Iraq’s relative quiet

The World

President Bush called the offensive against Shia militias a defining moment in the war. but Shia militants didn’t lay down the arms and this advisor to Moqtada al-Sadr says there’s a condition that wasn’t met: when occupying troops leave the country. fighting eased up in Basra today, but this analyst says that’s no victory for Prime Minister Maliki. This analyst says Sadr emerges as a clear victor in this case, as a force to be reckoned with. He says Maliki now has a 50-50 chance of surviving politically and that’s bad news for the US. But there’s some good news for Maliki: it’s unclear who could fill his shoes so some analysts predict he’ll stay in power, albeit in a lameduck government. The Iraqi military also looks weaker says this analyst and that’s more bad news for the US, whose withdrawal is contingent on a strengthening Iraqi Army.

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