Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1) the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2) in the public domain, with free use granted for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2006 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Site contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
According to Reuters, American Democrats have at least one sympathetic ally in Iraq:
BAGHDAD — Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his ministers to quit Iraq’s government on Monday in protest at Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s refusal to set a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal.The Reuter's story points out this won't destroy the Iraqi government - and may even prove beneficial:
Sadr’s populist movement, which draws its support mainly from Iraq’s Shi’ite poor, holds six ministries and a quarter of the parliamentary seats in Maliki’s fractious Shi’ite Alliance, a coalition of Shi’ite Islamist parties.The AP adds an interesting tidbit:
While Sadr was instrumental in Mr. Maliki becoming prime minister last year, the move is unlikely to significantly weaken the government since Sadr’s movement does not hold any key cabinet portfolios. It could actually help Maliki by giving him a freer hand to pursue his political policies.
Al-Sadr's ministers will "withdraw immediately from the Iraqi government and give the six Cabinet seats to the government, with the hope that they will be given to independents who represent the will of the people," said Nassar al-Rubaie, head of al-Sadr's bloc, reading a statement from the cleric....and seems to downplay the troop withdrawal issue:
Al-Sadr, who wields tremendous power among Iraq's majority Shiites, has been upset about recent arrests of his Mahdi Army fighters in the U.S.-led Baghdad security crackdown. He and his followers have also criticized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for failing to back calls for a timetable for U.S. troops to leave the country.The LA Times has a slightly different view:
BAGHDAD — A key Shiite Muslim bloc in Iraq's government pledged Sunday to quit over Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, a move that would further weaken the country's leadership at a time of soaring sectarian violence.Burried deep in the LA Times story you'll find an admission that "Abu Firas Matyri said the bloc had no intention of giving up its parliament seats" - just its cabinet positions. So regardless of headlines, Sadr's bloc hasn't actually withdrawn from the Iraqi government.