Shi'ite leaders seal pact to curb violence
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's two most powerful Shi'ite leaders have signed their first written agreement, pledging to prevent bloodshed by working together to avoid confrontation, Iraqi officials said on Saturday.Now this is certainly good news for the people of Iraq and a win for Iran. But what about George Bush's war? Captain Ed thinks it's a positive step for the US effort. i suspect it may turn out to be just the opposite. If the two Shi'ite factions are not fighting each other they will have more time to fight the US and the Sunni. That will be critically important if the lunatics in charge actually do attack Iran. The largely Shi'ite security forces the US has armed and trained will turn on the US troops. Our friend Cernig points us to this story that's not getting too much press in the US.
Supporters of fiery cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) are locked in a violent struggle for control of the towns and cities in Iraq's predominantly Shi'ite south.
Political analysts fear the struggle for dominance in the southern regions, where U.S. forces have little or no presence, will intensify ahead provincial elections expected next year.
"Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr have agreed on the necessity of preserving and respecting Iraqi blood under any condition," said the agreement signed by Hakim and Sadr and seen by Reuters on Saturday.
Iraq official says "big fat no" to attack on Iran
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq's national security adviser said on Friday he strongly opposed any military attack on Iran and, in contrast to the Bush administration's policy, said the option should not even be considered.
"Attacking Iran? I say a big fat no. It's a fatal mistake," Mowaffak al-Rubaie said. "It should never be an option at all."
Rubaie said any attack on Iran would set the whole Middle East ablaze and Iraq would suffer most.
"It is not a strategy. It's a mistake of Chernobyl magnitude," he said, referring to the 1986 nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union.
"The whole area will be in flames, and Iraq will be the battlefield for all this, and we will pay heavily," Rubaie said at an event in Washington hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
"What we need from the United States government is to engage seriously with Iran," he said.