"I always knew my man Nouri would carry my water for me"
The Iraqi Democracy Project, which I thought was doomed even before it started, was always liable to create a Shi'ite client state for the benefit of Iran, since the Shi'ites have the numbers on their side in Iraq. The whole thing was predicated on a misapprehension of the importance within Islam of the imperative to impose Sharia. Now, in any case, the Shi'ites and Iran are clearly in the driver's seat.
"Iraq: US raid 'crime' that breaks security pact," by Brian Murphy for AP, April 26 (thanks to Maxwell):
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister denounced a deadly U.S. raid on Sunday as a "crime" that violated the security pact with Washington and demanded American commanders hand over those responsible to face possible trial in Iraqi courts.
The U.S. military, however, strongly denied that it overstepped its bounds and said it notified Iraqi authorities in advance — in accordance with the rules that took effect this year governing U.S. battlefield conduct.
The pre-dawn raid in the southern Shiite city of Kut ended with at least one women dead after being caught in gunfire and six suspects arrested for alleged links to Shiite militia factions....
The fallout marks the most serious test of the security pact so far and could bring new strains during a critical transition period....
A statement from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — in his role as commander general of Iraqi forces — called the raid a "violation of the security pact."
He asked the U.S. military "to release the detainees and hand over those responsible for this crime to the courts," according to an Iraqi security official who read the statement to The Associated Press.
The cascade of protests and questions began just hours after the sweep into Kut, which the U.S. military said targeted suspected backers of Shiite militias believed to have links to Iran.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the mosque in Kut, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, to decry the American action and demand an investigation....