TALKING TO SADR….Leila Fadel of McClatchy reports that after spending the past four years turning him into Iraq’s best known symbol of anti-Americanism, we’re finally recognizing reality and trying to open some lines of communication with Muqtada al-Sadr:

The U.S. military is seeking talks with Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr directly and through the government of Iraq, according to a top American general.

….”He has a grass-roots movement that he’s always going to have; we have to recognize that,” Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the second-ranking American commander in Iraq, told McClatchy Newspapers in an interview this week. “We’re trying to talk to him. We want to talk to him.”

…. Salah al-Obaidi, a senior Sadr aide, acknowledged that the U.S. has approached the cleric’s supporters multiple times about talks with Sadr. He said the requests had been rebuffed.

“This will be a betrayal for the country,” Obaidi said. “Any cooperation with the occupier is forbidden.”

Sadr’s refusal sounds pretty pro forma to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually his stance. Stay tuned.