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Britain’s “Routine and Commonplace” Anti-Semitism

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Antisemitism, Arab nations, Britain, Europe, Foreign policy, History, Islam and Jews, Israel, Israel and Europe, Palestinians, United Nations

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Britain’s “Routine and Commonplace” Anti-Semitism, Gatestone Institute, Richard Kemp and Jasper Reid, May 2, 2016

♦ Each of these politicians accused of anti-Semitism was voted into power by an electorate who knew exactly what their views were. Had they not held these views, they would not have been elected.

♦ “Anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace.” — Mehdi Hasan, British Muslim political journalist.

♦ The consequences of Western politicians’ continued weakness and appeasement are far greater than encouraging anti-Semitism and undermining the State of Israel. It is the fatal and irreversible descent of their own countries.

Battle-hardened British soldiers were moved to tears by the horrors they witnessed at the Nazi charnel house of Bergen-Belsen when they liberated the concentration camp in April 1945. Yet seventy years after thousands of troops fought and died to destroy the regime that murdered six million Jews, the scourge of anti-Semitism is again on the march across Europe.

In just one week, a British student leader, a Labour Party constituency MP, a London council leader, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee and even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have all been accused of being mired in Jew-hatred.

It is the tip of the iceberg. Each of these people was voted into power by an electorate that knew exactly what their views were. Had they not held these views they would not have been elected.

All are on the political left, but the problem does not stop there. The cancer of Jew-hatred today spreads from right to left throughout European nations and in all supranational bodies including the European Union and the United Nations. It is led by politicians, human rights groups and the media, whose contorted worldview has contaminated ordinary people on a scale unimaginable possibly even to the arch-propagandist Dr. Josef Goebbels himself.

1575Seventy years after thousands of British troops fought and died to destroy the regime that murdered six million Jews, the scourge of anti-Semitism is again on the march. Left: A British soldier talks to an emaciated prisoner after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. Right: An anti-Israel protestor in London holds up a sign saying “Hitler you were right,” in July 2014.

In the 21st Century, outside the Middle East, it is hard to express hatred of Jews publicly. So Jew-haters everywhere have adopted a proxy: the Jewish state. Israel is the acceptable target of their hate. That is why Labour MP Naz Shah’s “solution,” with chilling echoes of Reinhard Heydrich, was to “transport” all the Jews out of Israel, with the obvious implication that this would be done forcibly and violently.

It is why National Union of Students President Malia Bouattia advocated violence against Israel and accused the international media of being “Zionist-led.” It is why Muhammed Butt, a London Labour council leader, shared a Facebook post denouncing Israel as “a terrorist state like ISIS.” It is why former London Mayor and Labour National Executive member Ken Livingstone sought to discredit Zionism by his assertion that Hitler supported it.

Where does all this hatred come from? Its long lineage begins with the Muslim prophet Muhammed and its modern form pre-dates Hitler. Back in the 1920s and 30s, murderous Arab gangs attacked Jewish communities in post-Ottoman, British Mandated Palestine and tried to drive them into the sea. They were stopped by Britain’s Captain Orde Wingate, who taught the Jews to defend themselves, fighting alongside British troops.

A few years later Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, made a deal with Hitler to bring the final solution to the Middle East, but the German advance was halted in its tracks at El Alamein by General Montgomery’s Eighth Army. As soon as the State of Israel was established, 68 years ago this month, by resolution of the United Nations, five Arab armies fell on her with the intent of annihilation. They failed, and ever since have been trying to destroy the Jewish state by military assault and terrorism in all its forms.

Recognizing their collective inability to eliminate Jews from their historic homeland by force, the Arabs have waged a pernicious and all-pervading propaganda war to demonize the Jewish State. Their lies have included the blatant falsehoods that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal under international law; that the Israeli government operates an oppressive apartheid state; that the IDF is strangling Gaza under an unprovoked and illegal siege; that successive Israeli administrations have been the sole obstacle to peace in the Middle East; and that Israeli security forces deliberately murder innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Understanding that the might of the pen is magnified by the flash of the sword, the Palestinian leadership and their Iranian paymasters have frequently used violence to seize international attention. Provoking the Israelis into killing Palestinian people to ensure global condemnation was the true purpose behind the Gaza rocket wars and the recent wave of murderous knife attacks and car-rammings.

