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Sunday, March 21, 2004
Sistani Causing More Problems

By Steven Taylor @ 8:15 pm

Iraq’s Sistani Warns UN Not to Back Constitution

The United Nations (news - web sites) must not endorse Iraq (news - web sites)’s U.S.-backed interim constitution because it could lead to the break-up of the occupied country, Iraq’s most influential Shi’ite Muslim cleric said.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said he will boycott a U.N. team expected to visit Iraq shortly to advise on forming an interim government unless the United Nations says it will not back the interim constitution.

Didn’t the guy agree to letting the constitution go into force in the first place? While I am not sure what can be done, he is clearly an impediment to progress.

Filed under: Iraq

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  1. Someone probably needs to take Sistani aside and point out to him that he’s a pretty fungible commodity-there are dozens of Shiite ayatollahs in Iran and Iraq, any one of whom could probably be borrowed if the CIA (or MI-5) put their minds to it.

    Not that I’m saying this should happen, mind you, but Ali needs to be made to realize that Iraq ain’t going to be “The Ali al-Sistani Show.”

    Comment by Chris Lawrence — Sunday, March 21, 2004 @ 9:54 pm

  2. Wow. This is not good. I wonder what Sistani would prefer. A centralized government with a strong president to hold the country together? Oh wait, Iraq already tried that. While it would be nice if the U.S. could make Sistani back down, as you would like, Chris, the U.S. can’t simply make him go away because Sistani has a lot of popular support. Shiites would be outraged if they perceived the U.S. to be pressuring Sistani.

    Comment by Gary Manca — Monday, March 22, 2004 @ 12:15 am

  3. I wonder. Could he actually be taking directions from iran? It’s odd that he allows the signing after a week delay without having his significant objections resolved. Now he’s appealing to the un again. Sistani’s step forward/step back is an ideal way to discredit a consensual process. Remember, a little while ago he refused to accomodate the U.S. over postponing elections unless the united nations gave its approval. what if he did this with the expectation that the un agreed with him. If the un had not backed us, a reasonable assumption given our wranglings, we would be in a pickle. What if at some point any of his appeals receive un backing? This would discredit whatever govt. that is put into place. This would play into the hands of any who wish Iraqidemocracy ill. Lastly, I ask myself, why would a strict fundamentalist that has spent his life immersed in the study of the koran allow kaffirs to impose “decadent” institutions upon g-d’s elect?

    Comment by ron — Monday, March 22, 2004 @ 6:41 pm

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