Iraqi dentist Zeyad, blogging from Baghdad, sends a gloomy update:
A whole year has passed now and I can’t help but feel that we are back at the starting point again. The sense of an impending disaster, the ominous silence, the breakdown of most governmental facilities, the absence of any police or security forces, contradicting news reports, rumours everywhere, and a complete disruption in the flow of everyday life chores.
All signs indicate that it’s all spiralling out of control, and any statements by CPA and US officials suggesting otherwise are blatantly absurd.
Is Al Sadr a puppet of Iran? Zeyad isn’t sure:
I would think it highly improbable that he is an Iranian puppet, although his ties to the Grand Ayatollah Kadhum Al-Ha’eri (Iraqi exiled cleric in Iran) are well known (Muqtada himself confessed once some time ago that he was Al-Ha’eri’s agent in Iraq which was the main reason he gathered such a following as well as his father’s reverence by Iraqi Shia). I admit that is highly possible that he has recieved financial support from Iran but not to the extent as to work in behalf of them in Iraq. There are rumours of existing training camps for Al-Mahdi volunteers in Iran along the Iraqi border, but I think it is very improbable that the Iranian regime would be so open in their support for the dissenting cleric.
However, it is also hard to believe that a young and inexperienced cleric with no real popular support from the Hawza would succeed in recruiting, financing, and training an army of 10,000 Shi’ites, as well as setting up offices, newspapers, and a huge propaganda machine all by himself. All of his aides and supporters are young and impoverished, a large number of them are known to people as criminals, thieves, looters, and unemployed illiterate slum dwellers. They would never show such dedication to their cause unless they were being rewarded. And any one who suggests that they rebelled for nationalist reasons can never be more far from reality.
Zeyad’s blog is a valuable insight, a look behind the veil pulled over the situation by the network media. He links to other Iraqi bloggers, too. Read it for yourself.