More thoughts on Iraq was Re: [Marxism] US troops assassinate Sadrist official, declaring him "rogue"

g.maclennan at g.maclennan at
Tue Feb 6 16:58:11 MST 2007

In the case of the assasination, and that is the correct word, of al-Sadr's follower, it is best to keep a very open and sceptical mind.  He may or may not have been a snitch - who knows? 

Despite this killing and the arrest of Sadrists, I am still inclined to think that the basic picture in Iraq is one of the "Persians" cooperating with American Imperialism in the drive to crush the Resistance.

"Persians" is of course a horrible term, and deeply racist in origin.  Yet it has some purchase as a political concept, not least because Saddam saw anti-Persianism as the vehicle which could sweep him back to power.

By "Persians" I mean the Shia establishment, the Dawa Party and SCIRI in Iraq and the ruling cliques in Iran itself. I exclued the Sadrist movement, but have my doubts about their commitment to a non-Persian Iraq.

For their cooperation they will be paid back in the current currency - that of bombed and devastated societies. But the suffering of the elites can always be assauged by life in luxury apartments in London or elsewhere.

The US has made the Shia powerful in Iraq and thus with them help spread Iranian influence.  It never meant to do this and intends, IMHO, to make sure that the by product of crushing the Sunni led Resistance is not the emergence of a pro-Iranian oil rich Shia state.  I tend to believe that the Bush regime is convinced that the best way to ensure this does not happen is to bomb Iran "back into the stone age" as Armitage put it.

In the mean time Shia & Iranian tactics appear to be locked into what can best be described as appeasement.  Al-Hakim is at present in Iran trying to ensure the continuation of cooperation between the Iraqi Shia, Iran and the USA. When Iran is attacked he will not of course want to defend it, but his organisation surely will.

Similarly the mullahs of Iran do not want a fight and they are looking at replacing Ahmadinejad.

Back in Baghdad, the Sadrists are determined to avoid a confrontation with the USA as well.  After all the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad is proceeding according to plan.

Still the ointment contains not a few flies.  The Shia remain a divided, volatile and very complex entity. From the American point of view they are extremely unreliable partners. The recent outbreak of Twelverism in Najf shows that.

In addition the Resistance is still benefitting from the lack of numbers opposing them.  At the current rate of "progress" I would hazard a guess that the Resistance could maintain this level of combativity for at least another two years and Bush does not have that.

Nevertheless because of the "Surge" we may see a pacified, i.e. ethnically cleansed, Baghdad, but the resistance will continue elsewhere in Iraq.



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