5 years ago
Iraqi politics is messy of late. After Ayad Allawi and current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki won 91 and 89 seats, respectively, no governing coalition has formed in five months of political jockeying. Omar Fadhil, who is as good as any Iraq analyst anywhere, says that this isn’t yet cause for despair. But it appears that Obama is despairing, and has called on Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric to intervene in the politics of Iraq.
A leading American magazine says U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric urging him to persuade the country’s squabbling political leaders to form a new government.
Foreign Policy magazine’s online edition cites an unnamed individual briefed by members of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s family as its source. It said a Shi’ite member of Iraq’s parliament delivered the letter to Sistani.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.
You know? The top Shi’ite cleric Ali al-Sistani? The one who as early as 2003 was issuing fatwas against the U.S., and who as late as 2008 issued a fatwa approving of attacks on U.S. troops? Recall? The one who in 2004 worked so hard to persuade the coalition authorities to release Moqtada al-Sadr (who was then in the custody of the 3/2 Marines)?
Glenn Reynolds might say something like “they told me if I voted for John McCain we would witness the religious zealots running the show – and they were right!”