Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Basra Provincial Government Breakdown

Juan Cole has more on Great Britain's problems down south Iraq.

He includes a political breakdown of Basra's government with a pithy concluding sentence to this paragraph.
Some reports say that the jail was being run by a local Shiite religious militia, not the Basra provincial government. These reports seem not to take into account the fact that the Basra provincial government consists of 41 seats, 20 of them held by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and 21 by a coalition led by the fundamentalist Shiite Fadila (Virtue) Party. SCIRI has a paramilitary, the Badr Corps, which ran candidates in the Jan. 30 elections. So distinguishing between the Basra provincial government and the religious parties and their militias is like distinguishing the Bush administration's stand on abortion from that of US evangelicals. The latter is responsible for the former.