(This is an archived extract from the book Patterns of Power: Edition 2)
The religious leadership, particularly the Sunni, could have taken the moral high ground by criticising those actions of the regime that adversely affected the human rights of groups such as the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs. There would have been some personal risk attached to this course of action, but it would have given the population a legitimate focus for dissent and made it harder for the regime to behave badly. The Iraqi Armed Forces would not have been prepared to act against their own population in the face of strong religious leadership from leaders of their own religious group.
© PatternsofPower.org, 2014