Why does the West pander to this religiously inspired hatred and bigotry? There are three fundamental reasons. First, Europe especially is consumed by imperial guilt. Those that are seen to have been historically oppressed and exploited can today do no wrong; Westerners must prostrate themselves at their feet.

Second, every European country depends on Arab oil for its continued existence and relishes the return of its petrodollars through arms sales and massive investment into their economies.

Third, Western governments understand the power of their ever-increasing Islamic populations. They fear the extremism of those who reject Western values and want to violently replace them with the ways of Islamic sharia law. And they calculate the mathematics of the Muslim vote at the ballot box.

They know that among these communities there is widespread and innate hatred of Jews and of Israel. Mehdi Hasan, a British Muslim political journalist, has confirmed: “anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace.” Our politicians believe that by appeasement they will satiate the blood lust of the jihadists and gain the support of Muslim voters.

This is why we see Western leaders condemning Israel for insufficient restraint while defending itself from lethal Hamas rockets, when they know full well Israel has done all it can to avoid civilian deaths. It is why not one single EU member state had the courage to vote against the false condemnation of Israel for war crimes in the UN Human Rights Council last year. It is why the British government unequivocally asserts that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal when it knows they are not. It is why Prime Minister David Cameron, a friend and supporter of the Jewish state, accused Israel of turning the Gaza Strip into a ‘prison camp’ when he knew it had not.

These false and malicious condemnations fuel hatred of Israel and of Jewish people everywhere. They are driven and intensified by a media that is dominated by strident, virulent and unyielding anti-Israel bias.

What of the future? Imperial guilt in Europe shows no sign of diminishing. In fact, the ideology behind it is gaining strength as the EU seeks to undermine national identity in its drive for ever-closer union and the creation of a superstate.

Despite developing energy technologies, there is no prospect of significantly reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil in the foreseeable future. And with the vast influx of refugees from Muslim countries into Europe, the urge to appease their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes can only increase dramatically.

This means Israel and the Jews are going to come under even more intolerable pressure, leading to a greater exodus of Jews from many Western nations and the increasing international isolation of the Jewish state.

But there is an alternative. It is that Western political leaders find the courage to reject the virulent anti-Israel prejudice. To speak what they know to be the truth about the situation in the Middle East. To stop encouraging Palestinian leaders to believe their campaign against Israel is going to achieve its goal of destroying the Jewish state. And rather than supporting Palestinian hate with Western dollars, to impose sanctions against their racist and destructive behaviour.

The consequences of Western politicians’ continued weakness and appeasement are far greater than encouraging anti-Semitism and undermining the State of Israel. It is the fatal and irreversible descent of their own countries. By allowing this anti-Semitic hatred, they are betraying the millions of citizens who have fought and died to oppose the sort of malevolent ideologies that are now incubating it.

Humor | Democrats Debate 2016 – Capitol Steps

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: 2016 elections, Democrats, Humor

Tags: , ,

Democrats Debate 2016 – Capitol Steps via YouTube, May 1, 2016

Belgium will extend the Distribution of Iodine Pills

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Belgium, Islamic terrorism, Radiological warfare

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Belgium will extend the Distribution of Iodine Pills, Israel Defense, Ami Rojkes Dombe, May 1, 2016


Following the terrorist attacks in Belgium and the growing fear of an attack on a nuclear power station or nuclear terrorism, the website reported that the government decided to issue anti-radiation tablets to Belgian citizens.

Iodine pills, which help reduce radiation build-up in the thyroid gland, had previously only been issued to people living within 20km (14 miles) of the Tihange and Doel nuclear plants.

