Iraq’s interior minister said all 24 of his officers who had been arrested in a security crackdown this week would be released. And in a bold gesture of defiance, he publicly condemned his own government’s investigation, calling the accusations false and motivated purely by politics. -NY TimesAs Robert Farley said, the purge did not seem to work out exactly how Maliki seemed to have intended. Joe Klein says there are two ways to look at the situation:
Glass half full: The nascent Iraqi democracy is apparently supple enough to derail this attempt at anti-democratic mayhem.
Glass half empty: We are witnessing the return to Iraqi politics as usual--a constant succession of coups and attempted coups that will produce something less than a democracy in the not-too-distant future.
I'll go with the glass half empty. I think Maliki thought he could get away with the firing but his support was not strong enough at the present time. I do not think they were released out of respect for abstract democratic ideals; the reasons were doubtless much more pragmatic. In any case, the situation does not bode well for Maliki.