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May 14, 2008

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Uhh - Eric? I thought the conventional "wisdom" of the past (say, last month) was that it was PM Maliki's claque that were the "in" group wrt Iran, and that the Sadrists were the "rogues" who were going to be given the brush by Tehran? Can't the WSJ subscribe to the Middle East Factions Newsletter or something to get their "proxies and patrons" groupings straight?

Can't the WSJ...get their "proxies and patrons" groupings straight?

No.

Hey! I agree with this one!

Iran is clearly playing all sides.

But McQ and the WSJ would have us believe that War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

Really, I wish the WSJ editorial board would take to telling me whether red or black would come up on the roulette wheel, so I could bet on the opposite and make a fortune.

Hey! I agree with this one!

Eureka!

It was bound to happen eventually. I'm really not as unreasonable as I seem ;)

Surely this is a victory for Sadr on an even more fundamental level: the central government is now committed on paper to the idea that does not have unitary authority in the country, nor even a monopoly on armed force.

This whole thing started because the government wanted to break Sadr and other militias, to at least be the sole authority in Baghdad and the South if, obviously, not in the Kurdish or Sunni regions. It has no publicly walked away from that goal, no matter what promises of good behaviour Sadr has made.

That said, I don't expect the truce will last very long in any case. Still, the principle is revealing.

To have been demonizing Iran while at the same time arranging their neighborhood to better suit their preferences leaves open the question of just what was going through the minds of the planners of the war. I don’t suppose it will ever be clear.
Bits like this do nothing to reassure:

After the war, some speculated that Chalabi may have been an Iranian intelligence “agent” throughout the 1990s and may have lured America into war on behalf of his real spymasters in Tehran. Both the CIA and the DIA suspected the INC was penetrated by the Iranians all along. But this new allegation ratcheted up the concerns several notches, in calling Chalabi an active agent. It is also almost certainly a myth, though. Iran, no doubt, had the same difficulty that the United States had in controlling him.

(From a piece “Chalabi’s Iran Connection” on CNN’s website composed of “Excerpts of Aram Roston's book, ‘The Man Who Pushed America to War’”.
Could be this was characteristic of the intelligence rejected by the planners.

From the Department of What Took You So Long:

"Sources in Baghdad tell NBC News that as of this week American military and civilian officials have cut off all contact with controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, the former favorite of Washington's once powerful neoconservatives."

Really, I wish the WSJ editorial board would take to telling me whether red or black would come up on the roulette wheel, so I could bet on the opposite and make a fortune.

The Wall Street Journal was, until Murdoch took it over, the best newspaper in the country. However, they do not have a comics section, which is a tragic lack. Instead, they have a two page prose comedy section. It's biggest failing, as a newspaper, is that the comedy section is not actually funny.

I guess I'm just glad that they don't try to cover Sports at all.

JMN,

The WSJ was a great newspaper (might still be, who knows). The editorial board was, and very much still is, a den of hackery, mendacity and tendentiousness. And that's being kind.

My favorite WSJ story in the Personal category: I was sitting, naturally enough, in the basement loo in my parents-in-law place in Cinci, and picking up the top WSJ from the pile (placed there for reading) read in the top left-hand column on the front page the story of Jeb Bush’s entanglement with a crooked Cuban-exile businessman (operating nursing homes and care facilities to the detriment of his customers and benefit to his bank account). Jeb being at the time son of the sitting President.

Gave me an unaccustomed respect for them— WSJ, not Jeb & co.
Didn’t seem to hurt his career though, unless otherwise it would have been he rather than Dubya running for the office.

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