""I’m so worried about the fact the marjaiyah [top Shiite clergy] is given so much power," said Hatem Mukhlis, a secular Sunni Arab politician. "The Americans should be really aware of what’s happening. It’s giving a lot of power to Sistani that he shouldn’t have."
A cleric close to Sistani acknowledged that the statement did signal a new role for the Shiite clergy, that of "monitoring" the performance of the next government and weighing in, perhaps more frequently, on broad policy issues.
"The marjaiyah intends to interfere in some issues," Sheik Abu Mohammed Baghdadi, a Najaf cleric, said in an interview. "This monitoring and direct interference is an essential matter that has never before been proposed by the clergy. The marjaiyah, through this act, is expressing the voice of the people."
Sistani’s statement followed a meeting with Prime Minister-designate Nouri Maliki, a conservative Shiite leader. Maliki came to Najaf to solicit Sistani’s views in the midst of efforts to form a government, reinforcing a growing relationship between Shiite politicians in Baghdad and their religious counterparts in Najaf." LA Times
Are we nuts, or what? We invaded Iraq to free it from a fascistic but secular dictatorship and now we are sponsoring the creation of a medieval theocracy? I thought we were supposed to stand for something in the world and that one of those things was freedom OF RELIGION but also FROM RELIGION. What? This is their way of doing things? Genocide and the oppression of minorities and women are "their way of doing things" in many parts of the world.
"Cultural relativism?" I will quote Newt Gingrich, the sage of the "contract with America." "Cultural relativism is like saying that going to McDonald’s or boiling up your neighbor have equal merit as culturally driven ways of having lunch." I heard him say it as part of his famous (not) speech about the "bloody footprints in the snow…" In this, I agree with him.
It is one thing to respect other peoples’ ancestral ways and to be considerate in what you say and do when operating on their turf. It is quite another to set out to empower the most anti-modern, anti-Western elements in a society and then "wink" at the coming subordination of the constitutional government to the theologically driven opinions of clergy who have been waiting all their days for the return of the occulted 12th Imam. They have been waiting so that they can turn over power to him.
What happened to the part in which the Iraqi Shia higher Clergy were not interested in political power? Did that "reality" depart with the children’s crusade that was the CPA?
Where are the neocons and their familiars and their famously Jacobin and secular "principles?"