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Iraqi Shi'ites Deal For End To Insurgencies

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article excerpt;

Shia leadership agrees deal over sectarian killers

 

Two of the senior Shia political leaders in Iraq agreed in principle to crack down on death squads within their own ranks yesterday. The rival Shia factions struck the deal in an attempt to salvage the country from collapse, said Haidar al-Abadi, a Shia MP in the Dawa party, who is close to Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister.

The Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) agreed that the national unity Government had been rendered impotent by the failure of the Shia coalition to take on militants who have been killing Sunnis and fuelling sectarian strife.

 

The Sunni parliament bloc has backed extremist groups that are killing Shias. The violence backed by the two camps has led to many experts calling the conflict in Iraq a civil war.

 

Last night a delegation was on its way to the shrine city of Najaf intent on convincing the anti-Western cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia is blamed for much of the widespread killing of Sunnis, to join the crackdown. Officials close to Hojatoleslam al-Sadr said he had agreed to rejoin the Iraqi Government.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-...-RSS&attr=World

 

This agreement will put more pressure on the Sunnis to respond in kind. The Shi'ite militias, after all, arose as a response to the original Ba'athist remnants attempting to extend their reign of terror after the fall of Saddam, and the Sunni political parties have done little since then to stop it. Perhaps the Sunnis now understand that the continuance of the insurgencies puts them at risk of annihilation by the Shi'ites if Iraq descends into civil war. If they haven't up to now, they should, and they should take this opportunity to calm the waters.

 

If this agreement holds, it could represent the first break in the political logjam that has fueled the insurgencies and the destruction in Iraq. A temporary alliance between Maliki and Hakim that marginalizes Sadr can only be good news for everyone. It's just too bad that it took this long for the Dawas and Sciri to divorce Maliki from Sadr.

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Someone who is "Speaking on the condition of anonymity" is a phrase that can't be trusted. The source may not be trusted and parts of the article can be misleading.

 

an article excerpt;

 

Shiite cleric won't support coalition

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric withheld support Saturday for a U.S.-backed plan to build a coalition across sectarian lines, Shiite lawmakers said, jeopardizing hopes that such a show of political unity could help stem the country's deadly violence.

 

Members of the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that dominates parliament, met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf after traveling to the holy city over the past few days. Al-Sistani holds no political post and rarely emerges from his home and adjacent office, but he has strong influence over Shiite politics.

 

 

.........

"There are obstacles in the face of forming this coalition, because al-Sistani does not support it. So we will work to strengthen the (Shiite) alliance," said Hassan al-Sunnaid, of the Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

 

Ali al-Adib, also a Dawa Party member, said al-Sistani "does not support such blocs because they will break Shiite unity."

 

An official close to al-Sistani, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the cleric "will not bless nor support any new bloc or front. He only supports the unity of the Shiites."

 

 

 

Such a development could frustrate U.S.-backed efforts to persuade Iraq's political leaders to set aside sectarian interests and work together for the sake of national unity. Without progress in Iraqi politics, some observers say, the security situation in the country is likely to remain tenuous.

 

Al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister, had relied heavily on the support of al-Sadr, whose 30 loyalists in the 275-seat parliament and six ministers in the 38-member Cabinet boycotted politics after al-Maliki met Bush in Jordan recently.

 

Al-Sadr's walkout revealed the depth of division within the 130-seat Shiite bloc in parliament, where some lawmakers who are viewed as moderate have grown weary of the radical cleric's confrontational tactics. Al-Sistani is also believed to be uncomfortable with the younger al-Sadr, a firebrand whose fighters waged battles against American troops that left parts of Najaf in ruins.

 

After meeting al-Sistani, the Shiite lawmakers visited al-Sadr. The cleric has agreed to allow his supporters to rejoin the government, officials close to him have said. Their walkout had prevented the government from passing laws, creating a political deadlock alongside a deteriorating security environment.

 

 

.....

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061223/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

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