It appears that Sadr and his Islamo-fascist militia will be allowed to slip away from the Mosque of Ali in Najaf without further harm. Even if they are indeed disarmed (yeah, right) before they withdraw, the fact their organisational infrastructure will be left intact calls into question the whole point of opposing him in the first place.
It seems to me that there are really only two sensible ways to see this:
Either conclude that following a policy of using force to confront Islamic extremism is too bloody to stomach, leading inevitably to adopting a policy of withdrawal from wherever Islamic terrorism threatens modern global civilisation…
…or conclude that once a decision to use force is taken, it will be followed through robustly and ruthlessly with the intention of killing fundamentalists leaders like Sadr and ideally as many of his hardcore supporters as is practical as well.
In reality I expect neither clear conclusion will be reached in the corridors of power in Washington DC (and do not get me going about the buffoons who run the Foreign Office) and a middle-way fudge that is already being offered up in the established media will be the perceived wisdom as key elements of the political classes work to keep the world safe for Sharia, legally enforced burquas, clitoridectomy and judicial amputations.
Surely the best way to ensure the survival of a tolerable regime in Iraq is to fill the graveyards with as many Islamic extremists as possible. If that policy is not acceptable, then surely one has no business using force to begin with as it seems perverse to kill people unless you are willing to do so for a damn good reason… either fight a war or do not, the middle way just gets you the worst of both worlds: you are hated for the people you kill and held in contempt for the people you would not kill.
The opportunity was there to turn the mosque of Ali into a funeral pyre of Islamic political aspirations. Today was the very last chance to do exactly that but it looks like the opportunity will drift away by this evening.
What a pity.