This morning, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki (who earlier warned America that he was “not your man in Iraq”) bowed to pressure from the warlord Moktada al-Sadr, and ordered American troops to lift their checkpointed seige of Sadr City, a Shiite slum to the northeast of Baghdad. The seige had been imposed after an American solider of Iraqi descent, who had been visiting his Iraqi civilian wife, was kidnapped and a group known to be affiliated with al-Sadr announced that they were holding the soldier hostage.
Read all about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Niether Faux News nor CNN have not made the connection between the kidnapping of the soldier and the easing of the crackdown on Sadr City — come to think of it, didn’t that part of Iraq used to be called “Saddam City?” Andrew Sullivan thinks there are nuances here, but frankly, I can’t see them. Yes, there is a need to defer to the civilian government of Iraq, but whatever happened to “no man left behind”?
Oh, and before I forget, we’ve uncovered substantial evidence that Hezbollah, backed by its sponsors Syria and Iran, is now trying to stage a coup to overthrow the moderate government of Lebanon. Thus we see the wages of a war interrupted by unthinking bureaucrats incapable of distinguishing right from wrong exercising their power to cluck disapprovingly — which is what they will do when the coup happens. I used to think the United Nations was mostly harmless but this makes me wonder — there’s no massive conspiracy to subjugate the world to a unified government there, to be sure, but there’s also no ability to discern reality, and that can be dangerous, too.