Thursday, May 3, 2007
By Pepe Escobar
"......Roubaie left implicit that the key religious parties in government, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and Da'wa, are against the timetable [for U.S. Troop withdrawal]......
The Sadrists want an oil law that "is the symbol of the unity of Iraq, and not good only for the Kurds or for the south". Here we find the Sadrists in essence concurring with Saddam Hussein, who nationalized the Iraqi oil industry in 1972.
Once again the criticism of the top government parties, the SCIRI and Da'wa, is implicit. Abdul Adel Mahdi, the SCIRI's No 2, has been one of the top cheerleaders of the oil law; he has been to Washington to assure Big Oil of the "great opportunities" lying ahead. Oil Minister Husain al-Shahrastani, from Da'wa, is also a top cheerleader, arguing that the oil law "will benefit all Iraqis" and boasting that the country may raise oil production.......
There's a real possibility in the months ahead of an Iraqi shadow cabinet being formed - uniting Sadrists and Sunni nationalists. This poses the striking alternative confronting Iraq's government: What will prevail, Iraqi nationalism - as represented by Muqtada - or a semi-alignment with Iran - represented by the SCIRI and Da'wa? As for Muqtada, he will remain the kingmaker......"
I am not so sure about this thug, Muqtada. He is a chameleon, who poses as a "nationalist" when it suits his agenda but in reality he is a sectarian death squad leader. His death squad teams, with their electric drills' torture, have been responsible for more sectarian killing (including hundreds of Palestinians) and ethnic cleansing of entire neighborhoods in Baghdad than any other sectarian militia.
For him to pose as a nationalist is disingenuous when most of his support comes from Iran and when he is a part and parcel of the puppet government. The fact that this interview with Escobar took place "on the outer limits of the Green Zone" should tell us something.
I am one of Escobar's admirers, but I think he is off-base when it comes to Sadr. Muqtada had plenty of opportunities to forge a real alliance with the Iraqi nationalist resistance and to fight the occupation together, but he took the more expedient sectarian route and collaborated with the occupation. His militias, instead of fighting the occupation, work hand-in-hand with the occupation; this is the documented reality.
Sorry, but in my book this thug is not a nationalist; this title belongs to the resistance that has been fighting the occupation since day one.