and the other Shi'ites who are waiting for 
democratic elections to give them power in Iraq. In all 
probability however there will be no elections in January.  

The struggle then is to spread Allawi's writ beyond the Pale 
of the Green Zone. What I am suggesting is that there has 
been a change or shift in USA policy.  The upcoming 
presiential election tends possibly to obscure that same 

What has been shelved I think is the neo-con wish list.  Real 
politik has taken over and all stops will be pulled out to 
stabilise Iraq under Allawi or something like him. Hence the 
need to destroy the major alternative model - that of a pro-
Iran clerically led Iraq.  

By the time the anti-Sadr Shi'ites of the al-Hakim clan and 
the Da'wa party wake up to what is going down, Sadr could 
have been crushed and they will have no option but to give in 
once more to a Sunni dictatorship led by Allawi. It is a high 
risk stategy, and depends a lot I supect on al-Sistani's 
ability to keep the Shia waiting hopefully for democratic 





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