I was on an email list yesterday where there was some talk of whether or not the mortar attacks on the Green Zone coming from Sadr-controlled territory indicated that Sadr's cease-fire days were done. The consensus was: No. But today it looks like that line of thinking may be overtaken by events, as this BBC report and this McClatchy report certainly make it seem like it's "fire away" time. Spencer Ackerman says:
At least one theory worth entertaining is that the Sadrists waited out the surge. I don't have remotely the evidence necessary to support it, but it's something to consider when Petraeus testifies before Congress early next month.
It could be or it could be something else. In an intriguing development it looks like someSadrists are calling for civil disobedience. Meanwhile, let me say that while it's definitely been U.S. policy to ally with the Iranian-backed Badr Brigades in order to try to fight the Iranian-backed Muqtada al-Sadr, it's never been clear that that's wise policy. So whether what we've been doing is a successful effort to crush Sadr or whether it's about to blow up in our faces in the form of a big increase in violence, I think it's all questionable policy -- a United States that wasn't determined to maintain a permanent presence in Iraq would have nothing in particular to fear from a populist nationalist like Sadr.