Maggie De Block, the Belgian health minister, said that would be extended to 100km, covering the whole country of 11 million people, following advice from an expert council.

Last week Germany asked that the 40-year-old Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors be turned off “until the resolution of outstanding security issues. Belgium’s official nuclear safety agency (AFCN) rejected the German request, saying the two plants “respond to the strictest possible safety requirements”.

Europe’s Migration Crisis: No End in Sight

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Austria, Erdogan, Europe, European Union, Islamic invasion, Libya, Pope Francis, Turkey

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: No End in Sight, Gatestone Institute, Judith Bergman, May 2, 2016

♦ According to France’s Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.

♦ The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far, do not exist in this whitewashed European Union report, where the “research” indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization occurring in Europe, and the need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned.

♦ Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe’s borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do.

Pope Francis, on his recent visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, said that Europe must respond to the migrant crisis with solutions that are “worthy of humanity.” He also decried “that dense pall of indifference that clouds hearts and minds.” The Pope then proceeded to demonstrate what he believes is a response “worthy of humanity” by bringing 12 Syrian Muslims with him on his plane to Italy. “It’s a drop of water in the sea. But after this drop, the sea will never be the same,” the Pope mused.

The Pope’s speech did not contain a single reference to the harsh consequences of Muslim migration into the European continent for Europeans. Instead, the speech was laced with reflections such as “…barriers create divisions instead of promoting the true progress of peoples, and divisions sooner or later lead to confrontations” and “…our willingness to continue to cooperate so that the challenges we face today will not lead to conflict, but rather to the growth of the civilization of love.”

The Pope went back to his practically migrant-free Vatican City — those 12 Syrian Muslims will be hosted by Italy, not the Vatican, although the Holy See will be supporting them — leaving it to ordinary Europeans to cope with the consequences of “the growth of the civilization of love.”

There is nothing quite as free in this world as not practicing what you preach, and what the Pope is preaching is the acceptance of more migration into Europe, and more migration — much more — is indeed what is in the cards for Europe.

At the UN’s Geneva conference on Syrian refugees on March 30, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, put the total number of asylum seekers into Italy in the first three months of 2016 at 18,234. This is already 80% higher than in the same period in 2015.

According to Paolo Serra, military adviser to Martin Kobler, the UN’s Libya envoy, migrants currently in Libya will head for Italy in large numbers if the country is not stabilized. “If we do not intervene, there could be 250,000 arrivals [in Italy] by the end of 2016,” he said. According to France’s Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the number is much higher: 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.

Already in November 2015, the European Union estimated — in its Autumn 2015 European Economic Forecast, authored by the European Commission — that by the end of 2016, another three million migrants will have made it into the European Union.

Nevertheless, the European Commission optimistically noted that, “while unevenly distributed among countries, the estimated additional public expenditure related to the arrival of asylum seekers is limited for most EU member states.” It even concluded that the migrant crisis could have a small, positive impact on European economies within a few years citing that “Research indicates that non-EU migrants typically receive less in individual benefits than they contribute in taxes and social contribution.”

This is the classic, politically correct denial of facts on the ground. The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far do not exist in this whitewashed report, where the “research” indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization that is occurring in Europe and the consequent need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned. One wonders whether the EU bureaucrats, who authored this report, ever descend from their ivory towers and move about in the real Europe.

Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe’s borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do. In February, Austria announced that it would introduce border controls at border crossings along frontiers with Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. On April 12, Austria began preparations for introducing border controls on its side of the Brenner Pass, the main Alpine crossing into Italy, by starting work on a wall between the two countries.

The Austrian decision to close the Brenner pass has received harsh criticism from the EU. European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud criticized the measure as unwarranted, claiming that “there is indeed no evidence that flows of irregular migrants are shifting from Greece to Italy”. Is Bertaud deliberately misrepresenting the issue? The issue is not whether the migrants are shifting from Greece to Italy after the EU’s unsavory deal with Turkey (they probably will) but the up to 800,000 migrants are already waiting to cross into Italy from Libya.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos joined in the criticism of Austria, saying, “What is happening at the border between Italy and Austria is not the right solution.” He had criticized Austria already in February, when Vienna announced that it would cap asylum claims at 80 per day. At the time, Avramopoulos said,

“It is true that Austria is under huge pressure… It is true they are overwhelmed. But, on the other hand, there are some principles and laws that all countries must respect and apply… The Austrians are obliged to accept asylum applications without putting a cap.”

