Concerning "Tom Friedman’s assertion, made in his editorial in the NYT, according to which JAM is alleged to collaborate with IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran)", Albrecht Muth in Iraq, responds:
Beginning of Quote from The Case for Illegal Mingling:
The same thing has happened among Shiites. Iran seems to have dialed down its support for Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Iraq — which has been purging Sunnis and Shiites to prevent any mingling — because many ordinary Iraqi Shiites had become fed up with this pro-Iranian militia and had begun to blame Tehran.
On Nov. 8, Agence France-Presse reported that the local police had publicly accused the Mahdi Army of carrying out a four-year killing spree in Iraq’s central shrine city of Karbala. “The Mahdi Army murdered and tortured and kidnapped people under Sharia law,” the police statement said. “They are the cause of the deaths of hundreds of people.” The news agency added that “the statement marks the first time the Iraqi authorities have directly accused Iraq’s most powerful Shiite militia of carrying out killings.”
The reason these events are important is that Iraq has become center stage for the struggle between a more moderate, modernizing Islamic outlook, advanced by the United States and some of its Iraqi allies, and another outlook, advanced by the Mahdi Army and Al Qaeda, that wants to “purify” the Muslim world of “the other.” --Thomas L. Friedman, NYT, 25.11.07 **End of Quote**:
Albrecht Muth would like to add for the record:
JAM does not, at this time, collaborate with IRI. Past operational and logistical links with the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, military and political, are held in abeyance. Sadrists do not view an alliance with Iran the preferred option for positioning post-Liberation Iraq in the Concert.
JAM and the Sadrist Movement are on the public record in re. the statements in-reference.
Mr. Friedman is incorrect in stating that Iran has dialed down its support for JAM, without mentioning that it was JAM, first, to turn on the Iranians, operating illegally on Iraqi territory, in flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty, committing indiscriminate acts of violence against Iraq’s Shia faithful. JAM is on the record as considering these acts, committed by rogue Shia militias, under the control of specialized forces of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, acts of terrorism.
JAM has, on repeated occasion, taken direct measures against specialized forces of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, operating illegally on Iraqi territory, and we shall continue to do so, inter alia, in retaliation for Friday’s bombing in Baghdad. We do not share the view, held by some, that Iran has ceased zed its operational and logistical support for rogue Shia militias, intent on injuriating the good name and reputation of JAM as an Army for Peace.
The characterization of JAM as a pro-Iranian militia is erroneous. It is BADR who, prior to the Memorandum of Understanding of 6 October 2007, reached with JAM, was the pro-Iranian militia, receiving operational and logistical support from the Iranians, long after JAM had cut those links.
Mr. Friedman further errs in stating that JAM aims to prevent the mingling of Shia and Sunnis. To the contrary, the Hoyatoleslam is on the record as in support of Nonviolence, Tolerance and Empowerment, in advance of Iraqi National Unity, across all ethnicities and religious sects. He will make there points, yet again, in a key sermon, to be delivered at Kufa in December.
I am, personally, not certain whether the Hoyatoleslam envisions for post-Liberation Iraq to promulgate Sharia law. Dr. al-Hakim, on the other hand, is committed to Sharia law.
The statements of the Karbala police, cited by AFP on 8 November 2007, reference past-JAM actions, preceding my time in service. I shall refrain from commenting on actions, taken by JAM, beyond my time in service. I am not recommending JAM for the Nobel, nor canonization, nor am I prepared to whitewash them. They have done their deeds and, I am sure, could be swayed to do so, again. But, not on my watch.
I let the record of JAM in 2007 speak for itself. -- Albrecht Gero Muth