If we can't do it, nobody gets to do it
Posted by aogSaturday, 18 February 2006 at 20:50 TrackBack Ping URL

A political party in Iraq associated with Muqtada Al-Sadr has threatened to break from the UIA coalition if that coalition didn’t reach out to Sunnis, restrain Shia paramilitary groups, and rule in a more “collaborative” style. David Price considers this odd.

I, however, do not find it a bit odd. It’s standard practice. The key point is that the Sadrites tried armed rebellion to grab their own piece of policitcal power and were crushed. It seems plausible to me that the leaders realize that, should they try again, they would get crushed even worse. Yet there is always the concern that some other similar group could get the armed rebellion thing right. What to do? Why, make sure no group can do that. Hence the call to restrain paramilitary groups.

It is a near perfect analogy for why many corporations call for regulation. What they want regulated falls in to two categories:

  • Regulations that create a higher barrier to entry, to protect existing corporations from start ups.
  • Regulations that prevent competitors from doing something the corporation is no good at.

Both of these are rational responses and the action cited above is a good fit for the second category. If your group can’t win via arms, the best response is to do whatever it takes to see that no other group can win that way either. It’s a good sign for Iraq that even the Sadrites are starting to act in a rational manner.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Sunday, 19 February 2006 at 12:50

also, sadr is a tool of the iranians so anything he proposes is not necessarily intended to help preserve the hull intregity of iraq.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 19 February 2006 at 14:20

I think Sadr is looking out for Sadr and there’s mutual use going on between him and the mullahocracy. Perhaps I read him wrong, but I think the Iranian flag is a flag of convenience for him.

However, regardless of whether Sadr is a tool of the mullahs, they woud prefer to control as much of Iraq as possible.

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