"..the extent to which he has become marginalised was demonstrated last week when fighting broke out in Diwaniya between Iraqi soldiers and al-Sadr’s Mehdi army. With dozens dead, al-Sistani’s appeals for calm were ignored. Instead, the provincial governor had to travel to Najaf to see al-Sadr, who ended the fighting with one telephone call.
Al-Sistani’s aides say that he has chosen to stay silent rather than suffer the ignominy of being ignored. Ali al-Jaberi, a spokesman for the cleric in Khadamiyah, said that he was furious that his followers had turned away from him and ignored his calls for moderation.
Asked whether Ayatollah al-Sistani could prevent a civil war, Mr al-Jaberi replied: "Honestly, I think not. He is very angry, very disappointed."" Telegraph
An interesting situation in Iraq just now:
-We have on the one hand the Sunni Iraqi Islamic and secularist insurgents waging their war against the coalition and the Shia.
-We have on the other hand, the international Jihadis of "al-Qa’ida in Iraq" fighting for a Utopian Islamic state according to their belief as to what that might be. (fat chance)
-We have Sistani declaring himself out of the process.
-We have the three major Shia factions fighting each other for control of the "rump" state of Iraq.
-We have the Kurds running ads on TV here saying that they are "the other Iraq."
-We have the Kurds declaring Kurdistan to be an inappropriate place to fly the Iraqi flag.
Ah! We have the coalition forces in the middle of all this. Let’s see–What was John Warner saying about a re-authorization?