Major General William Caldwell, USA, Spokesman, Multinational Force-Iraq:
Politically, Prime Minister Maliki's government has taken full ownership of this plan and is making a clear political commitment to its success. A resolution supporting this new strategy was unanimously endorsed by the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Maliki has instructed his security forces that there will no longer be any political interference in military operations. Iraqi commanders have also been assured no neighborhood and no target is off limits.Emphasis mine. This is a new and huge development. Omar at Iraq The Model got the message:
Back in Baghdad the most significant raid conducted yesterday was the one on Buratha mosque, one of the most important Shia mosques in Baghdad which is also considered a SCIRI territory. The raid ended without blood but the preacher of the mosque, a lawmaker from the SCIRI, expressed his dismay about the raid "because it was American soldiers who searched the mosque" and this seems to be one of the changes in rules of engagement. I recall that there was some kind of a rule that said only Iraqi soldiers or police were allowed to walk into places of worship while American troops would have to stay outside. This raid too is of political significance as it can be used to prove to that the operation is impartial and not directed against one sect without the other.If mosques are no longer PC protected that does indeed send a message. Also a sign that we are serious about this is the fact that Brave Muqtada has run away. Apparently he didn't even tell his Lieutenants he was bugging out so many of them are running also. Others have been killed or captured. This leaves the Mahdi Army the choice of martyrdom by opposing the surge without their senior military corps or following the leadership’s example and lying low till Hillary or Obama can rescue them. I bet on the latter.