According to NPR, al-Maliki got support in Parliament from across the Iraqi political spectrum for his plan to crack down on violence in Baghdad. The Sadrists have resumed their seats in Parliament, and the mayor of Sadr City is negotiating an agreement on U.S./Iraqi Army patrols in his territory, which has been off limits until now. And apparently the Sunni parties are willing to give it a try. (That account is in some tension with this AP story.)
Maybe the threat of a U.S. withdrawal has finally concentrated the minds of the Iraqi political class. If Iraq’s Shi’a wind up depending on Iran, that’s not good for Moqtada; the Iranians favor the Mahdi Army’s rival, the SCIRI.
Maybe Mr. Bush ought to be grateful to the Democrats (and, of course, the voters) for playing bad cop to his good cop.