Iraq, damn lies, and fiction

Close followers of the War in Iraq have known for some time now that Sunni insurgent groups have turned on al Qaeda. Indeed, the vast majority of the Iraqi resistance, including Sunnis, oppose both the United States occupation, and al Qaeda in Iraq, as do the majority of Iraqis, Iraqi lawmakers, Americans, US troops, and, for that matter, most of the entire world.

Some such as William Kristol -- who recently wrote what must qualify as the most delusional op-ed of the year -- argue that this is a sign of how things in Iraq are turning around. Victory is finally in our grasp, he argues, in a piece which projects that Bush will be viewed favorably by history. (It is worth noting, of course, that Kristol's reputation is forever hinged to Bush and his war, so it is no surprise to see a Hail Mary attempt at vindication come from him).

This is just nonsense, and today's Guardian reminds us why. They report that 7 of the major Sunni groups have committed to constant attacks against US forces until a total withdrawal is complete -- an unsurprising reality, but one that nonetheless exposes the absurd meanderings of the war apologists for what they are.

Seven of the most important Sunni-led insurgent organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal, their leaders have told the Guardian.

In their first interview with the western media since the US-British invasion of 2003, leaders of three of the insurgent groups - responsible for thousands of attacks against US and Iraqi armed forces and police - said they would continue their armed resistance until all foreign troops were withdrawn from Iraq, and denounced al-Qaida for sectarian killings and suicide bombings against civilians.


Speaking of Iraq, could the US and the media who report their leaks, stop insulting the intelligence of the rest of the world by claiming that Iran is funding al-Qaeda? This has got to the least believable lie that the White House has told in years, which is no small feat. Think about this for two seconds: Iran is the neighbor of a country, once ruled by Sunni government with no love for the Shiites in Iran, that is now a massive power vacuum that Iran is well poised to fill. With Iraq now dominated by Shiites and with the pro-Iranian al-Sadr becoming the most powerful person in the country, why would Iran want to fund an organization that literally kills Shiites routinely? And this goes much deeper than religious strife, it is an issue of geopolitical power. Why would Iran fund a group that would serve a geopolitical rival?

As I was telling my friend Steve, in baseball terms this is akin to the Red Sox giving the Yankees Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz for nothing and agreeing to pay their salaries. It is completely absurd.