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11.07.2005 09:10 | DISPATCHES

Noted Iraqi blogger Riverbend, either modest to a fault or, equally appealing, lacking in media savvy, fails to mention her new book, Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq (Feminist Press, 2005) anywhere on her homepage. But her November 6 entry neatly sums up the situation at hand.

"American and British sons and daughters and husbands and wives are dying so that this coming December, Iraqis can go out and vote for Iran influenced clerics to knock us back a good four hundred years."

Meanwhile, on November 2, Justin Raimondo provides some--startling--background.

"In the run-up to war with Iraq, Iranian intelligence was playing the U.S. like a violin--with the knowledge and full cooperation of certain major (and minor)--players in the U.S. government."

He's referring to the meeting organized by SISMI (Italian military intelligence), as explained in those recent La Repubblica articles about the Niger uranium forgeries, which included Lawrence Franklin and Harold Rhode of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institue, and some "mysterious" Iranians.

Heretofore those Iranians were thought to be disgruntled exiles. But, as it turns out, they came and went freely from Tehran. As Raimondo says, "anyone could have seen that the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and British forces would hand most of the country over to the Iranians."

As appealing as rapprochement with Iran might be to any thinking American, how did the administration find itself in bed with the country that hatched Hezbollah, disgraced us with the hostage episode, is going nuclear, and that it's champing at the bit to invade?

Raimondo refers us to what Robert Dreyfuss thinks the administration believed.

". . . that Iraq's Shiites are Good Guys who will lead a pro-American Iraq against Iran's 'clerical dictatorship.' . . . But [in reality] in a Shiite-dominated Iraq, the hard-liners. . . will take over [and] make common cause with some of the clergy in Iran. [Thus will form] a dagger. . . aimed at Saudi Arabia's Sunni state. Of course, that too is part of the long-term Israeli-neocon strategy. . . a regional regime-change strategy. . . central to their whole Middle East policy. . ."

Thus Raimondo's contention that, "Chalabi's U.S.-funded program to provide information about weapons of mass destruction and insurgents was effectively an Iranian intelligence operation." Apparently Iran banked on that same near-neonatal, Neocon naivete which held that Iraqis would strew roses before the American liberators.

But why single out our already beleagured-to-the-gills administration? Shifting alliances--also known as "You can't tell the players without a scorecard"--is standard operating procedure, especially to those governments with sophisticated intelligence apparatus.

Let's look at the bright side. At least to the English-speaking world, fusing the two countries couldn't be simpler--only one letter is inconvenienced. We hereby introduce to you the Republic of Iranq, its inhabitants: Iraqnids.


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