AS SOLIDARITY grows to print, radical Shia leader Moqtada Al Sadr had postponed plans for a million strong march in Baghdad calling for an end to the presence of foreign troops. With the forces of Iraqi president Nouri El Maliki backed up by US troops continuing to attack Al Sadr’s Mahdi army, he was threatening to lift the agreed ceasefire. This comes after the El Maliki launched an offensive against the Mahdi army in Basra two weeks ago.

US President George W. Bush said that the battle of Basra was a defining moment in Iraq. It may have been defining, but not the way he intended. The Battle for Basra has left the pro-US Iraq President Nouri El Maliki who went to Basra to personally direct the battle badly politically damaged.

It has also put the lie to George Bush’s claim that his 2007 “surge” strategy of placing another 20,000 troops into Baghdad is working. The number of US soldiers killed in Iraq is now over 4000. Today there are 160,000 US troops in Iraq

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