Crisis? When is Iraq not in crisis?
Well the current surge in violence is a little different.
You see the "Iraqi security forces" (read: Badr Brigades belonging to the SIIC, supported to some degree by both the US and Iran) are trying to root out violent criminals (read the Mahdy Army of one Mr Sadr. Which has been on ceasefire since last summer - something which has been attributed with the recent reduction in violence) out of Basra.
This is being handled personally by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. His game? Well, I will leave it to another article: