Here is John McCain "expressing surprise" that Maliki would undertake a military action without consulting the US “Maliki decided to take on this operation without consulting the Americans,” he said. “I am surprised that he would take it on himself, to go down and take charge of a military offensive.Who is he kidding?
The US was in fact right there with Maliki , dropping bombs on Basra, and George Bush gave his full support to the action in Basra.
U.S. warplanes and British artillery struck targets in Basra on Saturday, a British spokesman said. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/03/29/iraq.main/?iref=hpmostpop
US jets bomb suspected militia stronghold in Basrahttp://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2008/03/30/2003407618
On March 27th/08 George Bush was praising Maliki for his actions. After three days of briefings, on the situations in Iraq.
President George W. Bush praised Iraq's government on Thursday for ordering the military assault in southern Iraq that has set off violence and protests across that country. Bush said the fighting demonstrated the willingness of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to impose order and defeat what he called "militia groups and fighters. Bush spoke after three days of closed briefings with senior advisors and military commanders on the situation in Iraq and on the options for reducing the number of American troops there beyond the withdrawals already announced.
The very idea, that Maliki would have undertaken this kind of offensive, without the ok of the US is simply not credible. That it didn't go as well for the US/Iraq partnership ,as was hoped, is the reason the US is trying to distance itself from this fiasco at this time.
Prime Minister Maliki , who directed the assault on Shia rogue militias in Basra, the lawless southern oil city. “This is for victory over Maliki,” one said with a grin. “The fighting ended on our terms.”
Certainly Mr al-Maliki’s huge gamble appeared to have failed yesterday. Having vowed to crush Shia militias with a 30,000-strong force in Basra, he ended up suing for peace with the people he had described as “worse than al-Qaeda”. Al-Mahdi Army kept its weapons and turf.
Sheikh Salman al-Freiji, the head of the Sadr Office, said that Mr al-Maliki was a tool in the hands of the Americans. “The American project has been to split the Iraqi sects and community from Day_1,” he said. “They tried to split Sunnis from Shia. Now that has failed, they are trying to split the Shia.” He said that an al-Mahdi Army freeze on operations, introduced in August, was still in place but reserved the right to attack the “illegitimate American occupation”.