Sunnis return to Maliki government

posted at 4:45 pm on April 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Those who considered Nouri al-Maliki’s operations in Basra, Umm Qasr, and Sadr City a failure got another cold slap of reality today. The Sunni blocs that left Maliki’s government have returned after Maliki ended the Mahdi Army’s de facto immunity over the last few weeks. It demonstrates the progress made on political reconciliation:

Iraq’s main Sunni Muslim political bloc has agreed in principle to return to the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki nearly nine months after quitting the Cabinet, lawmakers from the group said Thursday.

A return of the Sunnis would be a boost to al-Maliki, who has struggled to keep together the disparate factions of his government and attempt to reconcile Iraq’s feuding Shiite and Sunni politicians.

Salim Abdullah, a lawmaker and chief spokesman for the Sunni Accordance Front, said that after “positive negotiations” with al-Maliki’s government, a deal in principle was reached under which the Front would hold five Cabinet posts, in addition to a deputy prime minister position.

The SAF based its return explicitly on Maliki’s operations in Basra and Sadr City. The Sunnis had felt the brunt of Sadr’s actions and resented the free hand Maliki was forced to allow Sadr while waiting for his security forces to become strong enough to confront him. Maliki has convinced Kurds, Sunnis, and other Shi’ites of his commitment to democracy and central government control over all Iraq.

Will the media report this return at the same level they reported the Front’s departure?

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Maliki walked on water yesterday. CNN reports: “Maliki apparently can’t swim.”

Akzed on April 17, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Breaking good news; Hold page D-15 of the Times!

mymanpotsandpans on April 17, 2008 at 4:51 PM

They will still keep killing each other just like they have for centuries.

saiga on April 17, 2008 at 4:55 PM

Sunnis return to Maliki government

Finally I can breath a sigh of relief!

Who would’ve known?

Does that mean our troops can go home now?

Just kidding!

Indy Conservative on April 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM

mymanpotsandpans on April 17, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Amen on that. Our new friend, ABC, was so quick to jump on the ‘massive’ new round of violence in Iraq. This story will go thru the shredder before it ever hits Gibson’s desk.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Paging Ms. Pelosi…

Ms. Pelosi:

LA LA LA (fingers in ears)

Palamino! Palamino!!

uniclone on April 17, 2008 at 5:02 PM

But wait!!

I think a car bomb went off somewhere,so none of this progress means anything.

The “war is lost” crowd will be ranting this line any minute
now.

Baxter Greene on April 17, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Maliki has convinced Kurds, Sunnis, and other Shi’ites of his commitment to democracy and central government control over all Iraq.

I wonder how the Sunni gangster warlords tribal leaders who have been allowed a lot of control in Sunni areas by American forces are going to take to the idea of “central government control over all Iraq”.

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:04 PM

two more years.

One Angry Christian on April 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Does that mean our troops can go home now?

Indy Conservative on April 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM

No.

They can come when Iraq is like Germany and Japan, which should be any century now.

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM

not listening lalalalalalalala

Ortzinator on April 17, 2008 at 5:08 PM

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:04 PM

I was almost there too MB. The first few letters from Iraq this tour were, well, not inspiring. That has changed a lot lately. When my boy said the difference between 06 and 08 were striking it gave me a bit of hope.

I sent Bryan (our deserter) a copy of the worst. For whatever reason (probably the profanity) he decided not to use it. The latest is more about wishing he was home instead of wanting the hell outta there. I know it is all anecdotal, but his new optimism made me smile a bit.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:13 PM

With 30+ Iraqis blown to bits by terrorists today, 50+ yesterday, and 80+ the day before yesterday, I find it hard to talk about success in Iraq so far this week. Even if the number of civilians killed per day is trending down.

factoid on April 17, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Limerick’s post of 5:13pm reminded me of something I stumbled across about fobbits.
The tone of the article is mostly humorous, but pointed, the comments are both pro and con, some heatedly so.

Mr. Limerick, please don’t conclude that I’ve just called your son a fobbit!

rockhauler on April 17, 2008 at 5:33 PM

rockhauler on April 17, 2008 at 5:33 PM

LOL. No worries rockhauler. He has used the term (for others). He is a TC in an Abrams (3rd Armored Cav).

