Sunday, August 28, 2016

This new account of Musa As-Sadir is interesting if there is any evidence to it

"Cooper writes that Sadr feared Khomeini’s rise to power and had secretly contacted the shah. “This is the juice of a sick mind,” he told a close aide of the shah about Khomeini. In July 1978, Sadr sent a message to the shah, offering to help him and speak to Khomeini on his behalf, the mediator between the two men told Cooper.  The shah welcomed the gesture and saw him as a means of blocking Khomeini’s power grab. Sadr, in the meantime, harbored a dream of returning to Iran to play a role in public life. Other moderate clerics viewed Sadr as the only charismatic leader who was capable of standing up to Khomeini. “By the summer of 1978, he and the shah were two men in search of a lifeline,” Cooper writes. The shah agreed to send a representative to West Germany to meet Sadr. A week before the meeting, Sadr traveled to Tripoli to meet Ayatollah Mohammed Beheshti, Khomeini’s aide. Beheshti never came. Instead, he told Gaddafi over the phone that his “guest” was “a threat to Khomeini.” Drawing on a variety of sources, Cooper deduces that Sadr was eventually killed on the orders of Gaddafi."   In those Western accounts of As-Sadr, there is one missing element of the story: that the closest ally (throughout his career from 1970 until his "disappearance") was the Asad regime.  If you forget that As-Sadr aligned with the Asad regime throughout the civil war, even when the Asad regime supported and armed the right-wing sectarian militia, maybe then you can fill in the blanks.  (thanks Basim)

PS By the way, the "variety of sources" minted in the review are along the lines: someone who told me and he knew someone who was very close to an aide to an assistant of As-Sadr.

PPS I told the story before: As-Sadr was once in my father's office, while the Shah's ambassador in Beirut arrived for an appointment with the speaker of Lebanese parliament, and As-Sadr would not even acknowledge him or greet him.