The Americans are clearly uncertain just what to do. They have placed themselves in a no win situation. If they attack and there is a massacre it will undermine their position in Iraq, and throughout the Muslim and Arab worlds, more than anything other than the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. If they relent and reach some kind of 'face saving' accommodation with Muqtada Sadr at this point, many will conclude their bluff was called. Either way, the puppet 'interim government' the Americans installed when they reconstituted the former Iraqi Governing Council, is teetering with Allawi himself more and more despised, as well as feared.