Monday, March 31, 2008

Al Sadr Blinks; Signs Ceasefire

I was a little worried when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backed off his 72 hour ultimatum against the Shiite militias and extended his deadline to April 8th. But as it turned out he was just buying a little time as yesterday, after a week of fighting, Muqtada al-Sadr unexpectedly pulled his fighters off the streets of Basra and have negotiated a ceasefire with the Iraqi government. This is Maliki's biggest achievement since becoming almost two years ago. When he first took office, he appeared nothing more than a puppet of al Sadr and the Mahdi Army. But the Iraqi Army is clearly performing better and Maliki is gaining confidence. The more the Iraqi Army can defend themselves in time we will be in a position to draw down our troops. Things are really getting better in Iraq and now is not the time to follow the prescription of surrender by Dr. Obama or Nurse Hillarycare.

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