[Marxism] Assault on Najaf delayed; Iran's top leader hits US actions

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Aug 11 16:52:03 MDT 2004

Note the studied mythology that the US military await "final approval
from Iraq's political leaders" for what they do.
Lots of luck.

U.S. Assault on Sadr Forces in Najaf Delayed
Iranian Leader Calls U.S. Najaf Operations 'Crimes of Humanity'
By Karl Vick
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, August 11, 2004; 2:30 PM 

NAJAF, Iraq, Aug. 10 -- Solemn-faced U.S. Marines and soldiers prepared
for what was expected to be a decisive battle for the holiest city in
Iraq, but as darkness fell Wednesday the sense of imminence receded
abruptly. An armored column idling at the main gate turned around and
went back into the camp, and commanders said planning for the offensive
had been extended. 

Commanders were thought to be awaiting final approval from Iraq's
political leaders -- notably the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi --
for a combat operation aimed at clearing militia fighters from the holy
city of 600,000.

As discussions continued, the supreme leader of neighboring Iran warned
that U.S. combat operations in Najaf constitute "one of the darkest
crimes of humanity." 

"The United States is slaughtering the people of one of the holiest
Islamic cities and the Muslim world and the Iraqi nation will not stand
by," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address broadcast on Iranian
state television, according to the official government news agency. 

Najaf is home to the shrine of Imam Ali, which the militias have turned
into a firing base off limits to U.S. forces. The site holds the remains
of the most revered figure to Shiite Muslims, who constitute a majority
in both Iraq and Iran, a theocracy where Khamenei holds ultimate power. 

"These crimes are a dark blemish which will never be wiped from the face
of America. They commit these crimes and shamelessly talk of democracy,"
the ayatollah said. "Shame has no place in their vocabulary." 

The Iranian leader spoke as U.S. Marines and soldiers busied themselves
cleaning weapons, refitting equipment and loading ammunition, food and
-- most important in the extreme desert heat -- water and ice into the
armored vehicles that could soon carry them to a decisive final battle
with the militia holding Iraq's holiest city. 

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