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. On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that they did not believe the United States was facing a broad-based Shiite insurgency.
Some military experts hold out little hope that the chaos in Washington, D.C. will be put down anytime soon. But Rumsfeld and his acolytes are working hard on the problem, and believe that they can bring it under control, and restore an orderly, leak-free environment favorable to near term elections, with lots of people in the Western media saying shiny happy things about Iraq.
What's happening in Iraq itself remains a secondary matter...