Muqtada al-Sadr apparently has had enough; he’s offered a “truce” if the Iraqi government will stop attacking his men. I’m not close enough to the situation to know whether it would be better to accept the truce or continue disabling Sadr’s militia, but the proposal seems like a clear indication that things haven’t gone as Sadr intended.
This episode might prove to be, as President Bush suggested, a defining moment in Iraq’s post-war history. The main knock on Maliki’s government has been that it is a Shia instrument that has sometimes been infiltrated by radical Shia elements. Sunnis have often been suspicious of the government on this ground. The fact that Iraqi soldiers took the lead in rooting out Sadr’s militia may demonstrate to Iraqis that Maliki’s government represents all Iraqis, not just the Shia.
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