Sistani calls for Peaceful Resolution of Fallujah Crisis
Az-Zaman: Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, th leading Shiite spiritual authority, called Friday for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Fallujah. His representative in Karabala, Ahmad al-Safi al-Najafi, said that the position of the grand ayatollah toward the bloody events in some regions of Iraq is that a peaceful resolution of the conflict is requird. Speaking before thousands of worshippers at the Mosque of Imam Husain in Karbala, he said that the grand ayatollah had the same attitude to the fighting in Fallujah as he had had to that in Najaf, that is, the implementation of a peaceful solution on the basis of the sovereignty of the regime, law, and the evacuation of foreign forces and of gunmen with unlicensed arms. Sistani also condemned all loss of innocent life.
Sistani has been criticized recently for not speaking out against US attacks on Sunnis in the way he had with regard to Najaf, a Shiite center. Sistani likes to present himself as concerned for the welfare of all Iraqis, not just of his Shiite followers. But he has only called for peace in Fallujah when the fighting is already largely over with. That move will look cynical to a lot of Sunni Arabs.