They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Iraq: Sistani threatens to turn to Militia

al-hayat[Ar.]/informedcomment: The Sunni cleric Abdul Ghafur al-Samarra'i led a demonstration of Sunnis in Samarra' in protest against the "Excommunicators" for having attempted to set off a sectarian civil war in Iraq by bombing the shrine. They also blamed "the Americans". Al-Samarra'i asked for restraint and the avoidance of civil war. Sunni and Shiite demonstrators in the city (but presumably mostly Shiite) chanted "With our spirits and our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you, O Imam!" [Bi'r-ruh wa'd-dam nufdika ya Imam!]

The ministers of defense and the interior made a joint announcement that the Iraqi armed forces had been put on alert for any contingency.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was shown on Iraqiyah television meeting with the other 3 grand ayatollahs in Najaf, among whom he is first among equals. They include Bashir Najafi, Muhammad Ishaq Fayyad and Muhammad Sa'id al-Hakim. Sistani called for self-discipline and for peaceful demonstrations. He said Shiites must not attack Sunni mosques, but called for them to demonstrate peacefully. He laid responsibility for security on the Iraqi government, saying that it "is called today more than at any time in the past to shoulder its full responsibilities in stopping the series of criminal actions that have targeted holy spaces. If the security apparatuses are unable to safeguard against this crisis, the believers are able to do so, by the aid of God." Read more