How can the Shi’a south survive on its own except as a satrapy of Tehran? If Moqtada al Sadr is really interested in poodle duty, wouldn’t he have dropped the charade by now? It strikes me that anyone hoping to shear off the south and make of it a private fiefdom would have to first provoke and then endure and finally win a civil war of secession. This is not only a difficult process to complete from start to finish but also a costly and weakening one. This is something the Confederacy had a tough time managing — and that without a comparatively vast and gogglingly covetous next door neighbor looming over the battlefields.
“I’ll catch you,” Iran says to any breakaway south — “fall into my arms!” Everyone knows this is the embrace of death. Unless Moqtada is really intrigued and lascivious about the prospect of making a slave of himself I can’t understand how else he could achieve a Shi’a rump state. On top of this he would have to be willing to kill large numbers of fellow Iraqis, including his own could-be countrymen. Yet he’s calling for intersect unity, and his buttoned-down enforcers are patrolling the streets, not laying them waste. How does it jive? At what point do actions speak louder than alleged lies?