Moqtada al-Sadr has joined the Shi’a coalition that dominates Iraqi politics as a full member; his party will have as many seats as each of the other two big Shi’a parties in the new legislature and is bargaining over which ministries it will control.
Meanwhile, Sadr remains a warlord, whose minions murder political opponents and ambush British troops. Elements of the police and military are openly loyal to Sadr, and he remains fanatically anti-American and pro-Iranian.
So when you read that we’re going to leave when “Iraqi security forces” are ready to take over, and that Iraq will soon have a “freely elected government,” remember what that means.
Update: Iyad Allawi, the first post-invasion Iraqi Prime Minister, thinks that conditions now are as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein.
Second update And Rummy’s fine with it. The death squads are “hypothetical,” and if they’re not hypothetical they’re a domestic problem for sovereign Iraq to deal with. “That’s life.”
No, seriously. That’s what the man said.