Sunday, May 20, 2007
Iraq's Sadr Overhauls His Tactics
Shiite Woos Sunnis, Purges Extremists
The Washington Post
A Comment by Tony Sayegh
The sectarian thug is at it again. He has done so many twists and turns and has reinvented himself so many times that he makes John I-supported-the-war-before-I-voted-against-it Kerry envious. One day he is "fighting" the occupation, the next day he is supporting the "surge" plan of the occupation to bring "security" to Baghdad. He even cooperated with the U.S. military to implement the plan. One day he is supposedly against Iran and an "Iraqi nationalist," the next day we find out that Iran is his main financier and arms supplier. The same thug whose black-clad death squads have been responsible for thousands mutilated, tortured and their corpses dumped in the streets and who are responsible for ethnic cleansing of entire neighborhoods, that same thug wants to mend his fences with the "Sunni insurgents." The same thug who supported the quisling government of Maliki is now theoretically opposed to the government, even though his representatives are still in the puppet "parliament."
Why does he assume that the Iraqis are stupid? Why does he assume that their memory does not span more than a day or two? When you read this long article you become even more convinced that he is so unreliable that the resistance would be well-advised to not deal with him at all. It is quite possible that this latest attempt is nothing more than an attempt by the occupation to use him, as a Trojan horse, to penetrate the resistance, expose it and weaken it. A simple Iraqi woman who suffered at the hands of the Mahdi thugs put it this way: ""Moqtada is saying something, but on the ground they are doing something else," Habib said, tossing a glance at Ibrahim, 6, his left leg in a cast. Sadr's call to reconcile with Sunnis is "all nonsense," she continued. "They want to know who the Sunnis are, so they can start butchering people at their own pace.""
An excerpt from the article:
"The movement of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has embarked on one of its most dramatic tactical shifts since the beginning of the war.
The 33-year-old populist is reaching out to a broad array of Sunni leaders, from politicians to insurgents, and purging extremist members of his Mahdi Army militia who target Sunnis. Sadr's political followers are distancing themselves from the fragile Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which is widely criticized as corrupt, inefficient and biased in favor of Iraq's majority Shiites. And moderates are taking up key roles in Sadr's movement, professing to be less anti-American and more nationalist as they seek to improve Sadr's image and position him in the middle of Iraq's ideological spectrum.
"We want to aim the guns against the occupation and al-Qaeda, not between Iraqis," Ahmed Shaibani, 37, a cleric who leads Sadr's newly formed reconciliation committee, said as he sat inside Sadr's heavily guarded compound here......"