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:39 PM

With 30+ Iraqis blown to bits by terrorists today, 50+ yesterday, and 80+ the day before yesterday, I find it hard to talk about success in Iraq so far this week. Even if the number of civilians killed per day is trending down.

factoid on April 17, 2008 at 5:22 PM

I think that is the enemies intent.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Will the media report this return at the same level they reported the Front’s departure?

um, no.

Richard Romano on April 17, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Give your son my best. My son is at Sadr City.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:44 PM

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Will do bnelson. Mosul for mine.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Does that mean our troops can go home now?

Indy Conservative on April 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM

No.

They can come when Iraq is like Germany and Japan, which should be any century now.

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM

I was being sarcastic anyway.

Yes, I know. I think by the year 3065, the troops might do a partial withdraw.

Indy Conservative on April 17, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Will do bnelson. Mosul for mine.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Lots of activity in both places right now. Looks like they are making some real progress in Mosul.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Limerick,

Petraeus the other day, I think, said that al-Qaeda can’t succeed without Baghdad and can’t survive without Mosul.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM

one day at a time…I see alot of progress…yes bombs are still going off and yes people are still dying but its alot less than the thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that would be dying if we left. A strong iraq would be so good for our country and for the iraqi people and I for one see the sunnis going back into govt as a huge part of reconciliation. I will remain positive about the situation. This is great news

SoCalInfidel on April 17, 2008 at 5:49 PM

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:47 PM

8-9 more months. God bless em all.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Coalition and Iraqi forces killed or captured 53 senior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives over the past month, including three senior leaders in Mosul and four leaders and facilitators in Baghdad.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:52 PM

“MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:04 PM”

The “Sons of Iraq” Sunni’s were more than a bit perturbed with the US Military about a month ago for not receiving promised “gratis” for attacking AQ in their midst.

“MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM”

Exactly MB4,

“which should be any century now.”

According to both you and Saint Mc… Peas in a pod…!
Sorry that’s what you said?

Call me a wet blanket; Maliki’s troops get their arse kicked in Basra, until we intervened with our force and they recently deserted in Sadr City, despite our cajouling and the “Sons of Iraq” suddenly decide to come around?

After just 1500 hundred years of throat slitting animosity by both parties; pardon me if I reserve my judgment for a week or two?

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 5:53 PM

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Iraqi and Coalition forces are pressing the fight against the Mahdi Army in northeastern Baghdad and the southern port city of Basrah. Iraqi troops have cleared two Mahdi Army strongholds in Basrah and reportedly have surrounded three others as they prepare to press the operation. In Baghdad, the Iraqi Army and US forces continue to clash with the Mahdi Army while forces have moved into southwestern Sadr City and set up a “demonstration area” to distribute aid and provide local security.

The Iraqi government signaled that it was willing to take on the Mahdi Army inside its Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City and the outlying neighborhoods since Muqtada al Sadr ordered his militia to cease fighting six days after the Basrah operation began in March. Last weekend, Ali al Dabbagh, the spokesman for the government of Iraq, said Iraqi and US forces would “continue [operations] until we secure Sadr City.” Multinational Forces Iraq said it was backing the Iraqi government and military in its efforts.

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:57 PM

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Their all winners. Damn proud of em. To tell you the truth I get more operational news from the wires and the internet then he lets me in on. We had the good fortune to find him on the front page of the Stars and Stripes a few months ago during one of his operations. We knew nothing about it until that issue hit the mailbox.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Well, It probably is a bit of good news, but also probable is the fact that this news is temporary. Why?? Because there is no honor among these thieves, no integrity, therefor, no trust. Deceit is in their religion.. Lying in order to serve Allah is accepted..and anything can be said to serve Allah…I only hope that the central government can put it together long enough for our goals to be met Honorably so we may depart. But the despicable behavior of some of the Islamodegenerats will eventually slither out, as has been the history of Mohammed’s finest thugs and pedophiles, so turmoil, betrayal, and opportunistic rage, once again will rein supreme..It’s in the Koran, man…. We then should get out of the way, sell both sides conventional arms, and take bets on how long before these slimy bastids eat themselves…piss be upon them….Oh!! ..don’t be offended…it’s not like I’m a cartoonist or anything, it’s just my infidel accent….

b4lucy on April 17, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Their all winners. Damn proud of em. To tell you the truth I get more operational news from the wires and the internet then he lets me in on.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 5:58 PM

He probably doesn’t want you to worry. Last tour I thought I knew what was going on and then when he got home I found out I really didn’t know how much danger he was in. My wife knew even less because he asked me not to tell her what he had told me. Boy, did I catch it from her when she found out!

