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16 April 2009


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For those skeptical about Col. Lang's take on Chalabi, his early article on this topic - Drinking the Kool Aid" is well worth reading: http://www.mepc.org/journal_vol11/0406_lang.asp


Col., pardon me for belaboring this, but I feel as if what said, fairly plainly, is being misconstrued. I make no claims for the 'wisdom and invulnerable power' of the US - certainly not beyond the abilities you seem to think we have in other circumstances.

Did Neocons make use of materials developed or distributed on behalf of the iranians? Almost certainly. They were and are idiots, useful and otherwise. But this is a tail and do issue. One would expect the Iranians to have intelligence operations of many sorts relating to Iraq, at all times. Could the Iranians have manipulated some of the Neocoons? Almost certainly, at some times, to various degrees. None of this obligates the US to adopt the Neocon point of view, accept their propaganda, our turn our policy and agencies to their objectives. Again, what we did, we did to ourselves.

The Iranians will certainly try to grant themselves as much credit as think the market can bear, when it advances their objectives. This does not mean that it is fully and objectively true.

I put your 'claim' in quotes because I have never come across that assertion before. I would be grateful for citations that support this. I'm more than happy to be shown that I am wrong.

I continue to be astonished that the US seemed heedless that the ISCI/SIIC seemed to be almost entirely a creature of Iran, yet was granted by Bremer with near total dominance of the Iraqi government.

I am familiar with claims that the Iranians were supplying and advising, variously, al Qaeda in Iraq, ISCI/SIIC, and al Sadr. Almost all of those claims have prove to be false or insubstantial. Officers of an Iranian consulate (I believe in Mosul) were arrested and charged with providing assistance, but it turns out that they had been specifically invited by the Iraqi government. Other materiel supply seems to have occurred through private channels, to the Iranian government maintains plausible deniability at the least. At worst the Iranians were behaving very similarly to the US in trying to dislodge the USSR from Afghanistan, and the US seems to feels justified in those actions.

A more fruitful line of inquiry at this point might be to ask why the Neocons and PNAC members continue to maintain positions of power and influence, with access to the highest levels of government, and generous funding. And then to see how these circumstances can be changed. Having been debunked and proven wrong on every point, having cost the US trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, and immeasurably weakened the US throughout the world, they are still experts, their voices given wide distribution, and their pronouncements taken seriously.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad

To my regret, I have never read any of the works of Burckhardt -- I know him primarily for his (prescient) anticipation that the twentieth century would be dominated by 'terrible simplifiers'.

But as to the importance of a genuinely 'liberal education', and what it ought to teach, I would agree with you.

Jon T.

Long late in reading here AND maybe off topic - "keeping the door open to possible prosecution" of those who wrote memos authorizing language changes regarding interrogation techniques and definitions of international and domestic law, the argument will devolve to 9.11 fairly quickly and the visible, front man Iranian leader's incendiary remarks will propel fuel to Cheney's fear sales.

I say listen to the poets and musicians in Northern Iran of today, and to Iranian music, both classical and modern, poets like Rumi and Shams Tabriz of old.

Quietly sitting with another culture sans value judgement allows for the possibility of noticing something like lokhay warkawal - granting refuge and protection to a guest in the Afghani Pashtunwali code - of noticing humanity before we or anyone else plunge the silver suitcase nuclear exchange codes is a good idea for us Americans.

I learned of Lokhay in a provocative and powerful warrior story "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10" by Marcus Luttrell.

Thank you to all the rough men and women who actually are out there doing the work.


[Chalabi] has always been inclined toward the Iranians.

al-Maliki, al-Hakim, and countless others in the Iraqi Parliament have also been inclined toward extremists in Iran and (!!) not toward the USA for decades.

What is truly puzzling for some is the reason why the Bush admin deposed SH while Mr Cheney **had** to have known that their political parties (viz. Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) had been `terrorizing' SH for decades (!!) in order to transform a secular Iraq into Islamic fundamentalist republic with extremely close ties to religious fanatics in Iran. [Cheney: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BEsZMvrq-I]

BTW: Anyone have an idea how Dawa lost its status as a state sponsored terrorist group??

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