UPI says that by confronting al-Sadr now, Bremer and Bush have already created "a new pan-Islamic, pan-Arab hero on the same level with Osama bin Laden."
"This new fight with Sadr is rapidly creating a no-win situation for the coalition. Having declared him an outlaw, the Coalition Provisional Authority now has no choice but to go after him, no matter what it takes. Failure to follow through would make the CPA loose face vis-à-vis the Iraqi public and reinforce the belief that the resistance can get away with murder -- literally. It would also give the future Iraqi government an enormous handicap with which to begin their mandate, and therefore reduce their credibility. This would simply be disastrous for the future of a stable and democratic Iraq.
Allowing Sadr to remain at large now only amplifies his status as a leader of the revolt.
Already, a number of Sunni chiefs have accepted Sadr as the unchallenged new leader of Iraq's resistance to the American-led occupation. The events of the last few days have, in short, given the Iraqi resistance a face and an icon it was missing.
On the other hand, if the Americans capture him, they will only encourage further acts of resistance and possibly incite new acts of terrorism against Coalition troops by Sadr's supporters demanding his release.
If the coalition were to kill him while attempting to capture him, they would create an even more volatile situation. The Shiite would never believe Sadr's death was not intentional and besides inciting an unprecedented level of violence, his death would raise his standing to that of a martyred imam."