Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Maliki's Baghdad

So the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has demanded that U.S. troop remove checkpoints surrounding Sadr City in Baghdad. The Americans have agreed and withdrawn from the areas.
In the bloody Kabuki dance that is Iraq, it's impossible to draw any firm conclusions from this (or any) news, we can be sure that spinning is going on, that lies are being told, but what they are, much less where the truth lies is a mystery that may only be resolved in time.
As my faithful readers may recall, I've speculated before that the current troop build up in Baghdad (and Iraq as the troop level is raised to 150, 000) is a response to significant security risks in these harrowing days before the midterm elections. An explosion of violence in Sadr City would mean serious fighting and casualties, and worse, more bad news for the Republican candidates. This is to be avoided at all costs.
So I read the entrails like this, Sadr is more and more calling the shots in the Iraqi government. He is also very pissed about the recent mega-bombing that was coincident with the cordon. Sadr, through Maliki, let the Americans know that if they didn't back off all shit was going to break loose. The Americans spun this that Maliki is now such a brave and democratic leader he can assert himself with his country's occupiers. So everybody's happy now, and if just this week can pass everything is gonna be alright. Tick-tock.


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