"Shiite Death Cult"
Those words certainly have a chilling ring to them, don’t they? The NYT is reporting that outside Najaf a strange, millenialist cult staged a pro-longer firefight with US and Iraqi forces. There seems to be a tremendous amount of confusion about what actually happaned and who this group is, but none of it seems anything but terrifying. Apparently, and details are still sketchy, the group was a millenial cult that was hoping to assassinate grand ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and thereby usher in something resembling the end of days. Juan Cole has some commentary here, and Spencer Ackerman adds his thoughts here. His final point is worth quoting:
Can we talk about this for a second? The Iraq war is so fucking awful that even some Shiites -- beneficiaries of the political process , remember -- would rather blow up their own shrines and bring on the apocalypse than continue to, you know, live. Somehow I don't think this will come up in Admiral Fallon's nomination hearing tomorrow. We don't need Petraeus in Iraq, we need Buffy the motherfucking Vampire Slayer.