The situation in Iraq is a boiling over in Basra now and soon the brewing hatred may spit across their land.
After failing to break the resistance of Shiite militias in the five-day siege of oil rich Basra, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki sent a top general to hold talks with his Shiite rival, Muqtada al Sadr, Saturday night only to be rebuffed by the firebrand cleric, an Iraqi official close to the negotiations said.
Maliki denounced Shia militants in Basra as the equivalent of Al Qaida, and Sadr told his supporters not to hand over their arms to a puppet state of the United States.
Siun has much more:
In the interview, al-Sadr said the militia's "strategic objective" was "the liberation of Iraq from the occupier," meaning the Americans. He outlined the aims of his political movement, saying he wants to rid Iraq of sectarian politics, prevent its breakup and create an Islamic society.
Firepups should note that al-Obeidi does not speak except at Sadr's request. He is making clear that the Sadrists are now given permission to "defend" and "protect" their fellow Iraqis from the occupation forces and from Maliki's attacks. The comments from Grand Ayatollah Sistani is at minimum a declaration that the religious leadership will take a hands off approach to what comes next and comes close to being a de facto approval of al Sadr's call for resistance to any who attack the rights and security of Iraqis...read on
I believe Gen. Petraeus is coming back to the States soon to give us an update on Iraq.
Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.
All I want to know is does this mean we are still winning? Bush seems to think so:
The images from Baghdad and Basra bristled with explosions, burning buildings, angry street protests, rocket smoke wafting from the Green Zone. The words from Dayton were "remarkable" and "victory" and "rebirth." "Normalcy," President Bush said, "is returning back to Iraq."
Ahhh, there's nothing like "the smell of napalm in the morning---smells "like...victory."