In response, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann told the EU that Austria could not just let the influx of migrants continue unchecked — nearly 100,000 have applied for asylum in Austria — and he called for the EU to act. The EU has not yet acted.

The EU should hardly be surprised that a sovereign state decides to take matters into its own hands in the face of the EU’s failure to heed that call, and as it anticipates a repeat of last year’s migration chaos — which, given the predicted estimates, is bound to occur this year with even greater force.

Predictably, Italy has also criticized the decision, with Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano saying that Austria’s decision to erect the barrier is “unexplainable and unjustifiable.” Italy, however, only has itself to blame for Austria’s restrictions at the Brenner Pass. In 2014 and the first half of 2015, around 300,000 migrants arrived in Italy, mainly from Libya. Despite EU rules that require Italy to register those migrants, Italy simply let most of them pass through the country and continue into Austria. From there, most went further into Germany and Northern Europe. Clearly, Austria does not expect the Italians to change their practices.

1573Austrian police prepare to hold the line at the Brenner Pass border crossing with Italy, as a crowd tries to break through during a violent protest on April 3, 2016, against Austria’s introduction of border controls to stem the flow of migrants. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

While the bureaucrats of the EU bicker with their member states over those states’ unwillingness to follow EU regulations — evidently not made to cope with a migration crisis of these huge proportions — Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to drop his obligations under a recent EU-Turkey migration deal. Those obligations include taking back all new “irregular migrants” crossing from Turkey into Greek islands, as well as taking any necessary measures to prevent the opening of new sea or land routes for migration from Turkey to the EU. “There are precise conditions. If the European Union does not take the necessary steps, then Turkey will not implement the agreement,” Erdogan warned recently in a speech in Ankara.

Erdogan knows that in the current European reality, his words have the effect he intends: When he threatens to flood Europe with migrants unless it does what he wants — in other words, blackmail — EU leaders will do what he says. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the driving forces behind the EU-Turkey deal, also recently bowed to Erdogan’s demands that Germany prosecute the satirist Jan Böhmermann, after he mocked and insulted the Turkish president in a poem. The German criminal code prohibits insults against foreign leaders, but leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorize prosecutors to pursue such cases. Angela Merkel gave her authorization, a decision widely criticized. Her own ministers — Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas — said they did not believe that the authorization should have been granted.

Another indication that Erdogan has no reason to fear any misbehavior on the part of the European Union regarding the EU-Turkey deal is that the European Parliament just voted in favor of making Turkish an official European Union language. Ostensibly, the vote came about in order to back an initiative by the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who asked the Dutch EU Presidency to add Turkish to the bloc’s 24 official languages in order to boost attempts to reach a reunification agreement for Cyprus.

In his letter to the EU presidency, Anastasiades noted that Cyprus had already filed a similar request during its EU entry talks in 2002, but, at that time, it “was advised by the [EU] institutions not to insist, taking into account the limited practical purpose of such a development … as well as the considerable cost”. Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus, which Turkey invaded in 1974, is one of the issues blocking Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU.

Making Turkish an official language is seen by Turkey, according to a senior Turkish official, as “a very important, very positive gesture” for the Cyprus peace talks and for EU-Turkish ties more broadly. “If the blockage is lifted because of Cyprus being solved, then we can proceed very quickly,” the Turkish official said.

All of the other official and working languages of the European Union are tied to states which are full members of the EU. Although the vote has to be approved by the European Commission before the decision can come into effect, it speaks volumes about the EU’s deference to Erdogan.

