AYATOLLAH ENDORSES DEAN
Well, not really. But he sure sounds a lot like a Dean supporter: Iraq Aide Brands U.S. Formula As ‘Hasty’
An aide to Iraq’s most prominent Shiite Muslim cleric on Friday branded the U.S. formula for transferring power a “hasty agreement” aimed at boosting President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, the country’s most influential Shiite Muslim figure, has demanded that members of a new provisional legislature be chosen by the voters. The Americans want them selected in a series of regional caucuses.
U.S. officials insist al-Sistani’s demand for elections is unfeasible given Iraq’s security situation. Many Shiites suspect the Americans simply want to manipulate the caucuses to make sure favored Iraqis win seats.