George Bush responded with a classic there-must-be-a-pony-in-here-somewhere statement:
Bush said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's crackdown in Basra against Shiite militias vying for control of the oil-rich region is a positive milestone in the birth of a democratic nation.
Naturally, the resurgent bombings and mortar attacks mean that the troop drawdowns (more accurately, the return to pre-surge levels) will probably have to stop. Because Bush can't seem to wrap his brain around the fact that the cooperation of al-Sadr was a necessary precondition for the surge to work at all, along with the continuing willingness of Sunni militias to sell us their loyalty, the extra boots must be kept on the ground. No matter what.
al-Maliki went with a force-based strategy in Basra, and it's blowing up in his face. Bush is bursting his buttons with pride as his protege trip-traps down the same route Bush took with Iraq as a whole. Positive milestone? Of course it is. If your name is Muqtada, it's fucking awesome.