LDT: "...and he wants it to stop."

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Length: 3:04

LOU DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

New questions tonight about why the United States is supporting Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki and his government. The central question is whether al-Maliki is loyal to the United States or loyal to both Iran and Muqtada al-Sadr and the Shia over any concept of the Iraqi nation. In an exclusive interview with CNN, the Iraqi prime minister today told the United States to end its proxy war against Iran.

Meanwhile, President Bush is making an urgent new attempt to stop the widening rebellion within his own party over the conduct of this war. Leading Republicans are worried the Senate could pass resolutions that oppose the president's policies in Iraq.

Michael Ware tonight reports from Baghdad on the problems the new U.S. strategy in Iraq faces because of the Iraqi prime minister.

Jamie McIntyre... tonight he reports from the Pentagon on the latest evidence of Iran's support for the radical Islamist insurgency and direct attacks on our troops. And Dana Bash tonight reporting from Capitol Hill on the Republican backlash against the president's conduct of this war.

First, Michael Ware from Baghdad.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki left the door open today in an interview for the possibility of an escalation and an increase in American troops. While the prime minister believes the new strategy now under way will work, he was critical of past American mistakes that he says have prolonged and deepened this conflict.

He also said that with more support, his forces could take over within three to six months. Nonetheless, if things do not improve, he said, then there may be a need to bring in more American forces

NURI AL-MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): One of the major issues for President Bush's plan, which we consider support to our Baghdad security plan, is the extent to which there is a need for additional troops, American and multinational, to support the operations. And we agree, this will be assessed by those in the field, the military commanders. And if their assessment is for more, we will ask for these troops.

WARE: One the key challenges for those troops will be attacking Iraq's militias which have a stranglehold on this government. Foremost among the militias is the Mahdi militia of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

U.S. military intelligence says Muqtada has American blood on his hands. Indeed, there is an outstanding arrest warrant for the cleric. Nonetheless, he is a political ally of the prime minister.

The prime minister contributed to the furor over Iranian activity here in Iraq. He said that he could not contradict U.S. military intelligence that Iranians are killing American soldiers. Indeed, he said that this seemed to be happening. He said Iranians are targeting Americans and Americans are targeting Iranians in his country, and he wants it to stop.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.