Via Andrew Sullivan. I think the Aussies are right: we’re about to see some not-so-subtle Brit bashing by unnamed sources in the Bush Administration as Basra descends into Shi’ite (Hakim) upon Shi’ite (Sadr) upon Shi’ite (Fadhila) civil war.
In fact, the entire Shi’ite south seems on the brink: For the second time in 10 days, a Hakim-supporting governor of a southern province has been assassinated, most likely by Sadr-supporting Jaish-al-Mahdi Special Groups. (Although no one seems to know how much control Sadr has over his own movement, especially the more militant aspects of it.)
A prediction: There will be calls for a Basra Surge.
Another prediction: It won’t happen.