"Some say the Shi’ites are lucky because they are now ruling Iraq, but that is wrong. It is the Islamist Shi’ites who are ruling Iraq. Their victory was a curse for us," said one sheikh.
The sheikhs blamed Washington for giving Shi’ite Islamists a free hand in the south. U.S. forces are concentrated to the north, focused mainly on Sunni Islamist al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab militants and so-called rogue Mehdi Army groups.
Washington has thrown its weight behind Baghdad’s Islamist- led government despite misgivings about its failure to push ahead with national reconciliation and the close ties between some parties and Iran, the United States’ long-time foe.
SIIC and the Sadrists are seen by the sheikhs as importing a conservative brand of Shi’ism from neighboring Iran, which U.S. officials accuse of arming Shi’ite militias to use as proxies to enforce their influence in the south.
"We are suffering from two occupations — America and Iran. We have told American officials this and we have met some of them, but they are not listening to us," one sheikh complained.
Some tribes were talking about taking up arms against the Islamist parties, but the tribal leaders said they feared this would unleash a bloodbath that would destabilize the south.
"The tribes do not want violence … but at the same time we want to see a change that preserves the rights of all Iraqis, so that we are really free," said one sheikh." Yahoo News
"we have met some of them, but they are not listening to us.." Excuse me? Not listening to Shia tribal sheikhs? If this true, one must hope that the "unhearing ones" are leftovers from the great era of democratization in Iraq, "L’Epoque Bremer" it is destined to be known.
Lets see, the Brits are momentarily holding the Basra airport until "a decent internal" for complete withdrawal arrives. The Islamist Shia parties are squabbling over the loot of the south and working on imposing their own version(s) of Sharia on the populace. The Turks are brooding over insults and mumbling to themselves their favorite word, "yasak," (forbidden). Meanwhile, across northern Iraq, the old are repeating folklore concerning Ottoman tax collection methods. (nizam al-khathou – translation omitted)
Now it sounds like the Shia tribes could be used against the zealots, and official Americans are not listening to Shia tribal sheikhs in the south? It’s a mad-cap world. John Stewart could have fun with this. pl