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 6:01 PM

53 senior leaders killed or captured in March 2008. The largest number yet and a signifcant increase from the last two months, even doubling Feb 2008.

February 2008 – 26
January 2008 – 35
December 2007 – 51
November 2007 – 40
October 2007 – 43
September 2007 – 29
August 2007 – 25
July 2007 – 19

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 6:03 PM

bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 6:01 PM

So true. Tell your son to get home safe, and stay away from the honey pot detail.

Cheers.

Limerick on April 17, 2008 at 6:04 PM

“…Petraeus the other day, I think, said that al-Qaeda can’t succeed without Baghdad and can’t survive without Mosul.
bnelson44 on April 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM”

AQ in Iraq is a figment of our political agenda. If we’re willing to pay the “Sons of Iraq” [Sunni’s] enough “gilt” AQ disappears…! Get it…?

The Sunni are the brothers of the foreign [Arabs] AQ only because they share the same ethnic and religious bent. Money and guns cause cousins to kill! Especially for money!

The battle is between the Sunni [minority in the central part and throughout Iraq] and the Shiite [Shia, majority] in the central and southern portion and the Kurds in the northeast.

Until you understand the players, you’ll never understand the battle!

If we weren’t in this mix the parties involved would crush AQ “like a bug”!

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend, routine.
Get it?

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 6:13 PM

“b4lucy on April 17, 2008 at 6:00 PM”

Damn, b4lucy; I’m with you Madam or Sir…!

Get out the way and let the…DEVIL SORTEM OUT….!!!

MUCH BETTER THEN OUR DEAR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 6:24 PM

“blink on April 17, 2008 at 6:19 PM”

My Dear blink; If I may?

With all my heart I’m hoping this is possible!
However; as an olde soldier who has seen many physical battles.

I will tell you this… the party who will eventually win is the warrior who’s life and family existence is at stake and in this battle it is not ours; despite what you favorite political leader might say!

But that’s just me!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 6:39 PM

“b4lucy on April 17, 2008 at 6:00 PM”

What I should have said, is… LET ALLAH SORT ‘EM OUT…!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 6:53 PM

“…I will tell you this… the party who will eventually win is…”

If you will grant me a moment… there are no winners in war. There are only those who will eventually prevail.
Given time, place and circumstance; just as in Vietnam, we will not prevail in Iraq.

Where we will win is… on the leading edge of technology for the entire world. As time passes water in the Middle East will become more valuable than all their oil!

We will be selling them water and “thin film” solar products the next “big green thing”!

Take heart, my fellow citizens and pilgrims…!
We shall prevail…!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 7:33 PM

J_Gocht….b4lucy, a Sir and a patriot..Regarding your last post, I don’t think even Allah has the ability to sort them out…They’re mostly deranged, backward, lying, lowlife, scum that cannot possibly be a branch of the human species…detonating women, babies, retarded, or hopeless teens for the purposes of advancing a camel sodomizing cult from the 6th century is not part of the human condition….Wiping one’s a55 with one’s finger is the epitome of arrested development writ gigantous…and that’s just one example of muslim culture…It’s leprosy of the soul….rotting..stench..putrefied..well, you get the picture.

b4lucy on April 17, 2008 at 7:34 PM

J-Gocht, I am sorry the war in Nam effected your thinking. American soldiers lost how many battles in the Nam? Which party pulled support for the South Viet Namese which allowed the North, which was receiving full support from the Soviets to take over the abandoned South. You are believing the BS from years ago and trying to apply it to modern situations. The Generals in this fight were in Nam, fool. The military learned the lessons necessary to win this fight. The only way to lose this is if the left can convince us it is not worth winning. Shame forever on those who doubt this nation.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on April 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM

“….What the heck does this statement mean? In EVERY ethnic conflict warriors from both ethnicities (parties) have their life and family existence at stake. So which party will win? This makes absolutely no sense. blink on April 17, 2008 at 7:27 PM”

I was referring specifically to the AQ. Shia, Sunni mix.

Actually AQ is the foreign interloper with loose ties to the Sunni. Give the Sunni enough gilt and they’ll kick AQ arse. When that donnybrook is over we can sit back and watch the other match!

Do you “get it” yet?

“blink”

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 7:50 PM

So which party will win? This makes absolutely no sense. blink on April 17, 2008 at 7:27 PM”

I don’t give a military damn!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:00 PM

I don’t give a military damn!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Do you “get it” yet; blink…?

