Iraqi troops raid part of Sadr City, the Baghdad stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The U.S. military, which provided support in the mission, says the raid targeted the leader of a Shiite death squad. Iraq's prime minister angrily denied approving the raid.
Who was this death squad leader aligned with?
The U.S. military says Iraqi Army forces came under fire during the raid and requested support from U.S. aircraft, which fired into the district. Four men were killed, two of them reportedly members of Sadr's militia. Sadr is a key political ally of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who complained at a news conference that he wasn't consulted about the raid.
And who is Sadr connected with? Iran.
This is precisely why George Bush the elder did not take out Saddam, when he had the opportunity (something he was highly criticized for). Iran's influence among the Shiites has always been strong. There is a certain kinship they feel towards others of their minority sect. They would have aligned themselves with Iran back then, just as they are doing now.
Maliki's disapproval of the raid is highly suggestive that he is more closely aligned with Sadr than he would like all of us to believe. Instead of doing what politicians usually do when something is successful (which is take credit), he apppears to be be distancing himself because he fears Sadr, who I believe is calling a lot of the shots. He has more power in the Shiite community than the Prime Minister.
As I have said before, this thing may have to be partitioned off for the overall good of the region. No one wants to publicly say that now before the election. But I just cannot see any other way around it. Maliki blames the Sunnis, the Sunnis blame the Shiites (both of them hate America), and there is just too much bad blood between the two, to think they have any realistic chance to unite under one flag.
I think Maliki is part of the overall problem. He is not a leader, he is weak and ineffective. He is nothing more than a puppet if he must check with a radical hotheaded cleric, before performing functions, vital to national security. Iraqis, like Americans, have few leaders that are willing to stand up for what is right. They are puppets to special interests. In Iraq, it's terrorist interests that prevail.
In any democracy there will be problems with special interests, but to align with terrorists is certainly more problematic than with anything we have here. This is one reason why Iraq is failing. The Iraqi people are failing. They do not know how to hold anyone in their government accountable. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.