Militias are a problem and they are going to have to be dealt with
A senior US military official has called for the Iraqi government to adopt a clearer policy on militias, which the US embassy now dubs "armed gangs", underlining recent criticism of such groups by the US ambassador .. reports BBC's Online Andrew North from Baghdad.
Militias "are a problem and they are going to have to be dealt with" said the senior military official, who spoke on condition his name or rank not be identified.
He refused to name the groups he is concerned about, but acknowledged there is confusion about the official stance on militias.....
Mr Khalilzad the US Ambasssador has also threatened in the past to cut off US aid to ministries regarded as following a sectarian agenda, a comment seen as being directed at the Shia Interior Minister Bayan Jabr.
Yet, like the US military official, Mr Khalilzad would not name the militias he was referring to. (although widely believed to be not a million miles from Moqtadr Al Sadr and his Mahdi Army)
Elsewhere the BBC report ...This week senior Shia politicians said US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had told them President George W Bush "doesn't want, doesn't support, doesn't accept" the retention of Mr Jaafari.
Mr Jaafari responded by saying the comments undermined Mr Bush's commitment to democracy in Iraq. TThe Guardian has an interview by Jonathan Steele which headlines claims that Mr Jafaari refuses to step down ... evidently not impressed by the threats from Condi and her lover boy Jack at the weekend.... read the complete article.