Ardolino via Threat Matrix. Sistani's role is interesting. If Iran's regime falls and it's Sistani's subtle influence found there too, History is going to judge what we did in Iraq very differently than many would think now.
It was vital to permit open candidate lists in order to maintain Iraq's popular trend towards nationalism, elevate truly qualified leaders, and break sectarian party strangleholds on government ministries. Notably, open list elections were supported by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and opposed by some of the major Kurdish and Shia Arab parties, the latter of which are often portrayed in the media as running Iraq at Iran's behest.
The open source news reports are typically light on detail, but this looks to be a milestone essential to Iraq's potential stability and political progress.
* The title is of course a light poke at Thomas Ricks' "Iraq, the Unraveling" series of blog posts, which I believe focus on negative aspects of Iraq without due consideration of what is working, when it works. Today it looks as if something important worked.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2009/11/iraq_the_raveling.php#ixzz0WSbBTxV7