Friday, March 28, 2008

Violence in Iraq, Predicted

Perhaps some members of the media and the punditocracy caught by surprise by the violence in Iraq should re-read Ian Bremmer's submission to the March 2008 issue of TNI. He completed this piece in late January.

Among his points about what we should expect:

--as British forces withdraw from Basra, "no foreign power will be able to prevent an intra-Shia conflict" over control of this strategic, oil rich region and that if the central government doesn't accommodate the desires of local political players, "Shia will abandon any pretense of support for al-Maliki's government."

--on Moqtada al-Sadr: "al-Sadr and the Mahdi army may well provoke a direct confrontation with their Shia rivals" in a bid to retain power and influence and to avoid being marginalized.

Prophetic. But with due respect to Ian, it appears that the Maliki government, with US approval, went after Sadr's men, not the other way around. Which brings me to another point: Who will be the Iranians' guy when the US leaves and the Shias and Sunnis really begin fighting each other?
Iran will be supporting the Supreme Council of Islamic Iraq. Iran and the Marja'iyah of Najaf will protect al Sadr - he will not be crushed.
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