Iraq and Gulf Analysis

The Sahwa of the South

Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 8 September 2008 0:00

The ”Council of the Tribes of the Sons of the Arab South” (various versions of the name occur but the leadership figures seem constant) has called for the ministers of electricity and trade to be sacked. This council is an interesting example of tribal cooperation in the far south (Basra, Dhi Qar, Maysan) where the anti-Iranian theme is extremely pronounced and where there are calls for better relations with Arab Gulf states. In other words, combining local regionalism, Iraqi nationalism and pan-Arabism, this represents the quintessential sahwa of the south – except that Washington’s preference for working with Nuri al-Maliki, ISCI and others with a more pro-Iranian attitude prevents it from replicating the Anbar experience south of Baghdad.

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