Sunday, May 09, 2004

events, dear boy
A short time ago, I made a comment to a post at Harry’s Place that the position of the pro-war left amounted to the idea that the US army become the militia of the Iraqi Communist Party, and expressed a certain level of skepticism that this was likely to happen.

Well, via Billmon there are signs that events are beginning to run in that direction.

Iraqi officials who have been in close contact with Washington say the parties that will have to be represented in the caretaker government include the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which has close ties to Iran, and Dawa, another influential Shiite group. The Communist Party is also likely to be represented, they said.

What’s interesting bout this is that al-Dawa party was founded by the Shi’a clergy back in 1959 specifically to counter the growing influence of the ICP amongst the Shi’a peasantry migrating to the towns as Iraq urbanised – it was a sort of Mesopotamian version of Fianna Fail (off the wall metaphor of the week!).

For more details of Iraqi political groupings and parties, go here.

I’d thought that the ICP’s co-operation with the occupation authorities was a strategic mistake, since they’d be ideal candidates as scapegoats used to engineer a reconciliation between Sunni and Shi’a confessional parties (you and I may be heretics, but together we can put down the infidels). On the other hand, playing as full as public role in the political life of occupied Iraq may have been necessary to make this harder to do

As far as the US is concerned, this is the sixth - I think - change of plan since last April, and it’s worth pointing out that the ICP’s apparent new opportunity has come about precisely because of the level of armed resistance to the occupation. In retrospect, it loks like the Party’s positioned itself well to benefit from this.