Here we have two stories that highlight the growing unhappiness of the Maliki government with the current US military policy of making common cause with Sunni (and potentially Shia) tribesmen and other residents of smaller towns and cities against AQinM (Al-Qa'ida in Mesopotamia).
The Maliki government exists by the courtesy of neocon influence on US policy for the purpose of giving the Shia religious urban crowd political power in Iraq. That policy has failed. The Shia are clearly not capable of making effective the authority given to them by "one man, one vote" based elections. They probably will never be capable of making their authority effective in the parts of the country dominated by Sunni Arabs. To put it bluntly. They don't have "the juice."
In response to that failure of Shia will and capacity the US military has developed a policy of splitting off insurgent groups who have been allies of convenience for AQinM but who have become unhappy with the fanatic insistence of AQinM in massive change in traditional life style and leadership. The policy which has been applied by the US in Anbar for the last year has successfully sought to make these non AQinM insurgents into allies of convenience of the US military. This policy is hard to apply. It is a bit like "herding cats," and it has to be adjusted every day. Nevertheless, it has been quite successful. The tribes are "clearing their zones" of AQinM. Now, this policy is being applied in other governorates (Diyala for example). It is now being used to cause village mukhtars to organize local defense against AQinM.
Not surprisingly, both the "high neocons" and their Shia religious politician proteges are outraged by this policy. The policy represents a repudiation of the neocon romance with the idea of re-organizing the Middle East to make it more "modern" and a more friendly place for Israel to exist. The Shia exile religious politicians correctly see this policy as something that, if successful, will require them to make the kinds of messy but effective "deals" with the Iraqi Sunni Arabs over money and power that they really don't want to make.
I wrote a couple of things for the government a while back that bear on this issue. They are enclosed below.
I'm with Petraeus on this. pl