Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Politics & Current Events > War and Conflict

War and Conflict UN, NATO, Iraq, Afghanistan, War on Terror, Israel & Palestine, and all international political conflicts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 02:51 PM
Americano's Avatar
Americano Americano is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8,614
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
And interestingly enough... the Wiki-page on Sadr reports that he is presently studying to become an ayatollah.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqtada_al-Sadr

This is the first I've heard of Sadr seeking ayatollah rank. Look out Iraq, Sadr is going to own the fucking place.
He was in Iran studying for it during a majority of the occupation when Maliki and the US wanted him dead.
__________________
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
~H.L. Mencken~
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 02:58 PM
Americano's Avatar
Americano Americano is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8,614
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Sadr has since the US invasion of Iraq been the ONLY leader that has consistently supported the idea of democracy and opposed theocracy.

As I've said all along, Sadr is the by far the most interesting fellow in Iraqi politics - and probably one of the most intelligent and successful. It is indeed quite likely that he will continue to dodge CIA assassins and outlive most of the contemporary crop of aspiring dictators.
Actually Sadr follows Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who has pushed democracy and elections since the US invasion. Sistani is often referred to as the most influential individual in Iraq.
__________________
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
~H.L. Mencken~
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 03:05 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,806
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Americano View Post
Actually Sadr follows Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who has pushed democracy and elections since the US invasion. Sistani is often referred to as the most influential individual in Iraq.
I respectfully submit that the historical record doesn't support the time sequencing here.

Sistani was originally quite opposed to democracy and elections and favored the Iranian model (go figure, he's Iranian). It was Sadr that was credited with turning Sistani into a 'pro-democrat' and to abandon support for the Iranian-model.

Yes, Sistani is the most influential individual in Iraq, but that's like saying that the Pope is the world's most influential Catholic. It is just a tagline that the western media like to repeat. It sounds good but doesn't mean much in the long run. Besides, Sistani is on his deathbed and has been for the last couple of years.

Indeed, for all the "respect" that Sistani gets, he sure doesn't seem to have much influence. I can't think of a single event in the last eight years that was driven by Sistani. Indeed, I see him on the losing end of several disputes and having to change positions to save face. That's the sign of a symbolic leader, not a real one.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 03:10 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,806
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Americano View Post
He was in Iran studying for it during a majority of the occupation when Maliki and the US wanted him dead.
All reports at that time specifically stated that Sadr was training/studying for a cleric rank a couple notches below that of ayatollah.

This is the first indication that Sadr is on track to become a full ayatollah.

Though, this could easily just be sloppy reporting.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 03:40 PM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Sadr has since the US invasion of Iraq been the ONLY leader that has consistently supported the idea of democracy and opposed theocracy.

As I've said all along, Sadr is the by far the most interesting fellow in Iraqi politics - and probably one of the most intelligent and successful. It is indeed quite likely that he will continue to dodge CIA assassins and outlive most of the contemporary crop of aspiring dictators.
As I said, a little promising. I think it's unrealistic for Iraq to sustain a form of democratic government that exactly resembles the west.
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old Mar 9th 2010, 06:54 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,806
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
As I said, a little promising. I think it's unrealistic for Iraq to sustain a form of democratic government that exactly resembles the west.
Indeed. I wouldn't wish our level of institutionalized corruption and our manifold anti-democratic policies upon them. Besides, it takes decades of dedicated efforts to build our particular and peculiar system. Besides, no one needs help in learning how to let the elites rule and screw the people, with the media serving as handmaidens. Most nations can figure this out easily enough.

For the Iraqis, I'd consider any government there that was not 'installed' by the US military or the CIA to be an improvement.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Mar 10th 2010, 02:03 PM
Americano's Avatar
Americano Americano is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8,614
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I respectfully submit that the historical record doesn't support the time sequencing here.

Sistani was originally quite opposed to democracy and elections and favored the Iranian model (go figure, he's Iranian). It was Sadr that was credited with turning Sistani into a 'pro-democrat' and to abandon support for the Iranian-model.

Yes, Sistani is the most influential individual in Iraq, but that's like saying that the Pope is the world's most influential Catholic. It is just a tagline that the western media like to repeat. It sounds good but doesn't mean much in the long run. Besides, Sistani is on his deathbed and has been for the last couple of years.

