To the administration’s plan for a SCIRI/Hashemi/Kurd coalition aimed at taking down Muqtada al-Sadr. The grand ayatollah says he supports Shiite unity, and will not endorse any coalition aimed at dividing the Shiites. This seems like a smart move to me. Sistani’s early political interventions were highly effective, but quickly began compromising his position as a religious leader. To choose sides in an intra-communal dispute, especially to choose in a manner that put him on the side of the foreign occupiers, would merely further risk his standing.