As Joe noted, today is the same day that the statue of Saddam Hussein came down in Firdus Square. In the wake of Sadr's uprising, some readers have asked where all of the allegedly pro-US Iraqis are right now and why they aren't opposing this Khomeini wannabe's efforts to take over their country.
The answer? They are. Per CNN:
"Tribal leaders in Kut -- apparently opposed to the violence incited by militant Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr -- fought with his milita and plan to hand the southern Iraqi city over to U.S. forces, a U.S.-led coalition source close to the situation said Friday.
The tribal leaders have seized al-Sadr's office in Kut and have called on U.S. troops to help them push his Mehdi Army fighters out of the city, the source said."
Now Kut is one of the 2 cities that was under Sadr's control at this same time yesterday after the Ukrainian contingent retreated back to their base outside of town after a clash with the Mahdi Army. In the absence of any discernable coalition support, these Shi'ite tribal leaders' decision to move against Sadr was an exceedingly dangerous move for them - as the Iraqi blogs make extremely clear, a lot of Iraqis are afraid of Sadr and he's currently holding Grand Ayatollah Sistani as his de facto prisoner in An Najaf. In the aftermath of the tribal action against Sadr, coalition forces have since retaken the city, likely with Iraqi help. So this whole notion that the Iraqi general population or even just the Iraqi Shi'ites are going to just roll over and accept Sadr as their new Maximum Leader would appear to be misleading at best.
One other item of note is that thus far the Mahdi Army has been unable to expand its sphere of influence in any discernible fashion outside of Sadr's traditional power base. All of the other major southern cities remain under coalition control for the most part without incident - an attempted Mahdi Army attack on the Polish/Bulgarian contingent in Karbala seems to have failed miserably. The inability of the Mahdi Army to spread to other Shi'ite areas is a clear demonstration of its own weakness and lack of support among the Iraqi Shi'ites outside of Sadr's traditional power base in Sadr City (reports suggest that the An Najaf contingent is being reinforced by and is at least partially composed of a combination IRGC and Hezbollah) - in short, this is not a viable or even widespread Shi'ite uprising in any sense of the term and is certainly nowhere near the apparent media perception that we're just minutes away from losing control of 1/3 of the country. With the loss of Kut, the only town still under Mahdi Army control is Kufa and I have my doubts that that'll be the case for much longer.
In closing, it is worth noting that Radio Farda is citing the Italian intelligence and media reports that Sadr is receiving in excess of $70,000,000 in funding from Iran to carry out this little uprising in addition to corroborating other reports about him being reinforced by the IRGC and Qods Force, the latter being an elite division of the Iranian military answerable only to Ayatollah Khamenei. If this is in fact true, then there is no way for anyone conclude that Sadr isn't being backed at the highest levels of the Iranian military-intelligence establishment or that Khamenei is at the absolute least providing tacit assistance to attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq.
UPDATE: MEMRI has a nice round-up of Iranian involvement inside Iraq, as well as a good look at just how isolated Sadr is in terms of his power base. We also have Rafsanjani (a name that should be familiar to anybody who knows anything about the Iranian hierarchy) coming out in support of Sadr's uprising.