The Battle for Basra and the Race for the White House

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Militias in Basra are not responding to Nouri al-Maliki's three-day ultimatum, and bitter fighting threatens civilian supplies of food and water. In Baghdad, protesters against the crackdown have crowded the streets, and rocket fire has American civilians taking to bunkers inside the Green Zone. At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, President Bush said the Prime Minister's effort to crack down shows the progress of Iraqi security forces during the surge. What if it backfires? Maliki's political life could be at stake, along with the prospects for stability.  What about American troop withdrawals? What are the implications for the Presidential campaign?




Warren Olney