Oh shit. Sistani is the only reason Iraq is going as well as it is. I know that sounds retarded, but he’s the only person keeping it from full-blown chaos! Okay, it’s that bad already, but if al-Sistani withdraws his support of the U.S. invasion everything will crumble.
Sistani is the number one cleric of Iraq (at least for the Shiite majority), sort of like the pope of Iraq or something. If he says “attack Americans” we’re going to see U.S. casualties skyrocket. We need him on our side, for our troops’ sake.
Iraq’s top Shiite cleric demanded an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, warning Sunday that the Muslim world will “not forgive” nations that stand in the way of stopping the fighting.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued the call following the Israeli airstrike that killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, in the village of Qana. It was the deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting.
“Islamic nations will not forgive the entities that hinder a cease-fire,” al-Sistani said in a clear reference to the United States.
Oooohhh, he’s talking shit about our pathetic excuse for a diplomatic effort over in the Middle-east. Was Condi Rice even trying to make peace or was she just over there stalling for time?
To be sure, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, started her tour of the region in Beirut, giving that warred-over capital a brief respite. But no sooner had she moved to Jerusalem than Israel resumed massive air strikes on Beirut’s teeming southern suburbs, the heartland of Hizbollah, the heavily armed Shia Islamist group.
The message she brought to both parties was that there would be no return to the status quo ante. Hizbollah had to pull back from the border, disarm and hand back the two Israeli soldiers it seized two weeks ago, precipitating the crisis.
The chances of this happening are virtually nil, as Israel should know. Hizbollah was spawned by the Israeli invasion of 1982, and its shrewd but implacable guerrilla warfare forced Israel finally to abandon its occupation in 2000. Ignoring the hard reality of the region, Washington appears to believe diplomacy is about achieving Israel’s unrealisable war aims by other means.
The U.S. effort so far has not been a genuine attempt to achieve a cease-fire or a lasting peace. It’s been a charade, a phony, a fake pageant of pretending to want peace. The neocons want war. War is the only thing that will save them.
It’s not even a fair negotiation strategy to allow the U.S. to intervene when it’s clear that Israel is our dog in this race. We stand to gain from their actions and we give then diplomatic and international cover, which enhances their stand against Hezbollah. The Europeans would perhaps be a better group to try and negotiate peace, but everyone looks to America. It’s a shame our government is so cruel and contemptable.
But we risk alienating a powerful “ally” in al-Sistani. Now the choice is clear: continue our shameful pseudo-attempts to bring peace and we will face increasing pressure in Iraq from the Shia majority.
But the point is that fighting could now easily spread, and not just by sucking in Hizbollah’s patrons in Syria and Iran. Israel’s assault on Shia Lebanon has inflamed the Shia majority in Iraq – the community preventing the total meltdown of the US occupation. Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army, modelled on Hizbollah, which fought alongside it in the 2004 siege of Najaf, is itching to launch a new uprising. Even Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of the Shia who has held the Iraqi ring, is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing his tacit but vital support for the American project.
If he withdrawls his already-unenthusiastic support for America’s war then this whole thing falls apart into a regional war that will probably escalate into World War IV.
That’s…. exactly what the neocons want.