Moktada al-Sadr says the uprising in Najaf is on again, where a US Marine helicopter was downed by insurgent fire this morning with, thankfully, no deaths reported.
The UN has been unable to put together a multi-national force to protect its staff when they re-enter Iraq sometime during the next few weeks. The Bush administration had hoped that a force made up of several member nations would help relieve the burden currently bourne by US forces, but the UN could not convince any other countries to send their soldiers into the meat grinder that is the New Iraq.
And finally, an interesting commentary. Interesting because it is being distributed by the Moonie-owned UPI:
Realities in Iraq have limited the administration’s once-expansive menu justifying war. Still on its list is the potential for Iraq to send democratic shockwaves into the Middle East.
President Bush has repeatedly invoked that prospect lately. But, like an incantation gone awry, Iraq is indeed transmitting shockwaves – but not the democratic kind.
In crafting its Middle East policy, including its broad democracy-spreading agenda, the administration must recognize (to itself) that the Iraq campaign has weakened U.S. leverage in the Middle East, since foreign governments have new opportunities to undermine U.S. interests, through subterfuge in Iraq.