IRAQ UPDATE….Christopher Allbritton has a rough translation of a flyer being distributed in Baghdad that’s supposedly from Muqtada al-Sadr and calls for an end to violence. Good news if it’s true.

On the other hand, the New York Times essentially reports today that Sadr doesn’t really matter that much anymore:

United States forces are confronting a broad-based Shiite uprising that goes well beyond supporters of one militant Islamic cleric who has been the focus of American counterinsurgency efforts, United States intelligence officials said Wednesday.

That assertion contradicts repeated statements by the Bush administration and American officials in Iraq….Administration officials have portrayed Moktada al-Sadr, a rebel Shiite cleric who is wanted by American forces, as the catalyst of the rising violence within the Shiite community of Iraq.

But intelligence officials now say that there is evidence that the insurgency goes beyond Mr. Sadr and his militia, and that a much larger number of Shiites have turned against the American-led occupation of Iraq, even if they are not all actively aiding the uprising.

Stay tuned.

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