Maliki Calls For Most Coalition Troops

Maliki Calls for Most Coalition Troops out by End of Year

Well, there are two versions of Iraq’s future. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki suprised visiting UK PM Tony Blair with an announcement: “Mr Maliki said British troops would hand over responsibility in two provinces to Iraqi security forces by next month and that he expected US, British and other foreign troops out of 16 of the country’s 18 provinces by the end of the year, a much speedier and more ambitious schedule than the US and Britain have so far admitted to.”

In contrast, the British government is under the impression that it will be in Iraq for another four years. The British are being the more realistic here.

Al-Zaman reports on a wave of assassinations in Baghdad and Mosul.

There was more mayhem in Iraq on Monday, leaving at least 20 persons dead and dozens wounded.

Al-Hayat reports that the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has sent a message to the governor of Basra province and asked him to resign. From all acounts Basra is in chaos.

But Al-Hayat reports in the same story that the spat between Sistani’s representative and the governor, al-Wa’ili, have been smoothed over.

Solomon Moore discovers something that Americans on the ground have been telling me for some time. American Iraq is perhaps the most corrupt administration on earth. Though, I wonder if Mr. Moore poked around in Washington just a bit, say around K Street, he might find a degree of corruption that dwarfs Iraq’s by an order of magnitude.

Tom Regan at CSM reviews the evidence for middle class flight from Iraq.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has the right idea in seeking talks with Iran about the positive role it can play in Iraq. But his boss, Condi Rice, should please stop rattling sabres while she is seeking those talks.