May 5, 2008
WHICH IS WHY ATTACKING HIM STRENGTHENS HIM:
Who is Moqtada al-Sadr?: He is the 'most important and most surprising figure' of the Iraq war. (Michael B. Farrell, May 6, 2008, CS Monitor)
"The legacy of the grim circumstances in which Shiism was born has had a profound effect on the beliefs and actions of its followers," writes Cockburn. "It is a faith conceived in defeat and subjection," writes Cockburn. He says that "with its emphasis on the endurance of suffering under an oppressive state, [Shiism] was peculiarly well-suited to the psychological needs of a community living under the rule of a leader as cruel as Saddam Hussein." [...]
[B]efore Moqtada ever stepped into his leading role, the Sadrist current in Iraqi society was well established, particularly among the nation's poorer Shiites. Sadr's ancestry alone commands respect, and his face is now plastered across southern Iraq on posters along with images of his father and Baqir.
Though it's an embarrassing admission, at least Paul Bremer can plead ignorance about the way his attacks on Mookie backfired. Five years on we ought to have figured things out a bit better. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2008 7:50 PM