NPR's coverage on the Maliki machinations has been about as close to nonsense as you can get. On one day the situation shows how Petraeus should be made the emperor of Iraq, while on another day it's a struggle against "rogue elements...trained in Iran." Today the spin is that the Basra/Sadr City assaults "have worked out better than it seemed at the time," to use Inskeep's words. Even though Maliki's assault on the Sadrists leaves his favorite Badr militia untouched, Inskeep insists that because "the Shiite Prime Minister showed himself willing to strike at Shiite Muslim militias he built some political credibility."
Westervelt continues this narrative telling us that Maliki "has rebounded militarily and politically." Westervelt also praises the lethal strikes on Sadr City: "Sadr City, the cleric's powerbase in Baghdad is basically penned in by Iraqi and US troops." Penned in?
Westervelt also tries to claim that the Sunni Accordance Front reentering the government is due to the Maliki assaults. Funny but this rapprochement preceded the Basra assault, and seems to have more to do with the US releasing thousands of innocent Sunni detainees.
Lastly Westervelt claims that "the fact is Maliki's crackdown has won him praise and support from Iraqi Sunnis Kurds and some Shiia as well as the United States, key Arab and European states, and the Iranian ambassador to Iraq." Funny how that last little bit about Iran slips in there without comment. That's the big story isn't it? The fact that Iran and the US interests have converged in Maliki's attacks. And there's no comment on how this contradicts NPR's previous coverage alledging that Iran was behind the Sadrists.
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