Where is Sadr?

Posted by Cutler on June 06, 2006

At least one critical question emerges from my long post on Maliki’s Basra lockdown:

Where is Sadr on the Basra lockdown?

1. Sadr/Yaqubi: the alliance between Sadr and Yaqubi (mentioned in my previous post) still holds and both are targets of the Maliki crackdown on Basra.  The Maliki/Sadr alliance has already ended and the consequences will soon emerge: like Yaqubi’s Fadhila party, the Sadrists will withdraw from the government.

2. Sadr/Maliki: Sadr has sold out Yaqubi and given Maliki the green light for a crackdown on Fadhila’s control of the Basra oil infrastructure.  The political isolation of Yaqubi’s Fadhila party is complete and the only resistance to Maliki’s crackdown will come from Fadhila’s rank and file.

3. Maliki Media Magic: there is no Basra lockdown worthy of the name.  It was all a publicity stunt for the benefit of the Sunni insurgency to show that a Shiite government would “get tough” on its own rather than (or prior to) any comparable crackdown in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province.

4. Solidarity Forever: Maliki and the UK will disarm Sadr’s Mahdi Army and SCIRI’s Badr Brigade—and gently remove Fadhila’s rank and file from sensitive positions in the oil industry—but will do so in such an even-handed way that all parties will consent to the initiative.  The UK will establish a monopoly on the use of force.  Basra oil will flow like a mighty river into the waiting hands of International Oil Companies.

The betting window is now open… Place your bets!

2 Comments to Where is Sadr?

  • If the Iraqi Federation of Oil Workers (24,000 members) has any vote on the question of who controls the oil industry — as it would seem the Virtue Party is acting on their behalf — the bets are on #1. Exactly how the Virtue party can control the oil industry, and threaten a slow down in production is not exactly clear, but they apparently have enough confidence in their ability to do this, that they would risk splitting from the maliki government. Sadr would be their natural ally, not withstanding {sic}family squabbles.

  • anna missed, I couldn’t agree more.  Thanks for the comment. I’ve asked Gilbert Achcar to weigh in on the relationship between the Virtue Party and the Federation of Oil Workers (he has translated some speeches by the union leadership). We’ll see if he can help shed some light on the subject.

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