[A-List] Re: Dilip Hiro: Sadr's Rising Star to Eclipse Bush's Surge?
jannuzi at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 07:28:53 MDT 2007
> Contrary to Dilip Hiro's view, Sistani's leadership of the Shi'is into
> sectarian elections and govenment, and Sadr's failure to contest
> Sistani's authority, are probably two of the largest problems in Iraq.
> -- Yoshie
Interesting topic, still yet another bad article from tompaine (gee,
and he was always my favourite American revolutionary).
Sadr contests Sistani's status and leadership with almost everything
he does. Sistani CAN'T lead on the national issue because he isn't
Arab or Iraqi, he's Iranian (though I'm not really sure of his
citizenship status--remember, for years Iraq under Saddam was refuge
Sadr can't out-cleric Sistani because this sort of status is, to some
extent, inherited and then accrued over the years. So he doesn't try.
Let the old man sit in his high office and make pronouncements. More
and more, those who have seen and survived the dying just don't care.
It's the US Occupation that pumps up Sistani's status in order to
support the Occupation on its HOMEFRONT (the US). Sistani is very
similar in thinking to 'moderate' clerics in Iran who clashed with
Khomeini (as much as you could and survive the reaction). Unlike
Khomeini, as far as I can tell (and no I don't read Juan Cole, who is,
I'm sorry, a total dipshit), Sistani is not a modernizer at all. He is
a classic conservative who thinks clerics should stay out of
politics--except himself. He has no credibility whatsoever with
radical Islamists of either Sunni or Shia Islam. But you can be sure
the reason Sadr could turn out that many people to protest the
Occupation is THAT HE DOES.
Let's look at where the TP article falls apart (that is, it reports
some stuff quite factually then attempts to bamboozle with its
analysis--as if it is o.k. to write about Iraq as you want it to be,
not as it is).
Well, first off, am I the only person who found the story of Sistani
leading some sort of march into Najaf to make peace JUST COMPLETELY
UNBELIEVABLE? At the time the media were reporting he had undergone
heart surgery in London, and then he appears to do this. And we don't
see one single photo of him doing it.
Hiro says eye surgery, but see NYT Aug 2004:
Iraqi Cleric Has Heart Surgery in London
Published: August 14, 2004
Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was
in stable condition on Friday after an operation to unblock a coronary
artery, his office said. Ayatollah Sistani's London office, the Imam
Ali Foundation, said in a statement that he had had an angioplasty at
the Harefield heart hospital, 20 miles northwest of London.
The cleric flew from Baghdad to London on Aug. 6 to seek treatment for
a heart condition.>>
Back to Hiro:
> Later, Sadr fell in line with the wishes of Grand Ayatollah Ali
> Sistani to see all Shiite religious groups gather under one umbrella
> to contest the upcoming parliamentary election. His faction allied
> with two other Shiite religious parties—the Supreme Council for the
> Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and Al Daawa al Islamiya (the
> Islamic Call)—to form the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA).
It would seem he fell in line in order that his bloc--with key Sunni
allies--contested every move to turn Iraq into a 'federal state'. He
fell in line so he could insert requests and demands for an Occupation
withdrawal timetable at every turn.
> By so doing, in the face of American hostility, Sadr gave protective
> political cover to his faction and its armed wing, called the Mahdi
> Army. (U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington have long viewed Sadr
> and his militia as the greatest threat to American interests in Iraq.)
> Of the 38 ministers in Maliki's cabinet, six belong to the Sadrist
One of the key ones being the health ministry--a page right out of the
Hamas and Hezbollah guidebooks.
> When the Pentagon mounted its latest security plan for Baghdad on
> February 13—aiming to crush both the Sunni insurgents and Shiite
> militias—Sadr considered discretion the better part of valor. He
> ordered his Mahdi militiamen to get off the streets and hide their
> weapons. For the moment, they were not to resist American forays into
> Shiite neighborhoods. He then went incommunicado.
Classical RESISTANCE strategy. Meanwhile some of his elements killed
British troops in the south.
> Muqtada's decision to avoid bloodshed won plaudits not only from Iraqi
> politicians but also, discreetly, from Sistani, who decries violence,
> and whose commitment to bringing about the end of the foreign
> occupation of Iraq is as strong as Sadr's—albeit not as vocal.
What nonsense. If the Occupation ends, I wouldn't be surprised if
Sistani were forced to go back to Iran, which under current
leadership, wouldn't want him.
> The Towering Sistani
Only in the minds of some Americans apparently.
> Sistani then issued a religious decree calling on the faithful to
> participate in the vote to create a representative assembly committed
> to achieving the exit of foreign troops through peaceful means. The
> Bush White House, however, exploited Sistani's move as part of its own
> "democracy promotion" campaign in Iraq, with Iraqi fingers dipped in
> inedible purple ink becoming its much flaunted "democracy symbol."
Actually seems to have been stolen from Sadr, who has said that the
American Occupation must go by whatever means possible, and that if
some Iraqis believed it could be done this way, then so be it. But
that he thought the Occupier would not let it happen.
> Jaafari's successor, Maliki, is as reverential toward Sistani as other
> Shiite leaders.
Duh. There is the key. Maliki is the sort of politician who appeals to
the sort of Shia Muslim who reveres Sistani.
>Given Sistani's uncompromising opposition to the presence of foreign troops
> in Iraq, his staunch nationalism,
Roll that back a minute. That is such a screamer. Nationalism? The
guy is an Iraqi nationalist now?
>and the unmatched reverence that he
Only for the socially conservative, not the radical, who whether Sunni
or Shia, support the armed resistance.
particularly among the majority Shiites, he poses a greater
> long-term threat to Washington's interests in Iraq than Muqtada
> al-Sadr; and, far from belonging to opposite schools of Shiite Islam,
> Sadr and Sistani, both staunch nationalists, complement each
> other—much to the puzzled frustration of the Bush White House.
Sounds like the think tank zionists have a plant at Tom Paine now too.
> What must worry Washington more than the massive size of the
> demonstration on April 9 was its mixed Shiite-Sunni composition and
> nationalistic ambience. The prospect of Sadr's appeal extending to a
> section of the Sunni community, with the tacit support of Sistani, is
> the nightmare scenario that the Bush administration most dreads. Yet
> it may come to pass.
Without Sistani, and without Tom Paine.com thank you.
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