But… Didn’t Sadr Win The Battle of Basra?
Another Claire McCaskill banger. She asked Crocker straight up: didn’t Sadr come out of Basra more powerful than Maliki?
Crocker was all, no, no, no, nothing of the sort. But his tea was extremely weak: “What I’ve seen since the [violence] in Basra has been very broad-ranging political support for Maliki,” Crocker said. Something called the Political Council for National Security — consisting of the president, the two vice presidents, the speaker and deputy speaker of parliament, and another functionary whose title I missed — just came out with a strong statement of support! It expressed “support for the government’s fight against extremist militia groups; it called for the disbanding of all such groups; and a strong statement against outsiders who seek to interfere in Iraq’s affairs, a clear reference to Iran.”
Um. So it’s a positive sign that Maliki’s own government is backing him? Crocker couldn’t even attempt to pretend that, you know, 27 million Iraqi citizens cheered Maliki on.”It’s still a process of evolution,” he said. “It has definitely strengthened support for Maliki as he’s perceived to be prepared to go into action against extremist Shia as well as Al Qaeda.”