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Dr. Pipes, I have to disagree with you here.

Reader comment on item: Iraq's Cosmetic Election

Submitted by Aymenn Jawad (United Kingdom), Mar 9, 2010 at 15:15

Dr. Pipes, how can you claim that once the Americans leave 'Iranian-backed Islamists soon take over'? The Iraqi population is nowhere near as receptive to Iranian-style theocracy as you seem to suggest. For one thing, Iraq's leading cleric, Ayatollah Sistani, opposes the concept of velayet-e-fiqh and Iran's form of government. Also, note that the former leading Shi'a Islamist coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) has split as Al-Maliki has formed a non-sectarian, Iraqi nationalist State of Law Coalition that is projected to win the most votes in the election (for more information on this split see http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/112/0/3619.htm).

It is true that Al-Maliki and the Dawa party are friendly to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, but they are not directly Iranian-backed and want to keep Iranian influence out of Iraqi politics. Moreover, the main Iranian-backed party, SCIRI, did poorly in the provincial elections last year and is not likely to be successful in Jaafari's coalition this election (see http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3219.htm for more). Indeed, the Shi'a in Iraq, having for the most part gained control of a country that has effectively been under Sunni-minority rule since Iraq's independence in 1932, are not really impressed with the Iranian regime, but are more concerned that the Sunni 'Arabs', a minority composing at most 20% of Iraq's population, might attempt to seize power with the help of Sunnis outside Iraq. Finally, you appear to make the assumption that once American forces withdraw the US will stop sending aid of any sort to the Iraqi regime and thereby it will collapse: there is absolutely no evidence to suggest anything of the sort.

Submitting....

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Mark my comment as a response to Dr. Pipes, I have to disagree with you here. by Aymenn Jawad

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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