In a June 10 Iraq Dispatch, Dahr Jamail reports that at a June 9 conference in Baghdad, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq , Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, announced not only gratitude to the Badr militia, but officially gave them a place in Iraqi security.
Up until now, this group has received quiet support from the Iraqi government; now that support is out in the open. Why is that problematical?
The Badr Organization (formerly known as the Badr Brigade) was formed by al-Hakim’s brother in the `80’s to fight Saddam Hussein. It has long since received funding and other “support” from Iran.
While civilians in Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi, Baquba, Baghdad, Haditha and other cities in Iraq continue to complain of being beaten, looted and humiliated by the members of the Iraqi Army who are members of both the Badr Organization and Kurdish Peshmerga, these militias now have the overt backing of the interim Iraqi “government.”
It is also being reported that members of the Badr Organization, who are essentially running much of the “security” in southern Iraq at this point, have been instituting Sharia law. Thus, women are reporting being threatened with death or rape if they attend university, and more conservative clothing rules are being enforced.
Recently a Sunni cleric was assassinated in the south.
Harith al-Dhari, the head of the influential Sunni group the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), recently accused the Badr of killing members of the AMS, when he bluntly announced, “It is the Badr Brigades which is responsible for these killings.”
One of my Iraqi friends here in Amman recently told me that Sunni who live in the south are being pressured by members of the Badr Organization to relocate elsewhere. It should also be noted that the Badr came back to Iraq on the heels of the invaders.
I can see why the Iraqi government is searching for security in forces that are experienced… all the better to wiggle out from under the yoke of occupation. Yet desperation can make people and governments myopic and heartless.
Talabani, at the conference, declared the Badr Militia and their Kurdish counterparts as “the heroes of liberating Iraq”.
The American-backed government is now hitching their wagon to these bloody, ruthless Shia and Kurdish militias against the bloody, ruthless Sunni resistance. In the absence of reliable US/Coalition trained Iraqi troops, it seems like throwing a match into an open vat of gasoline.
Jamail goes on to describe the ongoing Iraqi violence almost as a litany:
Car bombs are a daily occurrence, yet now we have seen motorcycle bombs, push-cart bombs, donkey bombs, donkey-cart bombs, dog bombs, human bombs, bicycle bombs and recently two Iraqi policemen dying from eating poisoned watermelon.
He includes correspondence he has received from American servicemen indicating drooping morale. Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches are an excellent ongoing source for unvarnished information from Iraq and are highly recommended.
Crossposted at European Tribune