When military action heats up in Iraq, I turn to the Iraqi bloggers and Zeyad of Healing Iraq is certainly among the best. From Zeyad’s perspective, the current US military action against Sadr was planned. He adds this interesting tid-bit:
One also can’t help but wonder about the timing of [Ayatollah] Sistani’s departure from Najaf to London for treatment. The man is known for his subtle messages, could this be a sign for his tacit approval to finish Sadr and his militia once and for all? The remaining Hawza clerics are highly unlikely to issue a collective statement in the absense of Sistani, even more so when they have been threatened and attacked by Sadr’s supporters on many occasions. An aide of Sadr mentioned today on Al-Jazeera that Sistani was forced to leave Najaf and that the medical report of his ischemic heart condition was forged.
UPDATE: This BBC report offers curious support to Zeyad’s theory: “The ayatollah suffered a health crisis related to his heart a few days ago,” his spokesman in Beirut, Sheikh Hamed Khafaf, told the Associated Press news agency.
“A team of specialist doctors are treating him and providing care,” he said of the ayatollah, who is the prime marja, or spiritual reference, for Shias.
He added that although the ayatollah needed special treatment, he was not in a serious condition.
UPDATE: Read this disturbing comparison between the MSM and Iraq Blogs re: recent events in that country.