Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The position of the mysterious Ayatollah Sistani is still not very clear. (By the way: this is the only knownvideo of him). Do you know that he has not stepped out of his house in 6 years? Muqtada As-Sadr's people are now suspicious about the attention around Sistani; representatives of Sadr have even been quoted in the Arabic press suggesting that he is doing Iran's bidding, and that a "deal" may soon be struck between him and US occupation, that would US plans. Sistani's positions are always such that they can be interpreted in more than one way: when asked by Shi`ites if they should sell and engage in business transactions with the occupiers, he said: "Yes, but ask them politely when they plan to leave Iraq." On the elections: he says that he may change his position if the UN would state that elections are not possible now. Do you know how easy it is for Bush, or any American official far below the rank of Bush, to get to push Annan to do anything, ANYTHING. So UN will send a delegation to Iraq, and they will do as US pleases. Is that how weak Sistani's position is? But I do believe that the public (what they perjoratively call as the "street" in the US) can also influence Sistani, as Sistani can influence the public: the relationship in that context is dialectical, as Marxists would say.