This article makes a good case for the administration’s contention that changing Iraq could change the Middle East. It describes the traditional preeminence of Najaf, an Iraqi city, and its clerics in the world of Shiism. The Najaf clerics do not believe that they should be involved in politics. If Najaf returns to its customary authority in the Shiite world, as the article argues it is already doing, then this will undermine Iran’s Shiite theocracy. This is especially so, the article suggests, because an Iraq where the Najaf clerics are free to speak and associate will strengthen the position of dissident clerics in Iran.