Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Looks a lot like standing up

On al-Maliki's orders, GIs stand down
BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki flexed his political muscle yesterday and won U.S. agreement to lift military blockades on Sadr City and another Shiite enclave where an American soldier was abducted.

U.S. forces, who had set up the checkpoints in Baghdad last week as part of an unsuccessful search for the soldier, drove away in Humvees and armored personnel carriers at the 5 p.m. deadline set by al-Maliki.

Their departure set off celebrations among civilians and armed men in Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite district controlled by the Mahdi Army militia loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Men and children danced in circles chanting slogans praising and declaring victory for al-Sadr, whose political support is crucial to the Shiite prime minister.

The prime minister's challenge to U.S. conduct of the war was the latest in a series of acts designed to force the American hand and test Washington's readiness to give him a greater say in securing the world's most violent capital.

Remember the rare and beautiful sight of newscasts running the string of Bush's "stay the course" quotes in response to his laughable "we were never stay the course" claim?

This story isn't quite as self-executing as that one, but if Al-Maliki is now taking control, and prohibiting American troops from engaging in operations he doesn't like -- even if said operations are essentially search and rescue (from the American perspective) -- well, if that ain't the textbook definition of the Iraqis standing up, I don't know what is.


Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

This story seems to have been drowned out by Kerry's botched joke. I think it's important.

On that topic - what was he thinking? I wish he would just keep his big,long winded yap shut. I don't think it hurt much, but jeez, we're almost ready to stick a fork in this thing and...well he should just shut up. Pretend it's '04 or something.

Hey, few posts lately - are you working on a Raw Story piece or just staying up late reading political blogs like me?

2:37 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I'm biting my lip and trying not to tee off on Kerry. But if there is any good news in this non-story, it is that in my mind there is now a fork in his presidential aspirations. This story will remind everybody what a terrible candidate he was, is and will be.

8:10 AM  

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