Alot of people may not have realized, that Moqtada al-Sadr, had called a six-month truce, last year, it started roughly around late August /07. The US at the time welcomed the truce. Why? The truce coincided nicely with the much touted surge. The surge that allegedly reduced the violence in Iraq, or at least as reported in the US press. The troop surge announced by Bush in January reached its full capacity in June/07 with about 162,000 troops.
As recently as February /08 , Moqtada al-Sadr had been threatening to end the truce. Just recently the US has acknowledged the truce had been quite helpful, saying it is a major factor in the estimated 60 percent decline in violence in the country in the second half of 2007.
It begs the question, would the surge been as successful , as it is alleged, with out the six month truce?
Given the events of the last couple days? It seems pretty safe to say, the much touted surge, would have been a failure.
Take a look at what has been going on in Basra? There has been heated battle, an oil pipeline was bombed, and Basra is not the only place where violence has risen. There have also been clashes in Kut and the capital, Baghdad. In the capital, of Baghdad, thousands of Sadr supporters gathered in Sadr City, to demand Prime Minister Maliki's resignation
One Sadr City resident was quoted as saying "We demand the downfall of the Maliki government. It does not represent the people. It represents Bush and Cheney"
It's an interesting turn of events, and it does not bode well, I think, for anyone.