Muqtada Calls Voting an Act of Defiance against the US

In an apparent bid to divide Shiites and Sunnis on the eve of Sunday’s parliamentary election, guerrillas on Saturday morning set off a bomb only 900 feet from the shrine of Imam Ali (which has the sort of place in the hearts of Shiite Muslims that the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome has for Catholics).

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadr Movement within the National Iraqi Alliance, issued a fatwa or religious legal ruling on Friday insisting that believers must vote in Sunday’s election and terming going to vote “political resistance,” which produces success when a group is united, and ordering his adherents to unite. The WSJ says that the Sadrists are using very canny electoral techniques in a quest to ensure they win as many seats as possible in Sunday’s election.

If the Sadrists succeed in rallying the Shiite masses to vote as an act of defiance toward the US military presence and the complaisance of the al-Maliki government, it could change the political landcape.

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12 Responses

  1. .
    Ever since Jerry Bremer issued a fatwa of his own in May, 2003, directing the assassination of Moqtada,
    it has been preordained that the Sayyid al-Sadr would win the first free election in Iraq, if he lived that long.

    Now it even looks like he will win an election while Iraq is still under occupation.

    What fun is there in maintaining a brutal foreign occupation, when the locals don't fear you anymore ? Poor Ray Odierno. His reign ends when the Iraqi people stand up to him.
    I mean, not even Rahm Emmanuel could go along with reconquering the land of the two rivers at this point, could he ?
    Not even Johnny Bolton, Danny Pipes or Denny Ross.
    And despite the fact that R. Bruce Chaney would be for it, he has lost a lot of his power to destroy.

    Within 3 months, the Iraqi Parliament will pass a resolution directing the US to remove all combat forces immediately.
    Oops! Didn't we claim to have already done that by last June ?
    .

  2. link to nytimes.com

    March 5, 2010

    U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital
    By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

    The U.S. is concerned about terrorism links between Somalia and Yemen, and its assistance could be crucial to the effort by Somalia’s government to bring order after decades of anarchy.

    [We are America, and we will go to war anywhere and everywhere for any reason we choose to make up. So we have the Obama-Clinton doctrine.]

  3. In response to the first reply,

    The only reason sadr can shout about 'political resistance' is because there's no 'brutal occupation'. If there was one he'd have his tongue cut off and his followers hanged on street lamps.

    And if the Iraqis say they want the US out earlier, Obama will be happy to do it and save hundreds of billions of dollars and stop being vulnerable to Iran in that area in case a war breaks out with them (and any civil war that breaks out between iraqis would be their responsibility alone).

    It must be a wonderful talent to have, to be blind to reality despite it shining on your face.

    And the second Anynomous,

    We are America, and we will go after islamic fascists wherever they are. And kill them.

    I say hail to the Obama-Clinton doctrine. I call it self-defense though.

  4. Again to that second reply,

    Just WHAT do you think the US is doing in somalia? 'For any reason we choose to make up,' basically the US is making excuses to go into some backward country with no reason other then just to fight a war (well support one really)…? I mean How dumb do you have to be.

  5. "… very canny electoral techniques …"

    The slaves of Murdoch have recently resumed demandin’ to be paid for most of the most predictably biased op-ed page in the known world. Some of the Wall Street Jingo customers, though, are traitors to their Class who don’t mind swiping and reproducing such things in full.

    So here, at second swipe, is what they are hidin’ about the Rev. Señorito Sadr behind the Teabag Curtain:

    On Friday, Mr. Sadr’s aides distributed thousands of pamphlets directing Baghdad residents to vote for specific candidates for Mr. Sadr’s Iraqi National Alliance. The directions broke out preferred candidates for 80 different areas in Sadr City, the Baghdad slum that has long been a Sadr stronghold.

    Unlike the general election in 2005—Iraq’s first after the fall of Saddam Hussein—voters this time are casting ballots for individual candidates rather than slates.

    Any votes a candidate receives above the threshold needed to win a seat will be distributed to other candidates on the slate.

    As a result, if too many people vote for the same Sadrist candidate, those votes could wind up going to other parties on the broader, Shiite slate, such as the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq, or ISCI. Though allied for this election, Mr. Sadr’s movement and ISCI are historically fierce rivals.

    “We don’t want to lose votes to candidates from other parties on our list,” Mr. Arraji, the Sadr aide, told the thousands of followers who massed on a wide boulevard in Sadr City. “We want the Sadr bloc to be the dominant bloc on the list.”

    To avoid diluting their voting power among candidates who won’t meet the seat threshold, Mr. Sadr’s campaign strategists decided to run just one candidate for each seat.

