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>the reason is that it was the IGC that came up with the plan and they sent bremer to washington to get agreement, the US administration then decided to spin the story as if the plan had originated from washington.> Wishful thinking perhaps, or the usual self-deception.. Reuters reported today on a statement by Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, the highest Shi’a cleric in Iraq, in which he “criticized U.S. plans for transfer of power to Iraqis as incomplete and paying too little heed to Islam.” If Sayyid Ali al-Sistani and Sayyid Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim (member of the IGC) both call the plans “U.S. plans”, then I will take their words... HZ --------------------------------------- Here is the full article from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3896126 Iraq's Top Shi'ite Criticizes U.S. Political Plans Wed November 26, 2003 10:38 AM ET By Andrew Hammond NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite religious authority has criticized U.S. plans for transfer of power to Iraqis as incomplete and paying too little heed to Islam, a Shi'ite politician said Wednesday. Resistance from the cleric, Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, could lead to rejection by many of the Shi'ite Muslims who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population. But Sistani appeared to have stopped short of any outright dismissal of the program. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking hours after guerrillas fired rockets at the Baghdad coalition compound where he was staying, said the plans for transfer of power by July 2004 and polls by the end of 2005 would only improve security. As U.S. forces keep up the search for Saddam, a military spokesman said they had detained a wife and daughter of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the second most-wanted man in Iraq, who has been accused of coordinating anti-U.S. attacks. Lieutenant Colonel William MacDonald, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, said the two women, along with a son of Ibrahim's doctor, were caught during a raid in the town of Samarra Tuesday morning. MacDonald said there was no indication the former Iraqi general was in the area at the time. Last week, U.S. forces put a bounty of $10 million on the head of Ibrahim as they stepped up the hunt for a man seen as one of Saddam's closest henchmen. In the holy city of Najaf, Abdul-Aziz Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, widely revered as Iraq's most influential Shi'ite leader, believed the new U.S.-backed roadmap was flawed. Hakim told a news conference he had met Sistani, who rarely makes public pronouncements on politics, to discuss the plan. "He didn't find anything that assures Islamic identity," Hakimn said. "There should have been a stipulation which prevents legislating anything that contradicts Islam in the new Iraq." REAL GAPS "He expressed concern about real gaps, which must be dealt with or the plan will lack the ability to meet the hopes of the Iraqi people. It diminishes the role of the Iraqi people in the process of transferring authority to Iraqis," Hakim said. Hakim is a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and SCIRI has cooperated with the occupying powers in Iraq, drawing criticism from some Shi'ites. Straw acknowledged that security conditions remained difficult in Iraq, where insurgents have killed 184 U.S. soldiers since Washington declared major combat over on May 1, according to the latest Pentagon toll. "I'm absolutely sure that a more rapid political process will assist the security situation," he told a news conference. He said he had been unaware of the attack on the coalition compound where he was staying, which set sirens wailing. "Attack. Take cover. This is not a test," a loudspeaker blared as the rockets struck. Flares lit up the night sky and U.S. helicopters clattered overhead. In October, guerrillas rocketed a strongly fortified hotel inside the compound where U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying. One U.S. soldier was killed. A spokesman for the U.S. 1st Armored Division said at least two rockets had been fired in Tuesday's attack in Baghdad, but caused no casualties. Two Iraqi police were wounded in a separate rocket-propelled grenade attack near a petrol station. Straw said he could give no date for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq pending negotiations with Iraqi authorities on the future status of foreign forces. "We will stay as long as the Iraqi government and people want us to stay and there is a job for us to do," he declared. Britain, the main U.S. military ally in the war that toppled Saddam, has 9,800 troops based in southern Iraq. Straw, who arrived in Baghdad Tuesday night for talks with U.S. officials and members of the Governing Council, also alluded to a danger that Iraq could disintegrate. "The key question is to move power from where it is now, formally with the coalition, to the Iraqi people as quickly as possible to ensure that the integrity of Iraq remains," he said. (Additional reporting by Joseph Logan in Baghdad) © Reuters 2003. All Rights Reserved. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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