Get your news about the war from sources who will tell it to you straight about the complex battlespace in Iraq:
Mohammed Fadhil in Iraq goes behind the bloodshed in Basra.
It’s all about Iran.
Max Boot on Maliki and Badr vs. Sadr.
The power of militias has been one of the most corrosive features of post-2003 Iraq. No prime minister, including Maliki, has shown much willingness or ability to take on the gunmen, because successive Iraqi governments have depended for their existence on political parties closely aligned with the militias, notably the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Sadr trend. If Maliki is now getting serious about asserting the supremacy of the Iraqi state over the militias, that is a development to be cheered. I only hope he does not lose his nerve in this hour of crisis: if well-led, the Iraqi Security Forces have the power to defeat any militia on the battlefield.