Criticism of Maliki Not Just From Al Sadr

| Thu Nov. 30, 2006 8:45 PM EST

As I wrote earlier today, Moqtada al Sadr and his followers are not a dissenting voice to be ignored. They criticized Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's meeting with President Bush saying that it was an affront to the Iraqi people. It now appears that al Sadr is not the only voice of opposition to Maliki. Today Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashemi called for a new government and for a "coalition [to be] put in place with guarantees that ensure collective decision making." (At least someone believes in this.) Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zikam Ali al Zubaie also criticized the Prime Minister saying that his government had not been successful in suppressing sectarian violence. I can't help but think it's no coincidence that this criticism by two top Sunni politicians directly followed Bush's meeting with their superior. Today, President Bush said that we would "stay in Iraq...so long as the government wants us there." I guess that depends on what the meaning of the word "wants" is.