"Rarely since the U.S.-led invasion have Iraq's politicians appeared so insignificant and its religious leaders loomed so large as in the 48 hours since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra.
Few Iraqis seemed to pay attention to statements by Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari and other political leaders who called for calm. But many winced with trepidation or smiled with satisfaction as, hours after the Wednesday morning attack, the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the paramount Shiite Muslim religious leader here, issued an unusually blunt statement suggesting it was time for "the faithful" to start protecting religious sites — an apparent endorsement of militias".
Accepting the above on the latimes.com [read the full article here] as a correct assesment of what is happening in Iraq is troubling to say the least. It only serves to highlight what so many informed people [no, not the politicians] predicted long ago - the invasion [remember "Shock and Awe"?] of Iraq would ultimately lead to civil war. Iraq seems but a hairbreath away from that reality!