An angry Shiite militia commander complained Wednesday that "we were duped" into accepting a cease-fire in Sadr City -- remarks that point to a potential rift within radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. The May 11 truce ended seven weeks of fierce fighting in Baghdad between U.S. and Iraqi forces and Al-Sadr's militia, which controlled Baghdad's Sadr City. Iraqi soldiers have moved into most parts of the city.
President Bush told the graduates of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan is proving difficult and "we're learning as we go." He harkened back to the sacrifice of World War II in again suggesting the country must hold firm and not lose its nerve. "After World War II, we helped Germany and Japan build free societies and strong economies," he said. "These efforts took time and patience."
When the Army's Third Infantry Division arrived in Iraq's once infamous "Triangle of Death," hundreds were dying every day and the country was virtually in a state of civil war. Now as the division heads home at the end of May, violence across Iraq has reached its lowest level in more than four years.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pushed for relief on debts dating back to Saddam Hussein's regime at a U.N. conference Thursday in Stockholm. Iraq has at least $67 billion in foreign debt -- most of it owed to fellow Arab countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.