On March 28, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq closed down a newspaper run by a radical Shiite group because it incited violence. Shutting down the paper seems to have incited a lot more violence than the paper ever did before it was shut down. One of the lessons from the New Yorker biography of Ayman al Zawahiri was that the radicals in the Islamic Brotherhood turned to violence when the Egyptian government denied them the opportunity for peaceful political expression. The government curried their favor when it was needed, but then never followed through when the immediate need had passed. I wonder if the Sadrists in Iraq are feeling gamed in the same way. The thought of a popular uprising among Shiites is too depressing to really contemplate.
In other news, here’s why you might not see many major media reports of the uprising.