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:03 PM

May they all go “Allah Akbar” into either the Euphrates River or the sands of Anbar…!

Heckler and Kochs, “blink”!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:07 PM

I’m thinking seriously about having an “Early Times”…!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:11 PM

We lost 53,000 GI souls in Vietnam. We’ve lost nearing 5000 dead and more than 35,000 horrifically maimed and wounded in this despicable adventure into Mesopotamia.

The cost of this sorry war in Iraq is going to be thousands even millions of times our losing “slit trench” exercise in Vietnam; due to the lifelong debt we owe the brave and wounded!

All for no military, political or moral reason whatever!
Do you “get it” yet…?

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:30 PM

“…The Generals in this fight were in Nam, fool. Zelsdorf Ragshaft on April 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM”

Not quite ZR baby… that was daddy George H. W. Bush; this one is a baby Bush!

Remember General Colin Powell…He was in Vietnam and “Operation Iragi Freedom”?

BTW: If any of them were…? They didn’t learn “Jack Dump”…!

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:48 PM

We lost 53,000 58,200 plus about 2,000 MIA GI souls in Vietnam

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 8:30 PM

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 9:08 PM

The Generals in this fight were in Nam, fool.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on April 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Most were not. General Petraeus never served in RVN.

So ask not for whom the bell tolls, as it tolls for thee.

MB4 on April 17, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Thanks for watchin’ my back MB4. My satellite went down due to heavy rain. There still remains a question I would like to pose…

Zelsdorf Ragshaft my good person… are you some kind of flyin’ fairy conjured out of a clever Englishwoman’s fertile mind?

I ask this with all due respect for the good lady who has made millions; perhaps billions?

My question remains; are you actually a character in one of her novels, I’ve not read?
Do you wish in your “heart of heart’s too be?

Or…you just funnin’ all of us?

J_Gocht on April 17, 2008 at 9:50 PM

According to our Soldiers on the ground in Iraq,the Sunni
are doing a good job working their tribal system within the
central government system:

Now They Have Turned to the Tribes
Micheal Totten
April 17, 2008
http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/04/now-they-have-t.php

Marine Captain Quintin Jones, commanding officer at Outpost Delta in the city of Karmah, told me he works with tribal authorities as well as the mayor every day and can’t get much done if he doesn’t.

MJT: How compatible is tribal law with a democratic system? Are they merging the two systems, or basically still using the old-world authoritarian model?

Captain Jones: The way to approach it is, there is still a need for the tribal way of life, but we’re trying to make it more democratic at the same time. They’re parallel. The true part is run by the democratic process. If you look at countries like Bahrain or Dubai – the UAE – they still have a strong tribal base, but they’re somewhat democratic in their governance and the way they approach things. You can’t move forward or progress as a country if you’re stuck in the tribal way of life.

Baxter Greene on April 17, 2008 at 11:52 PM

As Maliki said, Hillary and Co. just consider Iraq one of their little villages.

I hope he’s wildly successful, just for that remark.

PattyJ on April 17, 2008 at 11:56 PM

Call me a wet blanket; Maliki’s troops get their arse kicked in Basra, until we intervened with our force

Uh, wrong. I’m down here at Basrah – you have mistated what did occur, what is occuring now, and I believe that you are wrong about the future.

You and MB4 are set in your pessimism, so I don’t believe that I shall change your minds with actual observations from the scene – but the “aw @#$% ‘em” school of thought isn’t mine. I thought the “this hard so I wanna quit” and “screw the dirty little ‘other’” was something of a characteristic of the Left in the West. Maybe I missed something?

major john on April 18, 2008 at 12:57 AM

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another 12-16 hours of work to do. Somehow the totally defeated Iraqi Army has managed to capture a whole bunch of prisoners, weapons and intel goodies…

major john on April 18, 2008 at 1:00 AM

Keep kicking A$$ and bringing Freedom major john,while the
“war is lost” crowd keep whinnying and making bumper stickers.

Baxter Greene on April 18, 2008 at 1:37 AM

“screw the dirty little ‘other’” was something of a characteristic of the Left in the West. Maybe I missed something?

major john on April 18, 2008 at 12:57 AM

I do believe that you have missed a lot, including that it is you who is accusing others of “screw the dirty little ‘other’”, as you so ineloquently put it, which is a “characteristic of the left”.

