Sunday, June 13, 2004

JC Weighs In

Recently it has been reported that Muqtada Sadr has lent his support to the intermin government set to take over on June 30th. The analysis of Professor Juan Cole (who published the weblog Informed Comment, one of the few K-man approved blogs)basically destroys any basis for optimism that might have been found in this announcement:

The wire services are misinterpreting this statement as an about-face on Muqtada's part. It is not. It is a piece of bargaining. He is saying that he will swing the Sadrist movement around to support the transitional government if it will commit to throwing the Americans out of Iraq on a strict timetable. That is what Muqtada has wanted since the fall of Saddam.... It seems probable that one reason the Americans came after Muqtada in early April, intending to kill him, was fear that he will become powerful enough after June 30 to lobby effectively for the expulsion of the Americans... Paul Bremer's recent attempt to ensure that the major Sadrist leaders are not allowed to run for parliament has the same goal. The civilians in the Department of Defense such as Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz probably went to war against Iraq in part precisely to get bases there. The realization that they might be tossed out at the instance of a few million Shiite slum dwellers has so infuriated them that they attacked the movement without provocation, killed about a thousand of them, and are now trying to disenfranchise several million Iraqis by disallowing Sadrists from holding office.


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