Muqtada al Sadr led a million man march in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square yesterday, February 26, 2016. The dissatisfaction of the people is being co-opted by the #Sadr movement. “Today we are near the walls of the Green Zone and tomorrow we will be inside.”
Serious infiltration of Iran into Iraq’s government and military began with America’s 2006 choice of Maliki to lead and unify Iraq. Instead, he created a divisive, despotic and sectarian government marked by corruption. The people are fed up and looking for a leader to end their misery. Sadr rejects Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs and can point to their complicity in the terrorism of the Iranian backed Shiite militias. His record against the American occupation is clear. His Peace Brigades and Promised Day Brigades have fought against ISIS. His call for an end to corruption rings true to the many who feel the current leadership does not have them in mind.
Sadr’s plan: a theocracy modeled after, but not beholding to, Iran. He would, of course, be the leader, guiding the Hawza in Najaf and rivaling Iran’s influence in the region. Taken in by al-Sadr's anti-corruption rhetoric ‘the people’ might find the result failing their populist dreams.