ABC News: reported Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric withheld support Saturday for a U.S.-backed plan to build a coalition across sectarian lines, Shiite lawmakers said,
Surprise! Surprise! The need for a coalition is so that Maliki is not dependent on al Sadr, so we can target al Sadr, and al Sadr does not like that.jeopardizing hopes that such a show of political unity could help stem the country's deadly violence.
Absolutely, and an alliance of Sunni, Shia, and Kurds will show they that stability can be gained by bi-partisan alliances.Members of the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that dominates parliament, met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf after traveling to the holy city over the past few days. Al-Sistani holds no political post and rarely emerges from his home and adjacent office, but he has strong influence over Shiite politics. Some members of the Shiite alliance have sought a coalition that would include Kurds and Sunnis, and sideline Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric whose militia is blamed for much of Iraq's sectarian violence. Lawmakers who attended the meeting with al-Sistani said the cleric opposed any move that would divide Shiites.
Since Al-Sistani endorsed such an alliance earlier, I wonder if al Sadr threatened him, or if the lawmaker speaking for him is one of al Sadrs.