As for the politics in Baghdad, by merely showing up in Amman, al-Maliki has lost a governing majority. The bloc of 30 votes controled by Muqtada al-Sadr has left his coalition in protest. NBC's Engel mused that al-Sadr sees al-Maliki as "weak and wants him dependent on him for survival." The refusal to dine with Bush is "indicative of how beleaguered he feels," according to ABC's Terry McCarthy. He lacks clout too: al-Maliki is "the only Iraqi politician, even within his own party, who does not have a militia," USNavy Professor Vali Nasr told McCarthy.
Militias are also the reason why the police academy in Amman has failed to train a functioning Iraqi police force, CBS' Mark Phillips told us, despite 40,000 graduates. A trainer, his identity disguised, called militias "the main enemy…they control everything." Cops are afraid to enforce the law because they, and their families, suffer reprisals by militias linked to any suspect they arrest. So far 2,600 cops have been killed.
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