Sunday, August 15, 2004

Muqtada al-Sadr as Seen Through Iraqi Eyes

I strongly recommend that those who've been entertaining the sorts of delusions about al-Sadr illustrated by John Quiggin's CT post read this blog entry by an Iraqi named Alaa. As I've been maintaining for some time now, it's far too easy to simply sit back and assume that al-Sadr speaks for the silent majority (or even a formidable minority) of Shiites, who are assumed to be uniformly unperceptive and undesiring of the sorts of freedoms we take for granted.

If we're serious about ensuring that Iraqis get a shot at the freedom to think, speak and vote as they please, the least we can do is send the thug called Muqtada al-Sadr an express ticket to the gates of paradise. Letting him live to intimidate another day would be the most morally bankrupt course of action imaginable, a complete betrayal of every Iraqi who's ever dared to take us at our word about freedom and democracy. As Alaa points out, if al-Sadr really did have as large a constituency as the advocates of unilateral surrender wish to make him out to enjoy, he wouldn't have been so averse to participating in the electoral process throughout the last year.