Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Surge is Already Working

Muqtada al-Sadr is no dummy. He has successfully transformed himself from a two-bit Imam to one of the most powerful influences in Iraq through his firebrand speaking, political posturing, and thuggery. He even intimidated Prime Minister Maliki into delaying a summit with President Bush. He must also be scared out of his wits. Since George Bush announced his change of strategy in Iraq, three events have demonstrated al-Sadr's weakening position:
  1. One of his chief assassins was captured.
  2. He realized he had to call off his party's boycott of the Iraqi parliament.
  3. Today the Iraqi Prime Minister withdrew his protection for al-Sadr's Milita.

Al-Sadr has gotten his power by playing the strongman in a field of weak leaders; I'm interested to see if he can keep it up as the American military clamps down on his thugs. At least with respect to al-Sadr President Bush's surge in troops has already shown results.

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