Monday, March 31, 2008

Maliki vs. Sadr

The Iraqi government’s battle against Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army in Basra is playing in the U.S. as a blow to progress in the war over the last year. But viewed from the perspective of recent Iraqi history, it is a welcome development. It used to be that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blocked U.S. forces from taking on Sadr’s militia in Baghdad, and it was a plausible fear that Sadr would take over Iraqi security forces from within. Now, Iraqi security forces have been directly battling the “outlaw” elements of Sadr’s army and al-Maliki compares Shia “gangs” to al-Qaeda: “It’s unfortunate that we used to say these very words about al-Qaeda, when all the while, there were people among us who are worse than al-Qaeda.” Keep reading

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