Up until now our military has been waging their war against Iraq's minority Sunni population, claiming to be fighting al-Qaeda. Now there's a push to step up attacks on Sadr's Mahdi Army, which should escalate as the Bush administration and their puppets in the Iraqi regime aim their aggression against the Shiite leader and his followers.
One of the tactics I expect to come in the next few days will be an attempt by Bush and his minions to further associate Sadr's forces with Iran as they increase their assaults on the Shiite areas of Baghdad and elsewhere.
Yesterday, the Bush government downplayed the exit of ministers aligned with Sadr from the Iraqi parliament, suggesting that the move was actually a "positive development."
What Gates expects - and what Maliki is counting on with his own support for the Sadr coalition's exit - is that the new Iraqi regime will now be able to consolidate their manufactured authority by replacing the Shiite ministers with members who would be more compliant than those who had openly resisted and protested the government's closeness with the U.S. occupiers.
However, the unity the Maliki regime may achieve within the bubble of the echo chamber they're planning for their reorganized parliament is not going to translate on the Iraqi street into any of the reconciliation Maliki claims he wants with those actively engaged in militarized resistance to his rule. Stabilizing the Iraqi regime is a far stretch from stabilizing the Iraqi landscape which has produced an increase of casualties among our forces as Bush's escalation proceeds.
Earlier in the month, at the assumed direction of Sadr, thousands of residents of Sadr City headed to Najaf and rallied against the occupation. Those thousands of peaceful protesters could easily be transformed into an overwhelming 'surge' of Iraqi humanity in the streets which could bring a new reality to the puny coalition forces as they are confronted by sustained, massive protests from the restless, exasperated population of Iraqi millions. There needn't be a militarized response from Sadr. There is a clear majority of Iraqis who want nothing at all to do with their U.S. invader/occupiers who could grind the new regime to a halt with their refusal to recognize their false, compromised authority.
The increasingly autocratic Maliki regime is positioning their government to become even more isolated from the will of Iraqis that the U.S. occupation end. It's inevitable that our military forces will be directed by Bush and his generals to step-up their intimidation of Iraqis who would resist their anti-democratic consolidation of power as the regime's public support fades.
Bush and his republican enablers just couldn't wait to bring us to this point. We can only hope that when the Shiite Iraqis do take to the streets, along with other Iraqis -- and they most certainly will now that Sadr is outside of the governmental process -- there will be a peaceful transformation of reality which will hasten Bush's realization of just who owns the sovereign nation; the U.S. junta and their hunkered-down, overburdened protectors, or the majority and pride of the citizens of Iraq.