Seems that the Iraqis are trying to step up. Granted they had to get help, but in a fight this size thats not necessarily a bad thing right now. (of course, the key is how will they handle it when we leave)
Iraqi army kills leader of Shiite cultIraq's army announced Monday it killed the leader of a heavily armed cult of messianic Shiites called "the Soldiers of Heaven" in a fierce gunbattle aimed at foiling a plot to attack leading Shiite clerics and pilgrims in the southern city of Najaf on the holiest day of the Shiite calendar.
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer 4 minutes ago
Senior Iraqi security officers said that as part of the plot, three gunmen were captured in Najaf after renting a hotel room in front of the office of Iraq's most senior Shiite spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, with plans to attack it.
The fierce 24-hour battle was ultimately won by Iraqi troops supported by U.S. and British jets and American ground forces, but the ability of a splinter group little known in Iraq to rally hundreds of heavily armed fighters was a reminder of the potential for chaos and havoc emerging seemingly out of nowhere. Members of the group, which included women and children, planned to disguise themselves as pilgrims and kill as many leading clerics as possible, said Maj. Gen. Othman al-Ghanemi, the Iraqi commander in charge of the Najaf region. (link)
Also, I would like to point out to any of the 'cut-and-run' or redeploy or whatever you call it crowd the easiest way and fastest to end the U.S. intervention in Iraq is to get the Iraqi Government to ask us to leave. All the protesters and feckless Senators need to simply convince Maliki to ask Bush to pull the troops out and per our agreement and the U.N. mandate, we will simply leave. That would be much easier than Hillary Clinton claiming that it is irresponsible to not pull the troops out before the next President (wonder who she's voting for?) is sworn in.
Reason to fight