Iraqi PM ends some joint checkpoints
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday ordered the lifting of joint U.S.-Iraqi military checkpoints around the Shiite militant stronghold of Sadr City and other parts of Baghdad — another apparent move to assert his authority with the Americans and appeal to his Shiite support base.The Bush administration not only has no plan for Iraq they now have no influence. The so called "security forces" the US has trained and armed are responsible for much of the insecurity. The only purpose the Americans troops are fulfilling in Iraq is as targets.
U.S. forces disappeared from the checkpoints within hours of the order, setting off celebrations among civilians and armed men on the edge of the sprawling slum controlled by the Mahdi Army militia run by radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Iraqi troops loaded coils of barbed wire and red traffic cones onto pickup trucks, while small groups of men and children danced in circles chanting slogans praising al-Sadr, who earlier Tuesday had ordered the area closed to the Iraqi government until U.S. troops lifted what he called their "siege" of the neighborhood.
Al-Maliki's order threatened to further upset relations between the U.S. and the Iraqi government, which became strained last week after he issued a string of bitter complaints, at one point saying he was not "America's man in Iraq."