After hearing about how 300 are dead in Najaf and there have been numerous insurrections around Iraq following the end of the ceasefire, what is this Al Sadr guy want? Another Iranian style dictatorship? Is he a crook? I ask because I’ve read numerous Iraqi blogs saying that the majority of Iraqis hate this guy and that most of his Militia are former inmates of Saddams jailcells, petty theives, kidnappers and rapists, so anyway if this is the deathknell for his organisation, or will it spring up another load of militias hating the West as usual. Plus, where’s he getting the funding to support his offensives?
I don’t know if ‘crook’ is the right description. I think he’s just power hungry, and I think he’s been supported by Iran. No doubt he’s been promised all sorts of power and prestige should things turn out the way the Mullahs want. As far as I know, aside from his rather small following he’s always been seen as a rabble-rouser who has gained status basically by using the reputation of his father.
Try this: He’s just the best-organized and best-supported nationalist leader, attracting the support of those many Iraqis who think Priority 1 is getting the Americans and their puppets out. This is an interesting read on how he’s winning over Sunnis as well as Shiites.
Doesn’t need much. A popular insurgency can live off the land.
Strange, because I think to see how ordinary Iraqis differ.
Some may sympathise with him, but alot don’t want to see him or his cronies in power.
It will all depends on which side wins. If we manage to leave Iraq with the locals waving American flags, loved and respected, he will be considered a fraud.
If, on the other hand, the growing disquiet continues, he will be looked upon by his countrymen as one of the few leaders who stood up to a hated occupying army - an army that ursurped power and killed local men in the flower of their youth for no reason other than a hate of Islam.
As for the caliber of his fighters (sorry about the pun), often the core of any rebel force is of questionable quality. I remember England saying much the same about the American rabble back during the uprising of the radical wing of the colonies.
Probably the people who hate the occupying army are supplying his forces with supplies and funds. When the French Resistence fought their battles with the occupying Germans during WWII, support came from both without and within.
As to whether the historical preception of Al Sadr, whatever that is, is accurate, my I refer you to Cornwallis’ comments when asked what would history say about the representative of the greatest military power of the time surredering to a motley group of rebels in New Jersey.
“History will tell lies, as usual.”
My impression is that he’s an unstable opportunist who didn’t share his father’s faith, but is not averse to using the name. His Mahdi Army has taken on a momentum that he can’t control, and he wants to be a political figure.
We get reports that his people are using ‘revolution’ or whatever an an exsuse to settle old scores. Some of these guys could be neutralized just by giving them jbos, but all the jobs seem to be going to KBR.
The word here is that the 300 dead Sadrists number is way off, but that a lot of civilians have been killed in the fighting.
Sadr seems to have been making a power play while Sistani is out of the country getting medical attention, but he might have overestimated his support.
If, worst case, Sistani dies soon, Sadr could be in a position to set himself up THE leader to contend with for the Shiia.
Inerestingly, today an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped here and it is being interpreted as a warning to Iran (by who knows?) to stop pumping money and fighters to Sadr.
He wants to be “Top Dog.” What else would you expect?