Moqtada al-Sadr tells protesters to desist in Iraq

Moqtada al-Sadr tells protesters to desist in Iraq

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

NATO powers destabilized Iraq, Libya, and other nations. Thus many years later mass poverty, terrorism, declining infrastructures, and failed states materialize. The holy Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is one of the few people with enormous clout in Baghdad, Basra, and other parts of Iraq. 

After more internal chaos in Iraq – a nation where Iran increased its powerbase after the nightmare left behind by America and fellow allies of Washington – and where Turkey bombs Kurds and Yazidis in northern Iraq at random: the masses of Iraq are disillusioned by political elites who concern themselves with outside players, cronyism, and other negatives. 

Shia loyalists to Sadr clashed heavily with Iran-backed Shia factions. This led to the deaths of at least 22 people. Hence, with the situation spiraling quickly, Sadr called on his supporters to return home and abandon their protests. 

Sadr said, “The spilling of Iraqi blood is forbidden.”

He continued, “This is not a revolution because it has lost its peaceful character.”

Thus, Sadr gave his followers a deadline to leave Central Baghdad and the Green Zone. If not, he would abandon all links with the protesters. 

Reuters reports, “Monday’s clashes between rival factions of Iraq’s Shi’ite Muslim majority follow 10 months of political deadlock since Iraq’s October parliamentary election, which have raised fears of escalating unrest.”

Sadr – despite emerging from the election in a position of strength – still lacked the opportunity to galvanize a mixed Iraqi government that consisted of Kurdish parties, Sunni Muslims, and others. His hope for this varied alliance was to exclude Shia groups backed by Iran. 

An Iraqi official said, “The government is powerless to stop this because the military is divided into (Iran) loyalists and Sadrists as well.” 

Sadr said, “There are uncontrolled militias, yes, but that does not mean the Sadrist Movement should also be uncontrolled.”

If Sadr walks away from the political process in Iraq, then this will weaken the independence of the nation. Iraq needs a national salvation government that represents all Iraqis and without the influence of America and Iran – while government forces need to stem the role of Turkey in northern Iraq. 

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