Basra residents expressed gratitude for the actions of Nouri al-Maliki in clearing out the armed militia from the most critical city in the south, according to Agence France Presse. Far from a disaster, the military action has restored order to the city and made it safer for the residents. Residents in Umm Qasr echoed these sentiments after their liberation from the Mahdi Army:
I agree with observers in Baghdad who say that we’re witnessing a political spring. The most important event so far has been Maliki’s meeting with VP Hashimi to discuss the revival of the national unity government. Actually, a political breakthrough is now more likely to take place than ever, especially since all rivals have acknowledged Maliki’s role as a leader of a central government that has the exclusive right, and the obligation, to restore the prestige of the state and establish the rule of law.
Again, it’s a great opportunity for making substantial progress in the process of building the state and we must not waste it.