Sistani vs McCain

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The entire premise of John McCain's view of Iraq policy going forward is that the US will be able to position permanent military bases in the heart of the Middle East, on the model of Japan and South Korea. The trouble is: Iraq is part of the holiest territory in Islam and a pact with infidel occupiers simply isn't going to wash:

Iraq's most revered Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has strongly objected to a 'security accord' between the US and Iraq. The Grand Ayatollah has reiterated that he would not allow Iraq to sign such a deal with "the US occupiers" as long as he was alive, a source close to Ayatollah Sistani said. The source added the Grand Ayatollah had voiced his strong objection to the deal during a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the holy city of Najaf on Thursday. The remarks were made amid reports that the Iraqi government might sign a long-term framework agreement with the United States, under which Washington would be allowed to set up permanent military bases in the country and US citizens would be granted immunity from legal prosecution in the country.

Sistani is right, of course. A permanent pesudo-occupation would be dreadful for the US (we need less empire, not more) and for Iraq (no Islamic democracy is going to establish itself under the auspices of the United States military).

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