Kommentar

Mogtada al-Sadrs bevegelse forsøker å kapitalisere på den myteomspunne oppstanden mot britene i 1920, som fremstilles som begynnelsen på Irak som nasjon, og sier situasjonen er den samme idag.

Washington Post har noen gode poenger i sin analyse:

Fighting with U.S. troops raged into the night in a Baghdad slum, and hospitals reportedly took in dozens of casualties. But even before sunset, there was a sense across the capital that a yearlong test of wills between the American occupation and supporters of Moqtada Sadr had turned decisive, and its implications reverberated through Iraq.

The unrest signaled that the U.S. military faces armed opposition on two fronts: in scarred Sunni towns such as Fallujah and, as of Sunday, in a Shiite-dominated region of the country that had re2_kommentared largely acquiescent, if uneasy about the U.S. role. If put down forcefully, a Shiite uprising — infused with religious imagery, and symbols drawn from Iraq’s colonial past and the current Palestinian conflict — could achieve a momentum of its own.

«Just give the order, Moqtada, and we’ll repeat the 1920 revolution,» supporters chanted in Baghdad, a reference to a Shiite-led uprising against the British occupation that has grown in political mythology to serve as Iraq’s founding act. Across town, outside the headquarters of the U.S.-led administration, Sheik Hazm Aaraji warned, «The people are prepared for martyrdom.»
….
Since last summer, U.S. authorities had tried to persuade Iraq’s more senior and moderate clergy to rein in Sadr, whom one senior official described at the time as «a populist, a critic and a rabble-rouser.» «We’re watching him and some of the big [ayatollahs] are watching us, and we’re both hoping the other does something,» the official said.

Part of the reservation was motivated by the fear of a Shiite backlash. Since the start of the occupation, the desire to 2_kommentartain Shiite support — or at least acquiescence — has served as one of the administration’s key objectives

Protests Unleashed by Cleric Mark a New Front in War

By Anthony Shadid and Sewell Chan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 5, 2004; Page A01