Sadr preparing countersurge -- or is he?

All he has to do is keep quiet for a year. Then we’ll be out of his beard and he can go about becoming the Scarface he always knew he was.

Is he smart enough to do that? Maybe.

US military intelligence sources tell ABC News that large shipments of weapons have been smuggled to Iraqi militia over the past five weeks, including dozens of Iranian supplied EFP’s, or Explosive Form Projectiles, highly effective against armored vehicles…

US and Iraqi intelligence units on the ground detected the shipments which are believed to be of Iranian origin. In addition, US military sources tell ABC, Al Sadr has been working on his own “surge,” actively recruiting hundreds of residents of Sadr City to supplement the 8 to 10,000 militiamen already believed to make up the “Mahdi Army” in Baghdad.

Bahaa al-Araji, one of Moqtada al-Sadr’s representatives in the Iraqi parliament, has told ABC News that the radical Shiite cleric has ordered his Mahdi Army not to attack US forces — even if targeted.

Makes sense. Neither side wants to fight: Bush can’t afford a burst in casualties and Sadr can’t win if he forces us into a real battle. So we’ll do some raids and they’ll take a shot at a tank here and there to raise the withdrawal pressure, but otherwise they won’t resist; then, after six months of (relative) calmness, we’ll claim they’ve been pacified and declare victory. And then we’ll be gone. The world is yours, Scarface.

Iraq’s foreign minister says the Iranians arrested by U.S. troops in that consulate raid yesterday were there with the government’s approval. I’ll bet — one of the men arrested is rumored to be a top Iranian paramilitary official. Meanwhile, a day after Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel warned Bush to keep his hands off Iran, Tony Snow and Bob Gates took time to reassure a worried Rick Ellensburg that Bush will be keeping his hands off Iran.

Exit question: Speaking of being forced into battle, is the American public going to make the Dems put ’em on the glass?