Here we are, awaiting word from the Listener-in-Chief about how many additional combat troops he's going to launch into the cauldron that is Iraq. The ostensible reason for this is to stem the violence that is caused mainly, these days, by retributive warring between the Shiites and the Sunnis in and around Baghdad. To effect this, the US had hoped to cause the Iraqi Parliament to re-align, so as to isolate al-Sadr's block of members and hence to give the Iraqi army and US troops free rein to wipe out the militias that support al-Sadr (although their previous attempts haven't borne fruit).
But no. Today, the Shiites' grand ayatollah, al-Sistani, said he wouldn't approve such a realignment, effectively ending any such program of violence-suppression. And so, the meaningless dying goes on. Our soldiers are obeying orders, presumably, but the orders have no purpose, no aim, no end in sight. Just killing and dying.