Monday, March 31, 2008

The complexities of the Iraqi political scene.

Once again glad I'm not in a position where I have to keep track of all the interrelationships. Folks seemingly make and break alliances around here like they're contestants on Survivor. Pun intended, they really are working on the whole survival thing.

Iranian general played key role in brokering Iraq cease-fire
By Leila Fadel McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations, members of the Iraqi parliament said.
Sadr ordered the halt on Sunday, and his Mahdi Army militia heeded the order in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government announced it would lift a 24-hour curfew starting early Monday in most parts of the capital.

A bit of commentary on this article...

Maliki And The Iranians
By Kevin Drum
Mar 31, 2008

Another earlier analysis, before things apparently started quieting down....

RPT-ANALYSIS-Maliki's Basra crackdown poses risk for U.S.
Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57am EDT

I found the questioning of Maliki's political intentions with this action particularly interesting. Truth at this point is I have no clue what motivations were in play. I have enough trouble figuring out intentions of folks I work with.

On the bright side, the Iraqi leadership was acting on its own- sovereignty, even if we didn't necessarily agree with how they exercised it. Makes things a bit difficult for the U.S. leadership which likes to be more prepared than they were on this Basra event, and it will take some time to figure out the implications of what has happened there and in Baghdad, and how it impacts future events here.

And where is all the breathless reporting of things calming down a bit after a week of trumpeting instability?

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