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The · Psychohistorian

Iraqi politics

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Some interesting things seem to be happening in Iraqi politics.

One interesting thing is that shortly after the U.S. elections, Prime Minister Maliki began making friendly noises towards Syria and Iran; President Talibani is visiting Iran now. I guess they figured, wisely, that there was some likelihood of the U.S. abandoning them to the wolves, so they'd better start worrying about the wolves themselves.

The more interesting thing, though, is that Falah Hassan Shanshei, supposedly head of Al-Sadr's political party in Parlaiment, appears to be forming an alliance with the Sunnis, despite the Sunnis' continued insistence that Al-Sadr's Mehdi Army disband.

Why the strange bedfellows? Well, both the Sunnis and the Baghdad area Shiites are in the oil poor central area of Iraq. SCIRI is also Shiite, but draws more support from the oil rich south. SCIRI is in favor of the southern provinces forming their own autonomous area, as the Kurds have in the north; the Shiites and Al-Sadr's group are worried they'll get left out of the oil revenues.

In a way this is encouraging, because it means that the government is starting to make decisions on secular grounds, rather than merely on irreconcilable religious differences. What effect that will have on the warring militias remains to be seen.

CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/30/iraq.politics/
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