Now that the political differences in Iraq appear to be working themselves out will the Democrats flip-flop back to complaining about military progress?
Iraq’s top Shi’ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation.
The agreement by the five leaders was one of the most significant political developments in Iraq for months and was quickly welcomed by the United States, which hopes such moves will ease sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands. …
Maliki’s appearance on Iraqi television with the four other leaders at a brief news conference was a rare show of public unity.
The other officials present were President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi; Shi’ite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and Masoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Iraqi officials said the five leaders had agreed on draft legislation that would ease curbs on former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party joining the civil service and military.
Consensus was also reached on a law governing provincial powers as well as setting up a mechanism to release some detainees held without charge, a key demand of Sunni Arabs since the majority being held are Sunnis.
And here all of us Americans were complaining about the Assembly taking a month vacation. Little did we know Maliki and the other parties were hard at work behind the scenes.
President Bush gave the green light to the surge which quieted down some of the worst areas in Iraq, which then gave Maliki room to do some behind the scenes diplomacy while relegating Sadr to the trashbin. Ed Morrissey:
That [the surge] forced Maliki to look for Shi’ite support apart from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who not only opposed the surge but also served as an Iranian stooge in Iraq. Once Sadr fled to Iran, Maliki started building a coalition of other Shi’ites and Kurds to replace him — and when Sadr yanked his followers from Maliki’s government, he wound up surviving the crisis.
Eleven days ago, Maliki went to Tikrit. Saying that Shi’ites take their lives in their hands there is a bit of an understatement. He went to meet with Sunni leaders after apparently spending several weeks paving the road for some agreement on the reforms. The work Petraeus did in quieting the Sunni provinces has allowed the tribes to coordinate on their own political aims and to build some unity of purpose.
Meanwhile Allah thinks Allawi is the best bet for the United States as PM of Iraq. Maliki is working quite well but I have to agree with Allah here (it’s quite rare when I agree with him so mark your calenders) Allawi looks to be quite strong.
And look at Maliki coming out of the ring swinging at the Democrats:
Iraq’s prime minister has hit back at senior US politicians who have called for him to be removed from office. Nouri Maliki singled out senators Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin.
He said the Democratic senators were acting as if Iraq was "their property" and that they should "come to their senses" and "respect democracy".
Analysts say Mr Maliki is fighting to hold his government together. His words come days before a report to Congress on the US Iraq "surge" strategy.
The BBC’s Mike Wooldridge, in Baghdad, says the already heated political situation inside and outside Iraq has now got even hotter.
Unrelated but it looks like my new name is going to be Conservative Curt.