Monday, August 22, 2005

Theocracy In Iraq

Item 1: an article in the Guardian soj recommended, about the Sunni Arab town of Haditha - US soldiers look by once every few weeks, it is controlled by bloody talibanesque rebels, and that still with local support - and the reporter sensed a radicalisation of the locals, with past US and Iraqi government actions behind it. I note it's not much different in cities abadoned by the British in the South, ruled by Shi'a religious militias, and only slightly different in Kurdish-controlled areas. (BTW, also note speculations regarding the rebels' waiting for a Sunni/Shi'a civil war in the article - not based on actual facts. A bit of seeing what you want to see at work here.)

Item 2: Juan Cole and others kept convincing themselves that ├╝ber-Ayatollah Sistani and parties allied to him are 'moderates', clinging to some press statements tailored for Western ears, and Sistani's statement that he doesn't want Khomeini's "guardianship of the jurisprudent" in Iraq.

My opinion was always that this is a self-delusion. Sistani's constitutional idea of a parliament whose members must be deferential to the rulings of their respective religious leaders, given Shi'a absolute majority, gives the clerics the same power in practice, even if they don't have an official title from the state and don't officially act as an instance above parliament, like the Guardian Council in Iran. But, now the Shi'a coalition goes for it all (via Billmon):

An agreement was reached that Islam is the religion of state, and that no law shall be enacted that contradicts the agreed-upon essential verities of Islam. Likewise, the inviolability of the highest [Shiite] religious authorities in the land is safeguarded, without any allusion to a detailed description . . . A Higher Council will be formed to review new legislation to ensure it does not contravene the essential verities of the Islamic religion.

Also, while I on this blog wrote about this a few times already, I see Billmon details how the situation is exactly the same in Afghanistan.


At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Tislub said...

Once again, democracy is good only when it serves American interests.

The US is the 'beacon of freedom' in the world after all. The freedom to modify, devastate and pillage the world to their liking.


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