It almost worked on me – the GOP is busy distracting the nation and the media with a bunch of bullshit that doesn’t really matter, while yesterday the CiC abandoned a US serviceman to Shiite militia.
BAGHDAD, Oct. 31 ? Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded the removal of American checkpoints from the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday, in what appeared to be his latest and boldest gambit in an increasingly tense struggle for more independence from his American protectors.
The 172nd Stryker Brigade took down a checkpoint in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad yesterday in response to the prime minister?s orders.
Mr. Maliki?s public declaration seemed at first to catch American commanders off guard. But by nightfall, American troops had abandoned all the positions in eastern and central Baghdad that they had set up last week with Iraqi forces as part of a search for a missing American soldier. The checkpoints had snarled traffic and disrupted daily life and commerce throughout the eastern part of the city.
The language of the declaration, which implied that Mr. Maliki had the power to command American forces, seemed to overstep his authority and to be aimed at placating his Shiite constituency.
The withdrawal was greeted with jubilation in the streets of Sadr City, the densely populated Shiite enclave where the Americans have focused their manhunt and where anti-American sentiment runs high. The initial American reaction to the order, which was released by Mr. Maliki?s press office, strongly suggested that the statement had not been issued in concert with the American authorities.
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