Sunday, August 20, 2006


In Iraq, where Iran is deeply involved in political developments, the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is said to have made Hezbollah the model for his Mahdi Army militia.

Sami Moubayed, a Syrian political analyst, looks at the rising casualty rates in Iraq. From Asia Times:

The author says a Hezbolla-style power play by Muqtada al Sadr would put the USA in a lose-lose position:

If it happens, and Muqtada decides to end all restraint, he could immediately bring down the Maliki cabinet. Or he could withdraw his ministers from the government and replace them with non-entities, and transform the cabinet into a political dwarf unable to make any real decisions. In this event, what would govern the state of affairs under Muqtada would be the power of the sword on the Iraqi street...

... with Iraq in such civil strife, it could in all likelihood become a battleground for the entire Persian and Arab neighborhood. The Saudis would support the Sunnis. Iran - and Lebanon's Hezbollah - would support the Shi'ites.

The United States would be trapped in the middle. It would be unable to side with any one party against the other. Supporting the Sunnis would mean supporting former Ba'athists. Supporting the Shi'ites would mean allying with Iran...

The United States stands in a helpless situation.

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