WHO RULES? A whole bunch of people died yesterday in Iraq. More surprising is the second paragraph of the AP rundown of the latest violence: "The attacks came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack on Sadr City, the area of Baghdad that's the stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia."

What's this all about? Is Maliki in charge of his country or not? Are we at war with Sadr's forces or is his political party represented in Maliki's cabinet? It's a both/and situation in both cases, it would seem, but it's hard to say what kind of sense that makes. It's also increasingly hard to say what the American strategy for Iraq is even supposed to be. Statements from the administration have become so incredibly nonsensical that you can't really peel beneath the propaganda and discern the core of what they're trying to say or do. Are our forces really going to be running around launching attacks against members of the Iraqi cabinet, contrary to the wishes of the prime minister installed into office with our support? Jalal Talabini, Iraq's Kurdish president, also denounced the raid.

--Matthew Yglesias

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