TSR: "An absolutely remarkable affair"
WOLF BLITZER: The stunning kidnapping raid has certainly captured the attention of everyone in Iraq, but what message is it sending?
And joining us now our correspondent in Baghdad, Michael Ware. Let's take a look at the bigger picture here. This incident today, Michael, what does it say about the Iraqi government of the prime minister Nouri al-Maliki?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well I mean it's been an absolutely remarkable affair surrounding this mass kidnapping. And in many ways, hopefully in the washout in the days to come, we might be able to learn quite a lot about Prime Minister Maliki and his government. I mean, firstly the question is who is responsible for this? I mean, clearly there was a degree of organization, sophistication to suggest that there has to be some kind of paramilitary involvement here. Now, whether that's Sunni insurgent or whether that's Shia or whether that's government related is yet to be seen.
Also, what has led to this? I mean, was this a rouge Shia militia or was this a hard-line element or was this a faction within the government or was this a stunt to begin with? I mean, there's so many questions yet to be answered or indeed, is this a case of the prime minister cracking down on the militias within the ranks of his own administration?
We saw this afternoon that a number of police officers responsible for the area where the kidnapping took place called in for interrogation and then later, their hostages were released. Perhaps this is a sign of the prime minister finally flexing some muscle. We just don't yet know, Wolf.
BLITZER: And Michael, what it does show also though is that this major U.S. military effort to secure the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, which has been going on now for weeks, still has a lot left to be done.
WARE: Wolf, I mean even the military themselves admit that this thing has all but stalled, I mean, if not in serious need of major overhaul. I mean just look at the last two days. Total of 86 bullet-riddled bodies have been found in the mornings on the streets of Baghdad alone.
Clearly the sectarian violence continues apace. We had at least two car bombings in the capital today. That doesn't include the rest of the country. So no, the Battle for Baghdad, as it was so-called, the great Operation Together Forward has not achieved even the veneer of stability that it was hoping to, let alone attack the fundamental problem, which are the militias that are the building blocks of this government -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael, thank you. Michael Ware reporting from Baghdad.
WARE: Thank you, Wolf.