The conflict pitting Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army against U.S. and Iraqi government forces shows that the occupiers seek to create a new crisis for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by turning the Shias against each other.
The clashes began about a month ago when, provoked by the U.S. occupiers, Iraqi government forces tried to disarm the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr in Basra, without taking heed of their influential role in maintaining security in Baghdad’s Sadr City district, Karbala, Najaf, and southern Iraq.
The Iraqi government is insisting that the Mahdi Army disarm while at the same time the United States has trained and armed thousands of forces of the Awakening Councils in western Iraq.
These forces, which are remnants of Iraq’s Baathist regime and former agents of Al-Qaeda, adopted the suspect tactics of cutting relations with all terrorist groups and engaging in political-military activities.
The sudden appearance of the Awakening Councils in the political-military arena indicates that efforts are being made to recreate the situation that existed before the fall of the Baath regime on April 9, 2003, when most Iraqis were excluded from the circles of power.
The U.S. occupying forces’ strategy of strengthening one group and disarming another shows that they are trying to instigate a clash between the Shia militia and the Iraqi government so that the other group can insidiously come to power.
More blood will be shed, but the sooner the Iraqi government becomes powerful enough to fend for itself, the sooner the U.S. will be out of there. Hopefully.