In the Arena

Basra Watch

  • Share
  • Read Later

I’ve been looking for some decent reporting about the situation in Basra, Iraq’s main port and the province that contains the large oil fields. It’s in the midst of a three-way gang war, among the Sadr and Hakim family militias, plus the Fadhila Party, which is Sadrist in orientation but doesn’t believe Muqtada is up to the job. Thanks to this link from Juan Cole, I now have a better appreciation for why we haven’t been getting much news from the south lately. Here’s the key:

“The red lines that no media outlet in Basra dares to cross include writing stories about militias, administrative and financial corruption by officials and the interference of some parties in government affairs,” said a local reporter who preferred no to be named.

“Iran is also another red line. No one dares to write directly about what Iran does in Basra.”