Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shiite Ayatollah Ignores Letter From Bush


A letter from President Bush to Iraq's supreme Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was hand-delivered earlier this week but sits unread and untranslated in the top religious figure's office, a key al-Sistani aide told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The aide _ who has never allowed use of his name in news reports, citing al-Sistani's refusal to make any public statements himself _ said the ayatollah had laid the letter aside and did not ask for a translation because of increasing "unhappiness" over what senior Shiite leaders see as American meddling in Iraqi attempts to form their first, permanent post-invasion government.

The aide said the person who delivered the Bush letter _ he would not identify the messenger by name or nationality _ said it carried Bush's thanks to al-Sistani for calling for calm among his followers in preventing the outbreak of civil war after a Shiite shrine was bombed late last month.

Al-Sadr, who is staunchly anti-American, met with al-Sistani in Najaf on Thursday but emerged without making a statement.

Should have sent some of those flowers and candy we got when we first invaded ..... with that letter

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