    Nearly every other party is fielding two candidates per seat as the law allows. Their assumption: the more candidates the broader list has on the ballot, the more overall votes it will garner as a whole.

    ***

    That may not sound so fiendishly clever to you, yet there are people around here (Cambridge MA) who have not figured proportional representation that well in over half a century.

    Healthy days.

  6. Again in response to the rotten first reply, because I can't get it out of my head.

    The ONLY REASON there's an election in Iraq in the first place is because of this thing you call brutal foreign occupation, and the 'reign' of Odierno as you put it.

  7. General Oreo,

    The reason that Sadr has been able to shout about political resistance is because he's stayed safe in Iran. And don't waste our time throwing around nonsense terms like "Islamo-fascist." You've been listening to propagandists like Michael Ledeen too much.
    As far as leaving Iraq goes, yes, I'm sure President Obama want to leave, but the neocon/Israel Lobby dominated policy establishment and media wants to ensure that we leave a submissive government when we do, and therein lies the rub.

    (Don't have the inclination to get a Google account so I can have a username other than "Anonymous" but this is Xenophon.)

  8. .
    General Oreo,
    this is the author of that first post.

    Thank you for shining reality in my face. But I'm left with some questions you might clear up.

    First, can I say that Iraq is still under occupation ?
    While we still have around 100,000 uniformed military, and around 250,000 contractor employees there, there is no overt US military control of day-to-day affairs.
    Sure, US advisors try to boss around the various Ministers, but more and more they ignore us.
    Does the fact that there has been a formal transfer of sovereignty to the government of PM al-Maliki, and the fact that he signed an agreement with President Bush providing for US troops to stay through 2011, mean that our forces are now there with the invitation of, or at least the permission of, a legit Iraqi government ?
    Keep in mind 2 factors before answering:
    #1. PM al-Maliki was chosen by Secretary Rice and Ambassador Khalilzad, not by the Iraqi Parliament, as the Iraqi Constitution provided.
    #2. International law says that elections held under occupation, and governments formed under occupation, are not valid.

    Second question: Sayyid al-Sadr is in Qom, which is in Iran. How are you going to cut out his tongue with him in Iran ? Isn't that why the Bremer fatwa was never carried out, rather than some purported tolerance of opposition by the occupation authority ? Didn't Bremer and Casey and Petraeus before you all send teams to assassinate him ?
    And how do you propose to hang 60% of 28 million Iraqis from streetlamps ? There aren't enough streetlamps.

    Third, if you will allow that the US is still militarily occupying Iraq, and if you allow (you may not) that over 1 million Iraqis have died as a result of our invasion and occupation, how is that not "brutal ?"
    More than 3 million have fled, either from the US military or from Shi'a militias. Does that indicate a perception of brutality to you ?
    In my blindness to reality, I imagine that al-Maliki has been campaigning on promises of kicking the Americans out of the country. I imagine that the Iraqis, the Shi'a, at least, are lapping it up. Why aren't they showering our troops with flowers and chocolates ?
    I admit that the US military has been restrained and professional in their conduct, only destroying homes when necessary. But the 60,000 Mercenaries have not been so restrained.
    Have you ever heard of Zapata Engineering ? That firm alone killed over 30,000 innocent civilians during their job of collecting and destroying "enemy munitions." They fired up every structure every time they drove past it, for more than 3 years, before anyone from the Corps of Engineers said anything.

    Let’s say that the Iraqis told us to leave, and President Obama agrees to withdraw all forces immediately. I assume that you are Ray Odierno IRL, based on your comments. Just last month you said that you would never pull out of Iraq, that too much American blood had been spilled to ever give Iraq back to the Iraqis. Obama is afraid of you and of all the Generals who are loyal to President Bush (as opposed to being loyal to, say, the Constitution.) Our troops aren't going anywhere until Obama starts firing Generals for insubordination. Golly, he won't even fire his WH Chief of Staff for insubordination.

    Do you really think the US military will pull out ? Won’t that look too much like failure ? Won’t you resist such an order ?
    .

  9. As we used to say in the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent during our long-overdue withdrawal from American occupied South Vietnam:

    "We lost the say we started and we won the day we stopped."

    Ditto for Iraq and Afghanistan. Way past time to bring these ordnance expenditure expeditions and earn-while-you-don't-learn commendation accumulation boondoggles to their inevitable, whimpering conclusions.

  10. To the one who said I was brainwashed by michael ledeen,

    I'm an atheist who grew up a muslim in the middle east, I don't need ledeen or anybody else to tell who to call fascists.

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