Saturday, January 6, 2007

Nouri al-Maliki, the half-hearted anti-hero

Picking up on what began as a crtitque of Robert T. Miller's assertion that, as regards the execution of Saddam Hussein, the Holy See should remain silent, I add this, which shows that Miller is on the same page as Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who is, as my sarcastic mind seized on early this morning, Iraq's half-hearted anti-hero. I might add tragic to the descriptive phrase because Iraq needs a statesmen, somebody who can encourage Iraqis to rise above what divides them and begin to form a unified Iraqi identity and consciousness.

The fragmentation of Iraqi society and the Middle East as a whole, which was contributed to both by the hasty execution of Saddam, without even looking into the al-Anfal campaign, the 1988 campaign during which he gassed the Kurds, and the sloppy and vengeful way in which it was carried out, prevents the reconciliation that would flow from a political rapprochement, which is necessary to stabilize and begin the normalization of Iraq, which, in turn, would create the conditions necessary to begin withdrawal of U.S. forces. However, the necessary political rapproachment is unlikely as long as Nouri al-Maliki (pictured at right signing the warrant for Saddam's execution), the half-hearted anti-hero, who is propped up by Muqtada al-Sadr and his militia, the Mehdi Army, which is one of the leading fomentors of sectarian violence, especially in the capital, Baghdad, remains in power.

There is no political will on the part of either the PM or the Dawa Party, to which he belongs and is the consolidated Shi'a party, to end the sectarian violence, as they see it as the Shi'a getting even for centuries of repression and oppression. In fact, many, like al-Maliki, are complicit in the chaos. Images of the fox guarding the hen house come to mind.

After his 90 minute teleconference with President Bush this past week, al-Maliki promised, yet again, to crack down on militias, like the Mehdi army, a promise he has made before and utterly failed to even act on, let alone succeed at. It should make us all shudder that today, our half-hearted anti-hero, said, according to the BBC, that "his government could review relations with any country which criticised the execution of ex-leader Saddam Hussein". Since I am framing this in terms of cliches, cutting off one's nose to spite one's face is the one that comes to mind as regards Maliki's threat to review relations. This is not to malign Shi'ites as a whole, to paint with a broom, as it were, far from it. It just grieves me that through terror, violence, and raw power plays, Muqtada al-Sadr is in the ascendency over such truly spiritual leaders as Grand Ayatollah Sistani.

No comments:

Post a Comment