Good News For A Change

The front page story of the Chicago Tribune (and, surprisingly, only the Chicago Tribune) contains some mixed news from Iraq. Moqtada Sadr, the spirtual leader of one of Iraq's most troublesome private militias, has pledged not to attack US troops patrolling his strongholds.

The upside: Sadr's promise amounts to an ad hoc ceasefire that will provide the opportunity for American and Iraqi forces to develop the security apparatus necessary to end the violence in Baghdad. The ultimate solution to violence in Iraq is the final disarmamenet of all private militias, and a temporary ceasefire provides the "space" for the political compromise necessary to ensure that such an agreement can occur. The militias will only disarm when they trust that their religious enemies will not take up arms, and this development is a positive step in that direction.

On the other hand, Sadr's move is strategic. Regardless of whatever impression the New York times gives you, Sadr loses badly when he fights American forces. If his forces lay low long enough, the violence will abate. The American forces will have reason to pull out, and after we're gone, Sadr can resume his bloody rise to power.

Even still, a break in the violence in Baghdad is good news to the ears of bloggers here at the Hawkeye Republican. Had the President followed the wise men of Washington and begun plans for a drawn-down/redeployment/retreat from Baghdad in 4-6 months, it is likely that Sadr's militia would be arming itself instead at this point.

Back to the old axiom:
"No news is good news, Bad newsis good news, and Good news is no news at all!"
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