Last October, 2007, Moktada al Sadr and Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, two of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite leaders, agreed to put their differences aside in an effort to confront their common enemy, the US occupation. For a while the two groups pulled their heads in while they reconfigured their approach to the problem.
It seems now that they are ready to take on the US and the Iraqi puppet government. With the support of Iran, who are backing and supplying the insurgent Shiite forces opposed to the US occupation and the Quisling-style Iraqi government, Shiite fighters have launched attacks against the Iraqi Army and US and allied forces in Basra and Baghdad.
Contrary to the obfuscating nonsense that some right-wing propagandists are saying, Iran has not given the go-ahead to the Iraqi puppet government led by Nouri al-Maliki to attack al Sadr and his Mahdi Army but, rather, is actually supporting the coalition between Moktada al Sadr and Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim and their fight against the US occupation.
The situation is rapidly beginning to resemble a Vietnam-style civil war where, one might recall, a US-backed puppet government tried to fight off a concerted insurgency using a US-trained Vietnamese army – and lost. Like Vietnam, where the insurgents were supported by North Vietnam, the Shiite insurgents in Iraq are being supported by their Iranian Shiite comrades. The only difference here, however, is that it is unlikely that Iranian regular troops will be directly helping out Iraqi insurgents on the battlefield; that would be exactly the kind of excuse the US are looking for to attack Iran.
Iraqi puppet government leader, al Maliki, at first promised to crush the militia insurgents once and for all but has since found that this is easier said than done, even with air support from the US and Britain, and that this is unlikely to happen and so instead is now offering cash to insurgents that hand in their weapons. Insurgents, however, have dug in rather than give in and are now regrouping after having beaten back the initial US-backed Iraqi forces attacks against them.
While the situation provides an excuse for the US to remain in Iraq, the US is unlikely to find the insurgents easy to beat. They are well armed and well trained, and have been around longer than US-backed Iraqi army. Sending in US troops to deal with the insurgency will be an embarrassment for the Iraqi puppet government and a slap in Bush’s face after he told the world that everything is under control in Iraq and that the Iraqis are able to look after themselves.
Apparently not but some interesting days ahead.