One feature of the coverage of the crisis in Iraq, is the birth of compound nouns, words that cannot exist without their modifying adjectives. Thus we hear about “The-Holy-City-of-Najaf” and “The-Radical-Shia-Cleric-Moqtadr-Al-Sadr.”
Is ‘radical’ still the word we should use to describe Moqtadr? With all this talk of him representing the majority Shia population, and his control of six Iraqi cabinet ministers, he looks pretty entrenched. By granting him the moniker ‘radical’, the implication is that he is still a fringe figure. This is a distortion of the political situation in Iraq. If the intention is to marginalise him, the tactic is clearly not working.