Sunday, July 29, 2007

Withdraw Showdown?

Looks like Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki can't stand success.

A key aide says Maliki's relations with U.S. commander General Petraeus are so poor that Maliki may ask Washington to withdraw.... the troops?..... they're ready to take over?...... no, to withdraw Petraeus from his Baghdad post. "Heat Rises Between Iraq PM and Petraeus." (WaPo)

Seems like Maliki doesn't like the successful tactic employed by Petraeus of enlisting Sunni militants in the fight against al-Qaeda.

Iraq Foreign Minister Zebari told Newsweek magazine that Maliki told him he threatened Bush that he would counter this tactic by arming Shiite militias, and "Bush told Maliki to calm down."

One thing our Texas "Bring it on" nacho-man does recognize.... shooting from the lip.

"Petraeus, meanwhile, must deal with an Iraqi military and police force, nominally under Maliki's control, that often acts out of sectarian, namely Shiite, interests, and not national Iraqi interests. He faces a significant challenge in persuading Maliki to shed his ties to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who runs the Mahdi Army militia."

Hopefully, the Petraeus, "neighborhood watch with teeth" will level the Iraq playing field for the tribal Sunnis being overwhelmed on two fronts... al Qaeda and the Shiite militia.

As Shiite Iran-favoring Maliki lodges his objections to the Petraeus' Sunni initiative, he at the same time is dragging his feet on an oil-industry law and other legislation critical to meet U.S. benchmarks.

It's increasingly clear.... the U.S. needs to withdraw.... their support of Maliki.

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