Iraqi PM Ceases Protection of Anti-American Militia
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's prime minister has dropped his protection of an anti-American cleric's Shiite militia after U.S. intelligence convinced him the group was infiltrated by death squads, two officials said Sunday.
Sometime between then and Nov. 30, when the prime minister met President Bush, al-Maliki was convinced of the truth of American intelligence reports which contended, among other things, that his protection of al-Sadr's militia was isolating him in the Arab world and among moderates at home, the two government officials said.
"Al-Maliki realized he couldn't keep defending the Mahdi Army because of the information and evidence that the armed group was taking part in the killings, displacing people and violating the state's sovereignty," said one official. Both he and a second government official who confirmed the account refused to be identified by name because the information was confidential. Both officials are intimately aware of the prime minister's thinking.
"The Americans don't act on rumors but on accurate intelligence. There are many intelligence agencies acting on the ground, and they know what's going on," said the second official, confirming the Americans had given al-Maliki overwhelming evidence about the Mahdi Army's deep involvement in the sectarian slaughter.
... let's all hope the Surge works. It seems to be headed that way, so far!