Friday, May 23, 2008

Fatwa Explained

The prominent cleric al-Sistani in Iraq is reappearing in the news. Yesterday word leaked that he is privately issuing fatwa's against the U.S. occupation.

Juan Cole provides possible explanations for why this is happening, and why it's happening now. The short version is that the longer the U.S. stays and the more successful the anti-insurgency, the more likely Sunni's will regain power (that's what happen when the British were in Iraq in the 1920's). Al-Sistani does is also Iranian born and fears increased U.S. sabre rattling against Iran. If al-Sistani decides to actively and openly oppose the occupation, things could heat up considerably.

Added: Here's another great analysis of the situation. It's not good for the U.S.

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