It takes 1,750 words on Maliki’s Basra screwup to get to the money (and the money graf).
But there it is, finally — the bribes to the tribes, a key tactic used by the U.S. military to suppress the Iraqi insurgency — in the next-to-last paragraph of today’s NYT frontpager: Maliki was pressed by U.S. officials “to seek an alliance with the Shiite tribes, as the Americans had done with Sunni tribes in the so-called Anbar Awakening.”
The last paragraph quotes U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker:
“We strongly encouraged him to use his most substantial weapon, which is money, to announce major jobs programs, Basra cleanup, whatnot,” Mr. Crocker said. “And to do what he decided to do on his own: pay tribal figures to effectively finance an awakening for Basra.”
You can tell from the whatnot that Crocker isn’t talking about anything, really, except bribes. As to Maliki doing anything on his own, except screwing up, that’s pure ‘ganda talk, too. Such are the arrangements of our subprime war.