SADR’S CEASE-FIRE….This is good news from Iraq:

Influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Friday ordered his Mahdi Army militia to extend a cease-fire for another six months, a decision that U.S. and Iraqi officials believe will strengthen a growing sense of stability in Iraq.

….Sadr’s cease-fire, which began last August, is widely credited with helping to reduce levels of violence in Iraq. Other factors in quelling the violence have been the birth of a Sunni volunteer force that turned against radical jihadists and the U.S. military “surge” involving thousands of reinforcements.

….Those who honor Sadr’s pledge will be treated with respect and restraint, the U.S. military said, adding that it would welcome any opportunity to participate in dialogue with the Sadrists.

Elections are in October. Keep your fingers crossed that the Sadrists, the Hakims, and the U.S. military can keep things from spiralling out of control before then. This is a hopeful start.