Sadr and the Kurds

May 24, 2012

While the views have differed over the involvement of others in the conflict between Baghdad and Arbil and the new turn of events in the Iraqi crisis by the involvement of Muqtada al-Sadr; the events have certainly tipped the political balance strongly in his favour and has made him the de facto person to look to for a solution.

The Kurds today may say. That the conflict with Baghdad is no longer a Barzani and Maliki one, it has become an Iraqi wide issue, especially after the joining of Sadr to the anti- Maliki meetings.

But the risk here is that they could be strengthening Sadr’s position in his dealings with Maliki without a real guarantee of him staying with the kurds all the way. We all remember when sadr did a poll in his movement to chose a PM and Jafari was the winner but Sadr changed his mind and de ided to support Maliki for PM.

The kurds are running this risk at the expense of loosing some real allies within the Shia alliance.

The statement of ammar alhakim after being re-elected as the leader of the Iraqi Supreme Islamic council, that a majority would not solve problems and that the problems can not be solved in this city or the other was a clear massage of his lack of support for these efforts and a message for those who are trying to befriend Muqtada or give him a more favourable place than him. His call for solving the issues in parliament was an important signal of him notbeijing so much against Maliki.

All of these developments have certainly changed the status of the Kurds in the Iraqi political scene and has not made them more popular in the complicated and ill-informed Arab public.

Especially with the more proactive media tactics and strategy of Maliki, like his NRT and awene interviews and the less aggressive media strategy of the Kurds in trying to reach the Arab audience of iraq. As a result the majority of the Arab public have sided with maliki. even those who are not with Maliki are not that open in supporting the Kurdish position to their public.

The other complicating factor for the Kurdis position is that lack of transparency in these talks and the process in general. The people only hear new information when there is a problem between the previously allied parties. The. Meeting in NAJAF and previously the arbil accords are good examples of this secretive nature of the leaders talks untill their alliance falls apart.

Regardless of the Kurdish aspirations and plans for their future with or without Iraq, they need to maintain a good relationship with the Arab population and a special status in Iraqi politics.

The meeting in Najaf was a consolidation of Muqtada’s new political role in solving the crisis in Iraq, especially after his visit and meetings in Arbil. His press conferenc after the meeting was also a strong indication in his growing confidence in himself as a saviour of the country and as the person who is standing in the middle.

The way things are heading now, we will soon hear him soon saying that he stands at equal distance from all. A position that was log held by the kurds

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