Hawks Think Twice Before Najaf Slaughter?
The New York Times is reporting that "after spending today preparing for a major attack against insurgents loyal to the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, American forces called off the assault, at least for now..."
It seems likely that the full implications of an assault that damages the Shrine of Imam Ali have been made clear to the US and Iraqi leaders.
Al-Jazeera is reporting that southern Iraqi officials have threatened succession from the Baghdad government if the attack goes ahead. They have also threatened to cut off all oil supplies.
Karl Rove and his fellow "intellectuals" are no doubt weighing up the chances of a quick and conclusive victory over the Mehdi Army (think "Mission Accomplished"), compared with the possibility of a massacre that makes al-Sadr a martyr, hastens the complete disintegration of Iraq and possibly invigorates an anti-US jihad across the Arab world.