Monday, May 21, 2007

What is happening to the Iraqi leadership in Iraq?

Juan Cole runs down the list of Iraqi leaders currently outside Iraq for a variety of reasons.
  • Abdul Aziz al-Hakim has arranged to get chemotherapy in Iran (rather than Houston.)
  • Jalal Talabani has come to the U.S. for a weight-reduction program.
  • Muqtada al-Sadr is in hiding in the Kufa area of Iraq.
Dr. Cole points out:
Despite its elected government, Iraq is actually run by a small handful of movers and shakers. These include the two Kurdish leaders, Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani. Then on the Shiite side you have al-Hakim and Da'wa Party leader Nuri al-Maliki. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Sunni Arab vice president Tariq al-Hashimi are on the margins of the top Shiite/Kurdish club.
Having half these guys outside of Iraq or, like Muqtada al-Sadr, out of pocket, at once may just be coincidence, but it is suspicious. What's coming down in the near future?

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