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20 February 2008

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I am not surprised at Gerecht's comments. I recall an AEI event, shortly after the invasion of Iraq, where he was presented as the Institute's resident expert on Shi'ite Islam. He delivered a bizarre speech about how democracy would be brought to Iraq and to the region as a whole by Shi'ites, whose theology is inherently democratic. He was manic about the idea that the U.S. would turn over the keys to Iraq to the Shi'ite majority and that this would win the hearts and minds of all Iraqis, and send shudders down the collective spine of the Sunni tyrannies that co-occupied the Persian Gulf with the democracy-loving Shi'ites. Pretty shallow stuff, but at the time AEI was a pretty powerful conduit of "expertise" (sic) to the White House, especially the VP office. I recall that the front row center seat at the Gerecht presentation was occupied by Harold Rhode, a top Pentagon "Islamic" expert for Wolfowitz, was eating the whole thing up.

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