"To understand the significance of this, it’s worth reminding oneself of who Sadr and his supporters are. While generally portrayed as violent anti-Sunni and anti-American extremists (the first charge is certainly true of many of them and the second is silly – being anti-American in Iraq is not extreme), Sadr and his supporters were also among the biggest victims of Saddam Hussein. Sadr’s great-uncle, great-aunt, father, and two elder brothers were murdered by Saddam’s regime. His followers, largely the poor, uneducated and downtrodden among Iraq’s Shi’a majority, were, along with the Kurds, Saddam’s biggest victims – especially in 1991, when Saddam put down their uprising with the aid of our current president’s sainted - or perhaps merely beatified - father.
"Nobody, except possibly the Kurds, should have felt happier about the removal of Saddam. Nobody should have been easier to win over to the Americans’ side if the slightest attention had ever been paid to ordinary Iraqis and their desires. Instead, nobody but the constantly brutalized residents of al-Anbar province in Western Iraq is a more implacable enemy of the United States."
Labels: Iraq, War on Terror