"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Al-Sadr lawmakers denounce Iraqi government

From Yahoo via AP.

Lawmakers loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused the Iraqi government of trying to crush the movement and warned Saturday of "black clouds" on the horizon for truces that have eased fighting between al-Sadr's militia and security forces.

This statement was delivered by Sadr backed elements after Iraqi forces detained approximately 350 Sadr supporters this weekend in southern Baghdad and continues it pressure on Sadr forces in Basra. Sadrist lawmaker Aqeel Abdul-Hussein stated,

The government is "moving forward in its project to liquidate all the national figures in a more savage way than the previous (Saddam Hussein) regime," Abdul-Hussein told the press conference.

A couple things are interesting here.

1. The difference between the Maliki government and the Saddam government is that in 2009, if PM Maliki goes too far, his government can and will be voted out of office.

2. Sadr's forces are attempting to show the Maliki government is secular not understanding that Iraqis have always been and are becoming more and more secular daily. It is only a recent phenomena (2004-2007) where religious forces gained an upper hand in Iraq. This upper hand is now being lost again to secular forces, especally in the southern regions of Basra and Najaf, the western region of Al Anbar, and the northern region of Mosul. Non-secular figures and militia have caused the violent insurgency in Iraq.

3. Sadr's forces keep threatening to end the ceasefire, but constantly back down. Why? Everytime they end a ceasefire, Iraqi Security forces kill and detain them in numbers over 100 per day. They are able to do this not only because of their increased capacity, but also because this militia no longer enjoys the tacit support of the population. Al Qaeda used to have support from Sunnis. It no longer enjoys this support. Similarily, the Mahdi Army used to have this support among Shiites. It no longer enjoys this support, which is why is constantly backs down.

4. Iraqi Security Forces are seen as secular force which will ensure freedom and democracy in the region. Whether they have to battle extremists Shiites or Sunnis, they are doing their job professionally and effectively. All Sadr's spokesmen can do is to try to tarnish this image. However, they are not succeeding.

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