Fighting has ended in Diwaniyah, a city some one-hundred-thirty kilometers south of Baghdad. According to news reports, local Iraqi police were attacked while attempting to collect illegal weapons from the Mahdi army, a militia loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Brigadier General Dana Pittard, a U.S. Army spokesman in Iraq, says Iraq's Eighth Army Division was called in:
"If there is something that the Iraqi police cannot handle, then they will call either the national police or the Iraqi army, and we saw that as an example in Diwaniyah. We had a situation that, at least initially, was beyond the capability of the Iraqi police. . . .The Iraqi army and the Iraqi police together as a force repelled the insurgents."
Raid Jabir, an Iraqi police lieutenant, told a reporter, "Life is back to normal, the shops are open, and Iraqi police and soldiers are deployed everywhere in Diwaniyah."
Samir Sumaidaie is Iraq's ambassador to the United States. In a newspaper column, he wrote that a policy for success should include "Mobilizing the Iraqi people to oppose the extremists in their midst." Mr. Sumaidaie wrote, "Those who say that Iraqis are at each others throats and should be left to fight it out are wrong. A minority of sectarian extremists and Saddamists is causing and promoting sectarian violence." When the extremists "are challenged, as they should be," he wrote, "the great majority of Iraqi men and women will be very supportive."
President George W. Bush says, "The Iraqi people want to succeed. They want to end this violence. The people are suffering hardships. These terrorists and killers are trying to shake the will of the Iraqi people. But despite large casualties, both civilian and military," Mr. Bush said, "the Iraqi people continue to stand for public office, enlist in their security forces, and, through their actions, demonstrate every day that they want to raise their families and live their lives like other free people around the world."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.