Choosing Baghdad’s new rulers: it’s a long road

Al-Sadr climbed down from his tree 

The US Assassination of Haj Qassem Soleimani and Haj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes On Baghdad Airport’s Road

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

The Iraqi Shiite parties decided to remove the barriers, tents, and sit-ins they have displayed for a few months in Baghdad at the gates of the “Green Zone”. They are now headed towards engaging the political process and accepting the election results approved by the Federal Supreme Court. This happened only after vigorous inter-Shia contacts between the leaders of the Shiite parties. The objective was to overcome the enduring differences triggered by the preliminary results and the different approaches to critical challenges, mainly the US forces, corruption and the armed militia.

Many political parties lost a significant number of parliamentary seats, limiting their future influence in the future government- but not on the streets. A great pride prevailed among the Sadrist movement when winning the most significant number of parliamentary seats (73 MP seats), with a high expectation of forming a Sadrist government. However, the journey between announcing the results and forming the government remains long and hampered by severe obstacles. For this reason, the first meeting of its kind took place in Najaf, after Baghdad’s meeting that broke the ice between Shia political leaders, among the most influential Shiite parties, but with the absence of the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (33 MP seats). This indicates that although all Shia parties’ political understandings and agreements for selecting the country’s leaders have not yet matured, nevertheless, they have started seriously to tackle the main points of concern.

One point of disagreement for the next government will be how to confront the US forces that remain under different titles and justifications (training and intelligence instead of combat forces). The Shia Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Kadhem Al-Haeri issued a fatwa asking for the immediate withdrawal of all US forces and legitimising the resistance. He said, “it is forbidden to maintain any US military force under any title of training or military advice or under the pretext of combating terrorism that these forces (the US) are its instigators.” This fatwa, which binds only the followers of Sayed  Al-Haeri, is in harmony with the Iraqi factions that swore to attack the US forces after the 31st of December 2021. Al-Haeri and the Iraqi factions call for any US soldier still on Iraqi soil to be considered an occupier that must be resisted until the expulsion of all occupiers.

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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher

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