This appears to be factional fightingApril 5 2004 at 8:56 PM
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from IP address 18.104.22.168
Response to Bush's Folly is turning bloody
al-Sadr rejected an appeal by the Shiite Muslim establishment (backed by al-Sistani, the most powerful cleric) to renounce violence. This guy is trying to establish a theocratic powerbase that he would lose in any election. If there is a large bunch of heavily armed guys running around that will fight to oppose democracy, then it's best to have it out now, with full troop strength, than a year from now.
This is not good. But it is too early to say it is as bad as you think.