I’ve essentially won $10. I wonder what I’ll spend it on.
For some reason, I feel like there might be this impression that the sectarian violence was inevitable in Iraq. That these people have always fought each other and always will. With that frame of mind, one may think that their only goal is to kill each other, since that’s what they’ve always done. That if civil war exists in Iraq, the only objective of the Shiites and the Sunnis is to spill the blood of the other. That the objective is merely to fight.
We must think further than this.
The name al-Sadr keeps popping up in the news. His Shiite militias commit murder after murder. And I find myself constantly lamenting, “Why didn’t we kill him when we had the chance?” We did have that chance in the beginning of the war. I’ll refresh myself on the exact history later when I can find it.
If you think all al-Sadr wants is to kill people, you’re mistaken. Even Osama bin Laden has his dreams of an Islamic caliphate.
Now, the question is what kind of influence does al-Sadr wish to wield? Would he try to destroy the nascent democratic government in Iraq?
I can only propose a guess based on a knowledge of human nature and its lust for power: Yes.
The other question, though, is: What kind of influence does Iran wield over al-Sadr? Can Iran conquer Iraq via proxy (namely, al-Sadr)? It’s not so far-fetched when you consider what has happened with Hezbollah and Lebanon.
And of course, I have one more question: What should the US do about al-Sadr? Even if you don’t follow my paranoid line of questioning, al-Sadr’s militia poses a threat to Iraq’s government. A government needs to have a monopoly of force.