I had an exchange with Matthew Yglesias a while ago over the Iraqi government taking on Sadr. I thought it was perverse that Yglesias didn’t see any reason to take sides between the Iraqi government and a radical militia, elements of which shred American troops with sophisticated IED’s. (Although Yglesias was boldly willing to say of Sadr, we shouldn’t “wish him particularly well in his adventures.”) Anyway, one reason I said we should support the government against Sadr is that it might help advance reconciliation by convincing Sunnis that the government is willing to go after Shia extremist groups as well as Sunni ones. Yglesias pronounced this “extremely dubious.” Here’s a front-page story in the New York Times today, “Top Sunni Bloc Is Set to Rejoin Cabinet in Iraq”:
Iraq’s largest sunni bloc has agreed to return to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s cabinet after a boycott of nearly a year, several Sunni leaders said Thursday. They cited a recently passed amnesty law and the government’s crackdown on shiite militias as reasons for the move…the attacks on Shiite militias have apparently begun to assuage longstanding complaints that only Sunni groups blamed for the insurgency have been the targets of American and Iraqi security forces.