Saturday, September 06, 2003

Badr Brigade Patrols Najaf

The U.S. is now allowing the Badr Brigade, armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, to patrol Najaf despite earlier demands that the group disarm. There probably wasn't much choice: Much as a high casualty rate in Fallujah caused the U.S. to hand that city over to a local police force, here the terrorist attack which killed Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim has forced the U.S. to give in to a force which, if not precisely local, is at least locally supported. The sad fact is that many people looking at this situation will conclude that resistance to the occupation is working, and that if such resistance continues the U.S. and U.K. will soon leave entirely. I think this could have been avoided with better post-war planning. Behind the scenes, I suspect Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, SCIRI's new leader, may have set this as his price for remaining on the Governing Council.


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