From ArmyTimes Frontline Photos (Aug 20, 2004). The caption:
A soldier uses a dummy to draw a sniper into view in Najaf, Iraq, on Friday. Militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr removed their weapons from the revered Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf late on Friday as part of an effort to end a two-week-old uprising centered on the holy site. (Jim MacMillan / AP photo)
The battle in Najaf against the forces of Darth Sadr, heroically holed up in the Imam Ali Shrine mosque, continues. If someone takes a shot at this bait, the shooter may reveal himself. If he does, other snipers will take him out. That probably means this unit is not engaged with forces in the mosque itself, since US forces are trying to avoid direct attacks on the holy site.
Unless of course, the Americans are trying to shame the Sadr soldiers into firing at a juicy imperialistic target so that patriotic Iraqi sharpshooters can clear a holy Shiite of a cancerous infestation.
If this standoff ends with Iraqi forces storming the mosque, it will be bloody. Many will die. The Sadr forces, of course, may have the whole place wired to explode. But the Iraqi military will have some heores.
In the meantime, Sadr’s thugs are welcome to take some potshots at this helmet.