Iraqi Shiite cleric and political powerhouse Muqtada al-Sadr has reversed his promise to quit politics. It now looks like gamesmanship ahead of April parliamentary elections.
With a string of bombings today in Baghdad, and Sunni militants still in control of parts of Anbar Province, Prime Minister Maliki's iron fist does not seem to be deterring insurgents.
World leaders are urging Prime Minister Maliki to look beyond military means to resolve Iraq's crisis, that has killed more than 900 in January alone.
But US military aid for Iraq should be contingent on evidence that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reaching out to Sunnis, says former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Iraq's government is lately battling attacks from Al Qaeda-linked insurgents.
Meeting with reporters Friday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the US accomplished what it intended to in Iraq, but thinks it could push the leadership to do a better job governing the Sunnis.
While western Iraq is in the hands of Al Qaeda, recent trends suggest there's no safe oil investment refuge even in the Kurdish north, Graeber writes.
Today's bombings come on top of ongoing violence in Iraq's Anbar Province, where Al Qaeda-linked fighters have tried to take over cities.