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Exposed: Sadr’s Ramblings, Anxieties December 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, Religion.
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IraqSlogger: Exposed: Sadr’s Ramblings, Anxieties
Background: The young cleric who rose to power from anonymity following the American overthrow of Saddam has basked in the glory of his father’s name. Muhamad Sadiq al Sadr was one of Iraq’s most important clerics who was assassinated in 1999 and was called the Second Martyr. Sadr represented the poor and oppressed Shia underclass that had remained in Iraq, and he built around him a vast following and a militia, the Mahdi Army, which now dominates the Iraqi Police and much of the Iraqi Army as well as various ministries and Shia neighborhoods.

But evidence on the ground suggests Muqtada al Sadr is merely a figurehead for an army with no real leadership or hierarchy, which acts locally. Sadr has also clashed with many deputies, firing close allies.

In a video of an internal debate among his men that was released without his approval, a different Sadr is seen, and it is clear how little control he has over his men and how jealously he guards his tenuous power.

Speaking in poor Arabic, all slang, Sadr reveals his jealousy and insecurity as well, criticizing a deputy for praising Abdul Aziz al Hakim, the leader of the rival Shia Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

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