In my view, there’s no American interest in who controls which corner in Sadr City, but it’s always good to see fewer people dying. Apparently what it took to stop the situation where people kill each other was for the United States to stand aside:
Sadrist leaders said they had demanded that American soldiers remain on the sidelines of the military incursion.
“We stressed that the occupation forces do not come in,” said Selman al-Freiji, a senior Sadrist leader in Baghdad. “We welcome the entrance of Iraqi troops.”
U.S. officials have said they were happy to let Iraqi troops take the lead. “It is heartening to see Iraqi security forces operating peacefully while enforcing the rule of law,” Capt. Gordon J. Delcambre, a U.S. military spokesman said in an e-mail.
And you know what, it is heartening the see! So how about we take some troops out of Iraq, then some more, and then some more, until there are none left? It seemed to me back in late 2004 that the looming elections in January 2005 would be a good opportunity to declare victory and go home on a relatively upbeat note. Instead, the president decided that we needed to stay in order to forestall civil war and ethnic cleansing. Then came several years of civil war and ethnic cleansing. Now we’re looking at another spate of good news. So why not take the opportunity to leave?