"They have a chance. In the next few hours they have to surrender themselves and their weapons," Iraqi interim Defense Minister Hazim al-Shaalan said. "We are in the process of completing all our military preparations . . . We will teach them a lesson they will never forget."
Hey, Hazim... need a paper towel to clean up those bodily fluids? And by the way... you and what army?! If past battles are any indication, you might as well have your soldiers hand the Sadrists their weapons right now, as it might save some lives. After all, everyone knows that Iraqis love being paid $70 a month to shoot their fellow Iraqis -- and be shot at -- especially in their country's most sacred mosque.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the Najaf confrontation was caused by Marines and not by Sadr's forces, as previously claimed. According to accounts from several officers, a unit of Marines that were recently stationed in Najaf launched a major attack on Sadr's forces without the approval of either the Pentagon or of senior Iraqi officials.
In other words, it doesn't matter whether U.S. soldiers destroy Iraq's most holy site or whether Iraq's new military does -- the U.S. will still get blamed for it.
Gung ho, hooah, and all that shit.