Sistani Issues Impassioned Plea 48

Sistani Issues Impassioned Plea
48 Dead in Civil War Violence Thursday

Two bombings, in Baghdad and north of Beiji, killed 10 persons on Thursday. In addition, 38 corpses showed up on the streets of Baghdad, victims of faith-based reprisal killings.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued his strongest plea yet for Iraqis to cease their faith-based reprisal killings, which have been taking the lives of 100 persons a day.

Unfortunately, the time when Sistani could control these sectarian passions has passed. The word is that the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr is “boiling,” in large part over the Israel assault on the Shiites of Lebanon. The Sadrists do not generally give their allegiance to Sistani. And, of course, the Sunni Arabs mostly despise him as a Shiite Iranian.

US military officials admitted that the average daily number of attacks in the Baghdad area is up 40%.

But, get this– John Negroponte is accused by some of keeping CIA analysts from using the phrase “civil war” about Iraq. What does Sistani know that Negroponte does not?

Violence is surging in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, contested by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen. This according to the International Crisis Group.

Radical Sunnis and extremist Shiites don’t have much in common, really. Except they really, really dislike the US and Israel. Actually, they mostly disliked the US because of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians, until the Americans invaded and occupied Iraq. Now there are two policy issues that they deeply dislike.

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