Sistani Shifts

It's another fascinating development:

Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad...

But unlike al-Sadr's anti-American broadsides the Iranian-born al-Sistani has displayed extreme caution with anything that could imperil the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The two met Thursday at the elderly cleric's base in the city of Najaf south of Baghdad.

If Maliki continues to isolate Sadr and Sistani backs him, we could have a moment when a Shiite government in Baghdad asks the US to leave. Then what will Bush do? Or McCain?