This one is from the May 25, 2004, NY Post:
The fact is that the news from the battlefield in Iraq these past five or six days has been remarkably good. The forces commanded and directed by the thug-cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are on the run or nearly destroyed in three different cities.
Sadr's uprising two months ago was the moment at which even passionate supporters of the war and proponents of the success in achieving civil order began to grow terrified that somehow the United States might actually lose in Iraq. So shouldn't the fact that we're routing him be grounds for some optimism?
It's very meaningful that other Shiite clerics in the city of Najaf now feel safe enough to issue what must be judged an astounding denunciation of Sadr in the past few days.
As reported on the brilliant Healing Iraq blog, Najaf clerics laid the blame for the entry of U.S. forces into that holy city: "It is the movement of Sayyid Muqtada [Sadr] that has encouraged the occupiers to cross the red lines," the senior clerics in Najaf wrote. "And it is clear that the organization of Sayyid Muqtada - and whoever follows the Sadrist movement - were the first to violate the sanctity of" the city's holiest shrine.