Mahdi Army offers olive branch to U.S.?

Could be for real. Would Shiite Nazis lie?

Sadr’s not involved. The liaison, Rahim al-Daraji, is the mayor of Sadr City.

During the meetings, which took place on Jan. 17 and, most recently, on Monday, Mr. Daraji laid out a proposal from what he said were all the major political and militia groups in Sadr City, the senior Iraqi official said. The groups were eager to head off a major American military offensive in the district, home to two million Shiites, as the Americans begin a sweeping new effort to retake the streets of Baghdad.

Mr. Daraji said in an interview that field commanders would forbid their foot soldiers to carry guns in public if the American military and the Iraqi government met several basic demands, mostly involving ways to ensure better security for Sadr City. He is communicating with the commanders through a Shiite politician who is close to them…

Saleh al-Agheli, a member of Parliament from Mr. Sadr’s political bloc, said the bloc’s political committee had “blessed and supported” the effort by Mr. Daraji…

The American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, confirmed that meetings had taken place and said that Mr. Daraji had told representatives from the American Embassy and from the military that local residents would not challenge weapons searches by American soldiers.

Michael Yon says the only way to win is to take on the militias. The more I read, the more convinced I am that that ain’t happening. Not because it’d be too bloody but because you can’t make them fight if they don’t want to, and at this point they’d be crazy for wanting to. They’ve won the game; all they have to do is run out the clock. It’d be like a team up seven with the ball running pass plays at the end of the game. Even if we start arresting guys in black turbans, even if we arrest Sadr, what do they stand to gain by resisting? All they have to do is wait until we’re gone and then Maliki will let them out.

Exit question: Is this Sadr’s way of kneeling on the ball?