Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Moqtada Also Rises

Moqtada al-Sadr was once a militia leader in Iraq.  Do not think I am very much impressed by that as a  title, but it meant a lot to Moqtada.  He cared nothing for militias, in fact he disliked them, but he pursued the leadership painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Shi'ite in Saddam Hussein's Sunni-favored Iraq. . . .

Skipping on from chapter one to the section of the book where Iraq holds the 2018 elections and cleric and movement leader Moqtada does quite well, Tamer El-Ghobshy and Mustafa Salim (WASHINGTON POST) report:

An electoral ticket backed by the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr emerged as the early front-runner in Iraq’s elections, according to preliminary results released late Sunday, dealing a significant blow to the reelection campaign of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
If the results hold, Sadr, a strident critic of the United States who commands a militia that fought American troops during the occupation of Iraq, could be in pole position to determine Iraq’s next leader. Sadr did not run in the election but holds sway over the electoral ticket that has defied predictions by amassing the largest number of votes across 10 of country’s 18 provinces.
Sadr’s coalition, called Sairoon, won by a large margin in the capital, Baghdad, which accounts for the most number of seats in Iraq’s 329-seat parliament. A ticket led by the commander of a Shiite militia close to Iran came in second.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.  (First paragraph, for those who missed it, is a reworking of the opening of Ernest Hemingway's THE SUN ALSO RISES.)

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