Get Real --- avoiding reality
Andrew Sullivan is still willfully blind when he is analyzing Iraqi politics, and he proves it again this morning:
Charles Krauthammer seems to me to be on the right track. But even as he sketches the only potential hope for securing non-defeat in Iraq, it seems implausible. I fear Maliki's government is powerless against the Shiite militias that have increasingly infiltrated it. (emphasis mine)
The Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades have never had to infilitrate the government of Iraq. The Badr Brigade is an established and open armed wing of SCIRI. SCIRI has been in every government of Iraq since the CPA and IGC days. No one has ever denied that Badr exists, and no one has ever tried disarming them for the very simple reason that they can open up a southern front insurgency to starve everyone else (including the US) out. The Mahdi Army actually had to fight to get into the government, but the Sadrists are the biggest bloc in the National Assembly and they got that bloc becaues the Mahdi Army has proven its ability to maintain a reasonable level of security within the urban slums of central and southern Iraq because it is a nasty militia that collects paychecks and new uniforms from the Baghdad central government.
Anyone paying attention to any of the election results, of any round could have told you that the people of Iraq were voting on their basic identification as sorted first by sect and then by class. The militias are also sorted that way. The slow dawning of realization of this basic fact by Mr. Sullivan does not shine favorably on his analysis.