Iraqi Sectarian Tension Flare

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Maliki’s Sunni opponents are part of the al-Iraqiya bloc, which is led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. He is a secular Shiite that is hated by Iran and looked upon favorably by the U.S. The bloc holds 82 of the 325 seats in Iraq’s parliament and it is now boycotting ministerial and parliamentarian meetings.

Al-Iraqiya is the strongest rival to Maliki, and it is possible that these charges reflect growing ties between Maliki and Iran. For example, the Iraqi delegation that recently met with President Obama included the Minister of Transportation, Hadi Farhan al-Amiri. He was a commander in the Iranian-backed Badr Brigades militia. When FOX News investigated it, a White House source pointed out that the Bush Administration also met with Iranian-tied officials. FOX was shown a photo of President Bush meeting with Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Iranian-backed Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. In 2006, U.S. forces arrested two members of Iran’s al-Quds Force at al-Hakim’s compound where they were meeting with al-Amiri.

The sectarian tension is particularly worrisome because U.S. forces have now left Iraq. The Sunnis distrust the Iraqi security forces, arguing that they are often a tool of sectarian forces. Moqtada al-Sadr is threatening to reconstitute his Mehdi Army militia so it can target any remaining American civilian presence, such as contractors. There is reportedly discussion about 800 to 1,000 American trainers returning to Iraq. If his militia is revived, the Sunnis will likely be provoked into bringing back their own militias, even if al-Sadr says he won’t target Iraqis.

Iraq is now facing its moment of truth. Now that American forces are gone, it will now be seen whether Iraq’s fragile democratic beginnings can be preserved or if it will fall into renewed authoritarianism and Iranian hegemony. Its sectarian communities will have to come together for the common good or watch the country spiral into violence and political dysfunction once again.

The Iraqis are deciding their own future now and it is up to them to get it right.

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  • mrbean

    Americans have withdrawn. Iraq is dominated by Shiite Muslims and Iran is almost 100% Shiite Muslim. They hate Sunnis Muslims, and so do the Kurds. The Kurds have already aligned themselves with Iran. And you are surprised that this has started already? Wait – far worse is coming soon.

  • logdon

    Is Iraq now a barometer for the Dar el Islam?

    Leave them to it and watch how it plays out.

    If after all the treasure and allied lives expended on civilising this bunch, they still can't co-exist even with their own brethren what hope is there?

  • Steve Chavez

    Will Obama be blamed if Iraq returns to chaos, death squads, sectarian violence, and a renewed influence by Iran and Al-Sadr? When our troops left Vietnam, the peace movement claimed victory but were not blamed for the ensuing massacre of millions. They again claim victory, but not a military one, but a political one aided by their comrade Obama who was also brainwashed by the peace movement in the 80's and who had ties to the CPUSA and the Soviet KGB. He is still beholden to his KGB Putin masters as he now gave Iraq back to them like the Soviets who took over Vietnam when we left. It is also no wonder that KGB Putin and the Communist Chinese again stab us in the back by aiding Iran who then is the catalyst to future chaos in the region. If they acquire a nuke or two, they will take over the whole Middle East and no one will dare to stop them for fear of a nuke being dropped on them.

    The root of all these problems are Obama and the haters of America and Israel and yet American Jews will still support and fund his re-election.

    • Steve Chavez

      DID OBAMA MAKE A DEAL WITH IRAN to stop Al-Sadr and his aiding in sectarian violence and a possible civil war which will be blamed on Obama's quick POLITICAL departure in return for the U.S. pressuring Israel to not attack their nuke sites which will then require them to attack other military sites?

      Obama will be blamed for future chaos and the blood and sacrifice will have been for nothing therefore meaning a loss of every military person's vote.

    • Grazel

      Steve, I could not agree more. Anyone not seeing this mess coming is deaf, dumb and blind.

  • john in cheshire

    Moqtada-al-Sadr should have been eliminated in 2003. I recall that he personally, or his followers on his orders, killed an opponent in one of the muslim mosques in Iraq, on one of their holy days. And nothing was done about it. The West, as usual, allows satanic forces to perpetrate their evil designs with impunity. If he had not existed over the past 8 years, I suggest many thousands of normal people would still be alive.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    That was quick.

    Mission Accomplished, eh?

  • 58TROJAN

    And by the way, why is it that when people don't find something, the conclusion is that it doesn't exist? How absolutely presumptuous of the Bush haters to categorically say Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. What do they call the gas he used to kill Kurds?

  • BLJ

    I am getting sick of this shiite happening over there. (Try the veal please). Seriously, is this any surprise with the Iranians next door? Out goes the U.S. in comes Iran.

  • Omar Khalid,Cairo

    This is great news. The US, NATO, and the UN should place a tax on ALL non-muslim countries for 1 year. Then The US should supervise the purchase of weapons that NATO would air drop into Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan. Muz killing muz should be an Olympic sport televised worldwide. As we used to say in the military ESAD.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    There is no common bond holding these people together, the peace for ever
    what it was worth to the Iraqi people by the American presence is now over.
    Was this taste of less killing, mayhem and terror enough to keep barriers up
    and a continuation to stability a real Iraqi desire? Has the fatalist mentality
    evaporated, maybe not but we will see if the killings at bus stops, hundreds
    at a time, it they start again without American intervention, devolution into
    civil war, mayhem and chaos is just down their road and Iran is there to insure
    it takes place if Iran does not make Iraq it's proxy……………………..William

  • Flowerknife_us

    Time for the press to keep a bombing count. Sure to be lower than the body count.

    Fourteen so far overnite.