Thursday, September 09, 2004

A step closer to theocracy

The war nerd comes out with a rather chilly article about how the Shias operate. It's something to bear in mind when we claim our inevitable victory over the Mahdi army.

A couple of things about this that the Yanks aren't shouting from the rooftops:

1) We didn't dare send in Western troops into the mosque. Good call but this is not going to be ignored next time they decide to fight us.

2) The Iraqi army failed, again. And they looked stupid when they claimed to have arrested all the fighters.

3) We had to rely on Sistani to rally his followers for a threatened "pilgrimage", aka a mass invasion. Sistani was not willing to help us at first (or perhaps you believe he went out of Iraq at that time just because of the heart surgery) but in the end he rallied his forces. What was he promised? Will we be able to deliver? And if we can deliver now will we be able to buy him off next time?

4) Sadr is now going back to politics. Normally this would be a victory against an insurgent, but it was the revocation of a lot of his movement's political freedoms that started it all - with Sadr demanding that he be allowed to publish his own newspaper. Now it looks like he will. So if his main demand was met, didn't he win?

I really can't see how Iraq can end up anything other than a Shiite more-or-less theocracy which is more-or-less allied to Iran (for now). The only question is how detached the Kurdish areas are.

So why couldn't we foresee this result before we got rid of Saddam? (Not we as in Airstripe One, We did, just we as in our betters in government).


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