In light of these developments, the granting of visa-free travel to European Union states for 80 million Turks looks as if it is a done deal, despite the 72 conditions, which Turkey, at least on paper, is expected to live up to. These include increasing the use of biometric passports and other technical requirements. So far, Turkey has only met half of these conditions. Perhaps that is why European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently felt the need to mention that, “Turkey must fulfill all remaining conditions so that the Commission can adopt its proposal in the coming months. The criteria will not be watered down.” The question is whether Juncker himself even believes his own words.

With the provisions on visa-free travel for 80 million Turks, the EU may just have gone from the frying pan into the fire. The visa-free admission of Turks into Europe would give Erdogan completely free rein to control the influx of migrants into Europe. Moreover, anyone believing that Erdogan would not take great advantage of this opportunity would have to be dangerously naïve. The European Union may yet conclude that the migrant crisis, in all its enormity, is the far lesser evil.

Shi’ite Lebanese Journalist: I Renounce The Shi’ite Sect; Hizbullah Is ‘Immoral, Murderous’

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Aleppo Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanese media, Shiite

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Shi’ite Lebanese Journalist: I Renounce The Shi’ite Sect; Hizbullah Is ‘Immoral, Murderous’ MEMRI, May 2, 2016

(Please see also, Iran’s army chief takes command in Syria. — DM)

In response to the massive attack of the Syrian regime and its allies on the city of Aleppo in the last few days, in which over 200 people have already been killed, Shi’ite Lebanese journalist Hannan Al-Sabbar penned a scathing article in which she renounced Hizbullah as well as the Shi’ite sect that follows it blindly. Al-Sabbar, who is known for her criticism of Hizbullah, especially since it joined the war in Syria, wrote on the news website that Hizbullah was an “immoral and murderous” organization that was deviating from God’s path and from the path of the fathers of the Shi’a. She compared the events in Aleppo to the battle of Karbala in 680 CE, between the supporters of the Prophet’s grandson, Hussein bin ‘Ali, and the supporters of the first Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, which is a seminal event in the history of Shi’ite Islam.

The following are excerpts from her article: 

27840Aftermath of airstrike in Aleppo (image:, April 26, 2016)

“I am a Shi’ite from South [Lebanon, the stronghold] of the resistance [i.e., Hizbullah], and I used to be proud of this. [In the past] I never thought that the resistance was wrong or would ever be wrong, and I staunchly defended the beliefs of my society and my surroundings. I did not know that a day [would come] when I would renounce [my] society, my blind sect and the party [Hizbullah,] which I have condemned since it became involved in the Syrian crisis.

“Today I asked myself: where is the conscience of the ‘resistance’ when it comes to the children [of Aleppo]? How can we be the party of God [Hizbullah] when we do not obey God’s directives? Every morning, I went over the reports [from Aleppo], trying to find even one piece of proof that Assad has the right to do what he is doing – but I found only words filled with sadness and grief over loved ones killed in the airstrikes. I found only the tears of an old man calling on Muhammad’s nation to help him, and a young man who insists on his honor and declares, ‘we stay here. This is our land, not the Russians’ or the Americans.’

“This loyalty to the land, despite the crisis these residents of Aleppo are experiencing, filled me with embarrassment and caused me to wonder what was the source of this loyalty to a city that is nearly in ruins… [At that point] I finally decided to revolt and take off the false mantle of Shi’ism, for my Zainab[1] would not allow the women of Aleppo to become the Zainabs of this age, and my Imams, ‘Ali and Hussein,[2] would not want the children of Aleppo to become the ‘Abdallah al-Radhi’ of this age.[3]

“If [the battle of] Karbala is being waged all over again by those who hide behind a mantle of piety, then [Hizbullah] is immoral and murderous and I cannot but say: Aleppo, I feel shame towards you and I hereby renounce the Shi’a and the party [Hizbullah] that supports the one who is destroying you.'”


[1] The granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad and daughter of ‘Ali, who was taken hostage in the battle of Karbala.

