S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BASRAH 000048
E.O. 12958: DECL: 5/31/2017
TAGS: PGOV IZ IR
SUBJECT: JOURNALIST DESCRIBES MAYHEM IN BASRAH
REF: Basrah 47
BASRAH 00000048 001.2 OF 002
CLASSIFIED BY: Louis L. Bono, Director, Basrah Regional Embassy
Office, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (d)
(S) Following the killing of Basrah Ja'ish al-Mahdi leader
Wissam al-Wa'eli (aka Abu Qadir) on May 25 (see reftel), Basrah
Regional Embassy Office IPAO contacted a local journalist who
works as an anonymous stringer for a western news organizations
(protect source) to inquire about the situation in Basrah. His
reply is below.
Actually, I sometimes do not understand what is going on in my
city, because of the ambiguity and selfish policies of the
political parties fighting for control. Their aim is to control
this rich city.
For many months, the Fadhila party, which includes Basrah
Governor Mohammed al-Wa'eli and 12 of the 42 members of the
Basrah Provincial Council, has been struggling to become the
dominant power in the city. If they lose Basrah, they will lose
Iraq. Al-Wa'eli and the Fadhila Party have been resisting
pressure to give up the governorship. The Fadhila spiritual
leader, Sheikh Yacubi, has focused his attention on Basrah.
Since the Iranian-backed clerics dislike Yacubi, Fadhila is
automatically against Iran's ambitions. Fadhila's policy
opposing Iran has created enemies. I cannot say that the
Fadhila politicians are all faithful and honest servants of
Iraq. But they are 50 percent loyal to Iraq and 50 percent
committed to Fadhila's interests. The enemies of the governor
and the Fadhila party dislike looking at the progress of Fadhila
party through the governor. They fear Fadhila's horizontal and
vertical expansion in the Arab homeland. They voice slogans
against the governor, but their deep meaning is to limit
Fadhila's expansion. The enemies's justification (for their
anti-Fadhila campaign) is corruption and shortage of public
services in the city. They are trying to persuade the masses of
people in Basrah.
The Fadhila enemies: