[Marxism] WSJ op-ed: let Iraqis vote on withdrawal

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Thu Nov 30 20:33:25 MST 2006

Gary MacLennan writes:

> Marvin wrote:
> What's more surprising is that the Sadrists, the largest coherent
> political force in Iraq calling for a US withdrawal, haven't floated the
> idea of a popular referendum, if only as a powerful tool to rally domestic
> and international opinion. They or other anti-occupation Iraqi groups
> haven't done so to my knowledge at least.
> My comment:
> I wondeer how you meant 'coherent' in this context, Marvin.  Sadrism seems
> to me to be intrinsically incoherent in political terms.
> The movement was started by the father to weaken the influence of
> communism among the Shiite poor.
Well, for sure it's not at the political level of the NLF in Vietnam, as we
would like; the historical context is different. But it's still a well
organized movement pursuing an Islamic republican program in the same way as
the Hezbollah, after which it's modelled itself. Like its Lebanese
counterpart, it's emerged as the  movement of the Shia poor, provides a
network of social services, has the largest parliamentary bloc of deputies
and the strongest militia, controls several key ministries, and is now
generally considered to hold the balance of power in Iraqi politics. The
Sadrists seem to me to have been among the least sectarian of the multiple
Iraqi factions and the most energetic in pursuing national unity, and the
tragedy is they haven't been able to bridge the communal  divide to form a
united Iraqi front against the occupation.

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