Mahdi Army and Sunni Resistance United? - 02.26.2006

And in an instant, everything in Iraq changes direction again. Saturday representatives of Muqtada Al’Sadr met with Sunni opposition groups. As my readers may remember, I’ve repeatedly alluded to the negotations going on behind the scenes between Muqtada Al Sadr and his followers and the Muslim Scholars Association, Iraqi Accordance Front, and other non-Ba’ath Party aligned Sunnis.

After the meeting the Muslim Scholars Association and Al’Sadr jointly pledged to redouble efforts to secure Iraq and end the increase in sectarian conflict that has been witnessed in the aftermath of last week’s bombing at the Askariya Mosque.

This turn of events, and the much repeated belief of many Iraqis that Iranian intelligence and members of the Badr militia may be responsible for the bombing, may lead to a consolidation of Iraqi opposition against Iran.

Many of the Iraqi Bloggers linked to at Alive in Baghdad’s Iraqi Blogs section are raising interesting questions about the attack as well as the western media coverage of the aftermath.

Imad Khadduri has an interesting breakdown of Iraqi opinion about the events around the bombing:

“Who bombed the shrines?”
From Imad Khadduri | February 24th, 2006

This is a noteworthy posting from Baghdad Dweller:

Who bombed the shrines?

In the first Comment to the above posting: “By the way today the so called Al-Qaeda in Iraq condemned the bombing, Baath party condemned the bombing and many fractions …

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And regarding the media, there is an important question raised by “Truth about Iraqis”

Is western media complicit in the murder of Iraqis?
From Truth about Iraqis | February 24th, 2006

The headlines:
Reuters team of Alastair Macdonald and Lutfi Abu Oun - Curfew stalls Iraq bloodshed
Agence France Presse reporting from Washington - Sectarian violence not seen as tipping into civil war: Pentagon
MSNBC: Iraq curfew helps cap most viol…

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These two blogs should give some interesting perspective on Iraq. I can only reiterate many of the things they say eloquently through the lens of a Western mind.

An important note to remind people however, is that despite the mainstream press’ repeated claims that “both factions of the Shi’a government have alliances with Iran,” there is in fact no evidence of a direct alliance between Al’Sadr and Iran, if anything it is the opposite.

Furthermore, it is just as much of an over-simplification to suggest that there are only two factions of the Shi’a government as it is to imply that there is a monolithic single-mindedness and uniform goal for the disparate groups involved in Iraq’s insurgency and resistance movements.

More about the divisiveness between Sadr and the elements of Iraq’s government who are allied with Iran soon.

Till then, keep an eye on the Iraqi Blogs section, they have some of the best breakdowns of information about the unfolding events of this past week.

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