[2] ‘Ali bin abi Talib, the fourth caliph, and his son Hussein, who was killed in the battle of Karbala.

[3] ‘Abdallah, the son of Hussein and the grandson of ‘Ali, was killed in the battle of Karbala when he was only six months old.

A Shiite Extremist Plunges Iraq into Crisis

Posted May 2, 2016 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Coup, Iraq, Revolution?

Tags: , ,

A Shiite Extremist Plunges Iraq into Crisis, Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, May 2, 2016

Iraq-Shiite-Militia-Iraqi-Army-IP_1Member of a Shiite militia group in Iraq (Photo: © Reuters)

A virulently anti-American Shiite Islamist cleric has thrown Iraq into a political crisis after his followers stormed the parliament, triggering a state of emergency. The cleric has hijacked popular resentment against corruption and sectarianism to attempt what the Institute for the Study of War deems “a de facto coup.”

Moqtada-al-Sadr-InsideMoqtada al-Sadr (Photo: Husain H. Rukun/WikiMedia Commons)

The leader of the protests is a radical Shiite cleric named Moqtada al-Sadr, best known for his militia’s targeting of U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces after the fall of Saddam Hussein. His forces’ sectarian violence brought the county to the brink of a civil war, which was only prevented by the U.S. “surge” in 2007. Sadr responded by moving to Iran and burnishing his religious credentials by studying at a seminary in Qom until 2011. It also helped him deny responsibility for the crimes committed by his militia and its splinter groups.

The institute warns that the instability damages the Iraqi government’s ability to operate as well as fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). It could even lead to the collapse of the government. There is a high chance of violence between the “Sadrists” and Iraqi security forces and Iranian-linked militias allied with the Iraqi government.

For the U.S., it is dangerous that a ferociously anti-American cleric can shape events as Sadr has done. Sadr preaches that ISIS is a CIA front, seeking to equate the U.S. with the worst of Iraq’s enemies. When the U.S. campaign against ISIS began, Sadr said his forces would attack any U.S. military deployment.

“Like we gave you a taste of the heat of our fire and our might in the past, we will give a taste of the scourge of this decision, which will be the cause of your regrets and regression,” he said.

Last May, he threatened to “unfreeze the military wing … so that it may start targeting American interests in Iraq and outside of Iraq when possible.” He was infuriated over the U.S. budget allocating money for assisting Sunni tribes and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS.

Considering these comments, it may not be a coincidence that the Sadrists’ storming of parliament came right after Vice President Biden came to Iraq for the first time since 201l and praised the Iraqi-American cooperation in the fight against ISIS. Sadr may have wanted to remind the Iraqi political class, particularly the allies of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that he’s the one who really determines their fate.

The irony is that many of those responding to Sadr’s calls are complaining about the sectarianism of which he was a shining example. There is video of demonstrators chanting, “Iran, get out, get out.”

Yet, it was but Sadr who brought Iran in. “Many of the protesters are chanting anti-Iranian slogans because we suspect that Iran is covertly promoting sectarianism in Iraq by supporting corrupt politicians,” said one demonstrator.

The situation in Iraq is a classic example of Islamists hijacking a popular grievance to gain power — or perhaps it is even a master act of manipulation at the hands of both Sadr and Iran. When he was in Iran addressing his lack of religious credibility, he underwent a political makeover.  He remained as anti-American as ever, but he adapted to the times by becoming a “born-again nationalist.” He began playing the role of political king-maker as parties competed for his constituency’s support and even began criticizing Shiite militias for being too cozy with Iran.

Perhaps Sadr’s relationship with the Iranian regime has genuinely weakened because of his political ambitions and because others have won Iran’s favor. Or perhaps it’s part of a skillful Iranian strategy to have proxies both allied to the Iraqi government and opposed to it.

For the U.S., it shouldn’t matter much. Sadr is a Shiite extremist whose hands are covered in American and Iraqi blood. He may be talking about corruption and sectarianism now, but the departure of the U.S. military is among his top demands. And he is far less hostile to Iran than he is to the West.


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