Awakening leader’s tale illustrates Iraq’s volatility

Awakening leader’s tale illustrates Iraq’s volatility

The Sunni Muslim paramilitary leader’s campaign slogan holds the promise of imminent rescue: “Hold on, we are coming.”

But the aspiring parliamentary candidate, Mustafa Kamal Shibeeb, may not be in a position to deliver on his slogan: He’s a fugitive, with murder charges hanging over his head from events at the height of the U.S. troop buildup two years ago.

Already, police commandos have tried to grab him twice, only to be blocked by an Iraqi army unit, with tacit support from U.S. forces.

Shibeeb’s story reveals the volatility of today’s Iraq, where Sunni-Shiite tensions are just one of the conflicts at play. His vulnerability illustrates how the Iraqi government and security forces remain subject to competing political and tribal pressures, and score-settling, that risk igniting new violence. [continued…]

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