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Customer Review

on July 4, 2008
The author provides both a first hand account of the Shia poltical environment after the fall of Saddam's regime as well as a history of the unique and bitter relationship between the Shia and Saddam that is most interesting for westerners as the author explains not only the conflicts between the Shia and Sunni but also between the Shia themselves. The book is not intended to be a bio of Muqtada al-Sadr but to underline his role in the Shia political conflicts within Iraq today. The most interesting aspects of the book is the telling of how the Shia were punished and killed during Saddam regime particularly Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr's father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr. In summary yet informative detail, the author explains how the murder of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr caused a split among the Shia particularly those leaders that fled the country and then returned after Saddam's fall. The best example of this violent split is when Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei returns to Iraq to assume a leadership role among the Shia but then is brutally murdered almost at Muqtada al-Sadr's door step. The slaughter of the Shia after the coalition stopped during Deset Storm, after encouraging an uprising, is well discussed with the bitterness it invoked along with the post Iraq war misunderstandings by the U.S. occupation most noted by Paul Bremmer. This is a very concise but well written educational look at the political situation in Iraq. My only criticism is that books in detail on the middle east should have a glossary of terms and a defined character list, for those less familar with middle east terms and titles, and I include myself, to assist the reader.
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