McClatchy has the most detailed report on the surprise peace deal in Basra yesterday. It signals that Iran now holds a very high level of political power in Iraq - unthinkable under Saddam. Al-Maliki's own party members out maneuvered him and have more or less publicly outed him as irrelevant to Iraq's future.
The NYT notes the irony here that the al-Maliki government is dependent on Muqtada al-Sadr to pull its fat from the fire:
'Many Iraqi politicians say that Mr. Maliki’s political capital has been severely depleted by the campaign and that he is now in the curious position of having to turn to Mr. Sadr, a longtime rival and now his opponent in battle, for a solution to the crisis.'
more at Juan Cole
image: Juan Cole