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 1:40 AM

Certainly will be interesting if al Sadr’s party wins the Basra election in October.

Which side will the U.S. military(militia?) fight for then?

alphie on April 18, 2008 at 1:45 AM

Keep kicking A$$ and bringing Freedom major john,while the
“war is lost” crowd keep whinnying and making bumper stickers.

Baxter Greene on April 18, 2008 at 1:37 AM

It looks like a majority of your fellow Americans are part of your ““war is lost” crowd [that] keep[s] whinnying and making bumper stickers”, as you so ineloquently put it.

Friday, April 18, 2008; Page A07

The public’s ratings of the national economy continue to sour, with assessments deteriorating faster than at any point in Washington Post-ABC News polling. Views on the Iraq war have also turned more negative, with six in 10 now rejecting the notion that the United States needs to win there to effectively battle terrorism.

Moreover, while Bush remains committed to keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the rest of his presidency, 56 percent of Americans say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties. This has been the majority view since January 2007.

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 1:46 AM

Uh, wrong. I’m down here at Basrah – you have mistated what did occur, what is occuring now, and I believe that you are wrong about the future.

You and MB4 are set in your pessimism

major john on April 18, 2008 at 12:57 AM

So again this is a fairly courageous decision, a fairly sudden decision, one that came after some months of preparing a more deliberate approach, and is still very much playing out, it is far too soon to say that Basra has succeeded or has failed either. It is safe to say that Basra is going to continue for months actually and it is a tough nut to crack but the fact is that the Prime Minister has taken it on and his forces are grappling with that particular issue.
- General Petraeus

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 2:03 AM

You and MB4 are set in your pessimism

major john on April 18, 2008 at 12:57 AM

We hear and we forget, we see and we remember, we do and we understand.

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 2:18 AM

MB4 and JGocht, you remind me of the hypochondriac who was always sure he was just about to die, until the day finally came. The epitaph on his tombstone was, “See!”

Point being, when he finally died, that didn’t prove he was right all along. It just proved he was wrong about being about to die every day until the very end.

You’re both convinced that Iraq will be a disaster, and you’ll always find reason to believe it, because there will always be some bad new somewhere. But Iraq doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be no longer our problem, and that will happen when the Iraqis can take care of their own problems.

That day will not be determined by a complete lack of violence from AQI. That day will be determined when the Iraqi government is able to take care of the violence themselves.

Frankly, so far the Iraqi government seems to be working better than our own. AQI is desperate, Sadr’s at least overtly giving up on armed rebellion, which means he sees much more chance for success by playing politics, much of the milestone legislation that Congress has been calling for has in fact been passed, including de-Baathification and oil revenue sharing, and the Sunnis have rejoined the national government.

But don’t worry: it’s a big country with a troubled past and violent factions. You’ll be able to find support for your pessimism for some time to come yet.

theregoestheneighborhood on April 18, 2008 at 2:47 AM

MB4 and JGocht, you remind me of the hypochondriac who was always sure he was just about to die, until the day finally came. The epitaph on his tombstone was, “See!”

My father is 95 years old and even has a girl friend, so don’t worry about me.

But Iraq doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be no longer our problem

That sound good. Let’s make it not our problem right now.

and that will happen when the Iraqis can take care of their own problems.

Whoops. You would have to say that.

Frankly, so far the Iraqi government seems to be working better than our own.

If you actually believe that, maybe you should move there. House prices are probably a whole lot cheaper. Go for it!

Frankly, so far the Iraqi government seems to be working better than our own. AQI is desperate, Sadr’s at least overtly giving up on armed rebellion, which means he sees much more chance for success by playing politics, much of the milestone legislation that Congress has been calling for has in fact been passed, including de-Baathification and oil revenue sharing, and the Sunnis have rejoined the national government.

But don’t worry: it’s a big country with a troubled past and violent factions. You’ll be able to find support for your pessimism for some time to come yet.

theregoestheneighborhood on April 18, 2008 at 2:47 AM

You sound like the five o’clock follies in RVN.

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 3:00 AM

I am going to tell you Iraqi cheer leaders one more time, well maybe just one more time, no promises, you are sharpshooting General Petraeus.

Wake up one of these days.

I am setting expectations low, very low. That way if things go even so-so, General Petraeus and his efforts will look good by comparison. Some of you are setting expectations so high that you are either trying to make him look bad or you don’t know what the frack you are doing!

MB4 on April 18, 2008 at 3:07 AM