Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Shiite fundamentalist ruling bloc in the Iraqi parliament, the United Iraqi Alliance, has called on the Sadr Movement to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the UIA, given the latter’s willingness to discuss all outstanding issues. The statement said it was important for all political forces inside the political blocs to remain united, given the situation in Iraq. The UIA formed a committee to work on enticing the Sadrists back in. AFP has more.
Al-Hayat says that the Sadr Movement is refining its statement of national principles, which most factions in the UIA signed off on 2 years ago. It will include a demand that US forces withdraw, or that a timetable be set for their withdrawal, with a commitment that no American bases will remain in the country.
Ned Parker casts doubt on whether Iraq really will expel the Blackwater security firm. The implication is that State Department personnel in Iraq could not accomplish anything unless they are guarded by Blackwater operatives.
Gary Kamiya at Salon.com ponders how the Iraq stalemate might be broken: “The Iraq war has moved into a weird purgatorial endgame. Almost no one believes in it anymore, but it keeps going. Americans keep dying, Iraq continues to fall apart, there is no end in sight, but nothing changes. Much of the country wants the war to end, but the political system is deadlocked.”
One of the great tragedies of Washington’s Iraq war has been the destruction or looting of Iraq’s historical heritage, as Robert Fisk explains. Not only, as Fisk says, has the archeological heritage been deeply damaged but as he has pointed out elsewhere, it seems clear that the 20th century history of an entire country is gone.
At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, Bonaparte writes a despairing letter to his brother.