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December 29, 2008


There are no words. Is there anything else that can come out that will reveal them to be more despicable than we already think they are ?

Of course they is. We can just hope it will come out during their WAR CRIMES TRIAL. Not to mention TREASON. (yah, not really... except by own their definition. Not pursuing Al Qaeda members so as to protect a terrorist organisation ? Seriously ? I'd love to see the neocons defend that one, and by "love" I mean "it'll make me want to rip my eyes out, so better not contemplate it")

[...] Travel was arranged for him, first to Khoramshar, where he was attended and observed for several days by an IRGC minder, then to Tehran, where an officer of the IRGC offered him $10,000 to help him get set up as a politician in Iraq, which he said he politely refused. Many other made this trip, he said, and most did not refuse.

“America has baked Iraq like a cake,” Haider said. “And given it to Iran to eat.”

The support that Iran provides various militias and Shia insurgents like Jaysh al-Mahdi — which has been overstated — is ancillary. Iran’s most important and effective mode of influence in Iraq is political. They exercise this influence through their main proxies, ISCI and teh Badr Organization, through a close and longstanding relationship with the Da’wa Party, and through numerous personal contacts within Iraq that the IRGC has assiduously cultivated since the 2003 invasion.

These are the key points. They are the reasons that talking points from conservatives about how we're in a binary fight between the "good guys" in Iraq, and the "Iranian-backed Sadrites" always read so insanely detached from reality. Iraqi politics has never been binary win/lose, and neither has Iranian influence. That so many conservatives have been so completely clueless about this ("nuance is for liberals" -- is why they've been so totally hopeless and useless at foreign policy and defending United States interests.)

Understanding foreign policy requires understanding multiplex influences and interests. It's not really all that hard, but it really does require seeing further than We're For The Good Guys (Iraqi government) and Against The Bad Guys (Enemies-of-Iraq). (Which is why U.S governmental designations of groups into one or the other is insanely counter-productive.)

(It's why folks like DaveC would gibber incoherently that liberals were "for" Sadr, and he'd be ignorant of DAW or SCIRI or any actual Iraqi parties.)

"Is there anything else that can come out that will reveal them to be more despicable than we already think they are ?"

The key thing here is who "them" are. Actual knowledgeable people might break it down by individuals, rather than ethnic prejudice!

Hum, I was thinking of the Bush administration. And "them" included the individuals who did this stuff, whoever they turn out to be (who's the boss, Bush, Cheney ? What was everybody's role ? Unless there's some actual personal accountability I really don't care, "Bush administration" covers it well enough for me).
In this case, Rumsfeld seems to have played a role.

Excellent and enlightening reporting, Eric, as always. I just have one question about wording: I found the difference between "semantic and rhetorical fraud" and "lie" a little obscure in this context. Can you explain what you mean by rhetorical fraud, and why you did not use the word lie?

John: It just seemed more appropriate to describe the rhetoric as fraudulent, but YMMV

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