SUNNI AND SHIITE….Juan Cole has an interesting first-person account from an “educated Sunni Arab” about a recent meeting between Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Kurdish and Sunni Arab clan leaders (Sistani, of course, is Shiite). The basic theme is that Sistani was trying to convince the others that the difference between Shiite and Sunni was relatively minor and that the important thing was to stay united and stick up for Iraq:

“Give my regards to your tribes and to the Sunna clergy and tell them that Sistani “kisses their hands” and begs them to unite with all Iraqis, Shia, Kurds, Christian, Turkmen. You just unite, and count on me to stand up to the Americans! The worst that could happen is that I die! That doesn’t worry me!”

Is this good or bad? I can’t tell, and unfortunately Prof. Cole doesn’t offer any interpretation.

He also has a few thoughts on the Zarqawi letter here.