More on Najaf
From Juan Cole:
[Governor Ali] Al-Zurufi and PM Iyad Allawi appear to have given the US Marines permission to fight in the shrine of Imam Ali if it became necessary in order to flush out the Mahdi Army militiamen holed up there. The outrage among Iraqi Shiites and Shiites throughout the world should the Marines pursue such a plan would likely cost the US the war, even if it won the battle.As I said below, the Bushies likely know this. But they may be willing to lose the war (big loss, that) to win the election.