Moqtada Sadr is known as the maverick of Iraqi politics. While he earned much praise for taking on the Americans, his subsequent somersaults have created many problems. He enjoys widespread support among the masses but his unorthodox political tactics have caused him to lose credibility.
Iraq continues to reel under political instability because the various political factions cannot agree to work with each other. Muqtada al-Sadr seems to be at the heart of the political impasse because of his sudden shifts in what he wants. The people of Iraq suffer.
The announcement that former British prime minister Tony Blair would be knighted in the New Year’s honors list aroused worldwide loathing and disgust. More than one million people signed a petition demanding this war criminal not be knighted. He was instrumental in unleashing the war on Iraq in 2003.
Iraq is trying to play a significant regional role to try to reduce tensions. It also serves Iraq’s interests, as the Baghdad summit showed.
Diverse political groups in Iraq are increasingly demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country. Their focus is the US presence that is at the root of all of Iraq’s problems.
Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi seems to be a man for all seasons. As Iraq’s former spy chief, he has cultivated close links with many unsavory characters that appear to have paid off by elevating him into the prime ministerial seat in Baghdad.
The American neo-cons have gone berserk. They have embarked on a plan to break-up Iraq following demands by the Iraqi parliament and government for US and foreign troops to get out of Iraq. The demands came in the wake of the assassination of Iran’s top general, Haj Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi comrade, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3 at Baghdad airport. The US missile strikes were described by most legal experts as war crimes.
Millions of Iraqis, setting aside political differences, joined hands in a peaceful rally in Baghdad on January 17 to demand the ouster of all US forces from the country.