This guy Gudea ruled his Iraqi mini-state competently. I have no clue what’s going to happen to modern Iraq. I actually have no place commenting at all, but it’s the Internet, wtf. What follows is a mini cast of characters. I’ve divided them ethnically because, well, just look at Iraq. Saddam managed to unite everyone around the fact that they all died, but it’s not like that anymore.
(Map and Power Players After Jump)
|Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani
He is probably the most popular Shiite Cleric in Iraq, if not the world. He is also Iranian by birth, but whatev. He was able to call up protests of 1 million people, and just as easily end them on his command. He hasn’t left his house since an assasination attempt in 1997 and he refuses to meet with any American authorities, giving him massive street cred. The troubling thing is that he is a Shiite Cleric, hence not Sunni or Kurd. Besides that, he seems devoted to Allah, he doesn’t advocate killing, and he has a website, so I like him. Here’s a PBS bio of him.
As you can tell from his photo, Al-Sadr is trouble. His only really claim to fame is his father, Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr who was an Ayatollah, the equivalent of Doctor of Islam. Becoming an Ayatollah requires study and time, which the younger Al-Sadr hasn’t put in. Unfortunately, the elder al-Sadr was killed by Saddam in 1999 and we are stuck with his firebrand son. By virtue of his birth Muqtada controls Sadr City, a Baghdad ghetto. He also controls the al-Mahdi militia. However, as I’ve said, he is not an Ayatollah. It would be extremely unorthodox for him to hold power, but Iraq is a weird place. He was a fairly low-level cleric before the occupation, but his rebellion is now getting him strong support from 32% of Iraqis polled, and some support from 36% (Financial Times).
As you can tell from the photo, Ahmed Chalabi is a sell-out and a douchebag. He hasn’t lived in Iraq since 1956 and in the National Survey of Iraq 0.2% of people said he was a trustworthy leader. Unfortunately, that 0.2% included Iraqi Overlords Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney – hence we’re fucked. His family is powerful and he still sits on the Governing Council, but the US has since raided his office and cut of his allowance of $335,000 a month. There are some reports that he is an Iranian spy, but even with their support he has little or no chance of ruling Iraq. He’s a douchebag and nobody likes him.
I’m going to go ahead and publish this now and continue working on it. Let’s just let the Shiite’s rule for now. If you know anything about Iraqi power players, please comment. I’m researching this as I go along and I’m not that good at it.