September 23, 2004

Ali! Ali! Ali!

Swopa wins the award for clever conjecture: Sistani might be jockeying to form an alternative political party. I'm not sure how realistic it would be for him to link arms with Harith al-Dhari and other Sunni clerics, but maybe "President Allawi" sounds repugnant enough to make strange bedfellows. Who knows? At the same time, though, I imagine that Allawi could incite a Shiite-Sunni flare-up pretty easily (a few dead clerics would do it) if he really thought the alliance threatened his election chances.

There's also this: If a Sistani-Dhari party or some such won the elections, the Kurds would bolt pretty quickly. Enter civil war, death, chaos. In fairness, an Allawi government with proper Kurdish representation probably has the best chance of averting civil war, if they can get Sistani aboard. But that's sort of the whole bag of beans, isn't it?
-- Brad Plumer 3:15 PM || ||