Indeed, for all the "respect" that Sistani gets, he sure doesn't seem to have much influence. I can't think of a single event in the last eight years that was driven by Sistani. Indeed, I see him on the losing end of several disputes and having to change positions to save face. That's the sign of a symbolic leader, not a real one.
I've held a different opinion of Sistani and Sadr:

http://www.cfr.org/publication/7636/
__________________
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
~H.L. Mencken~
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Mar 10th 2010, 09:57 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,806
Default Re: Where in the hell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Americano View Post
I've held a different opinion of Sistani and Sadr:

http://www.cfr.org/publication/7636/
Yes, I believe we've touched on this previously, though we've never actually discussed it. I shall most certainly take up this point, though because it requires some research to offer some support other than my usual brilliant polemics and clever rhetorical trickery, it may perhaps take a week or three...

Its not very often that I 'adopt' the 'cause' of short bearded radical Islamic clerics, but this one is rather interesting!
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Mar 15th 2010, 04:06 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,806
Default Re: Where in the hell...

First of all, it is to be acknowledged that Grand Ayatolloh Sistani is the most influential figure in Iraq. He is the most influential person in Iraq for the same reason, and in the same way, that the Pope is the most influential person in Italy. That is to say, he holds the most respected position of the most respected religous institution in the country. Nothing more, nothing less. And just like the Pope, everyone says they respect him, but when push comes to shove, many people can and do ignore him and his [political] commands on a regular basis.

But the point of my argument is not to attack Sistani, his position or his opinions. Rather, my point is to show that when push comes to shove, Iraq doesn't actually follow Sistani's political commands. One only has to look at Sistani's positions at any given time, and then look at events in Iraq to see the disparity.

In 2003/04, Sistani was the key 'moderate' Iraqi voice calling for calm in the face of the US occupation. Muqtada al-Sadr was the 'radical' Iraqi voice calling for violence and insurrection. The Iraqis decided to have an insurrection.

In 2004, Sistani said that the US plan for 'caucus' based election was completely unacceptable. The 2004 elections went ahead anyway, based on the US 'caucus' plan.

In 2006/07, at the height of the 'insurrection' in Iraq, Sistani formally gave up on the politics of Iraq.

Quote:
Unable to protect his Shi'ite followers against Sunni attacks, and deeply frustrated by his inability to influence events, Sistani reportedly told his staff, "I will not be a political leader anymore. I am only happy to receive questions about religious matters."
Source

A short while later, Muqtada al-Sadr called for a unilateral and self-imposed cease-fire with no pre-conditions. The insurrection settled down immediately - enough for the Bush Administration to claim credit for their 'surge'.

In 2010, when everyone was worried about election violence, Muqtada al-Sadr publicly called for peaceful elections. The Iraqis had a surprisingly peaceful election despite increasing violence in 2010.

My point here is to show that, despite the fact that everyone respects Sistani and everyone loathes the radical Sadr, it is Sadr that has been setting (defacto) the political drumbeat in Iraq since 2003.

In other words, if Sistani says the war is over and Sadr says the war is just beginning, based on both track records here, I'd be stocking up on the ammo and the flak jackets. Iraqis may respect Sistani, but Sadr clearly is closer to the political pulse of the nation.

Indeed, one has only to look at the relations between Sistani and Sadr themselves to see the distinctions. Sistani is the bigshot with all the power and authority of tradition behind him. But it is he who has 'come to an understanding' not just once, but twice (2004 and again in 2008) with Sadr. Both 'understandings' involved Sistani acknowledging/supporting Sadr's public position.

All I can say is that if Sistani was half as influential as everyone says he is, there would have been no insurrection/civl war in Iraq and there would be no SOFA requiring that the US military pull out. Those are the two most salient facts of post-invasion Iraq. Sadr called those shots.

Btw, the one area where Sadr and Sistani are on the same page is the topic of clerics and politics - both publicly oppose the Iranian-model with direct clerical authority built into the constitution. Both formally favor a secular political regime, based on Islamic principles.

And if one looks to the future, (old man) Sistani's most likely successor is a patron/ally of Sadr.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Mar 16th 2010, 05:16 PM
partofme's Avatar
partofme partofme is offline
World Citizen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,117
Default Re: Where in the hell...

I saw this today.

New York Times article on Sadr followers in the recent election.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com