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January 20, 2005

Why We Are Still in Iraq

Juan Cole writes:

Informed Comment : If, as I have argued, the Baathists along with some Salafi (Sunni fundamentalist) allies are behind the guerrilla war, what do they want?... to drive the Americans out of Iraq... putting the Shiite genie back in its bottle and restoring Sunni Arab primacy. A third Baath coup is no more inherently implausible than the first two. The Baathists probably have access to some 250,000 tons of munitions which are still missing. They know how to use them, and have been the managerial class, and many are Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War veterans with substantial military experience.

As long-time readers know, I have long held a position similar to that enunciated by former weapons inspector Scott Ritter's assessment that the lion's share of violence in Iraq is the work of Baathist military intelligence and military gone underground.... The Baath has been systematically killing members of the new political class. This is visible at the provincial level. The governors of Diyala and Baghdad provinces have recently been killed. The killing and kidnapping of members of the provincial governing councils go virtually unremarked in the US press but are legion. A female member of the Salahuddin GC was kidnapped and killed recently. The police chiefs of many cities have been killed or kidnapped, or members of their family have, such that many more have just resigned, often along with dozens of their men. The US is powerless to stop this campaign of assassination.

And this is my problem with the idea of just having the US suddenly withdraw its military from Iraq. What is to stop the neo-Baath from just killing Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim Jaafari, Iyad Allawi (who is rumored not to sleep in the same bed twice), etc., all the members of the provincial councils and the new parliament, and then making a military coup that brings the party and its Sunni patronage networks back to power?...

I fear I think the US is stuck in Iraq. Sistani clearly fears a Sunni Arab coup, as well, and this is one reason he has not acted forcefully to end the military occupation, which he deeply dislikes. Is the Neo-Baath Coup scenario one that the US could live with?

There is one force that could stop a neo-Baath coup, at least in the South of Iraq: Iran. And they have a strong incentive to do so, not just to improve the well-being of their coreligionists, but also Kuwaiti and Saudi policy changes when there is no longer a Saddam Hussein or an American army buffer between Iran and the south side of the Gulf.

The major long-run effect of Bush's war on Iraq may turn out to be to greatly strengthen Iran's position in the Middle East.

Now there are two ways to look at it. The first is to say that Iran is a status-quo power that is pretty happy with the way things are, and has a strong interest in peace, order, and prosperity. The second is to say that the rulers of Iran are people who believe that God is commanding them to turn Tel Aviv into a radioactive abattoir.

Posted by DeLong at January 20, 2005 10:35 PM

Comments

"The second is to say that the rulers of Iran are people who believe that God is commanding them to turn Tel Aviv into a radioactive abattoir."

cf the rulers of America who believe that god's son will return when Tel Aviv is turned into a radioactive abattoir.

Quite seriously, if you worry about the one, and believe that politicians who attain power really can be this deluded, you ought to worry just as much about the other.

Posted by: Maynard Handley at January 20, 2005 10:52 PM


Well Worms the Wait

This is what's called a "story". If you're an ADD alpha-chaser, cut to the chase.

It was 10C last evening as I stood out by the garden wall, a bit warm for Canada,
maybe too warm, but you Yanks assured us that global warming is just science
fiction. Like the storms down in LA closing the Grapevine, yeah, real sci-fi, eh?

So I'm thinking, next year we're gonna need a lot of worms in that garden of ours,
a lot of humus and rich tilth. We'll grow tomatoes. Hey, if it's 10 degrees in the
dead of winter, it'll probably be a long string of 40's in late August and we'll be
swimming in tomatoes here in Delta, split open by the heat, and dribbling juices.

But I put that thought of worms away, for much later in the springtime.

So you might be surprised when I took out the compost tonight, and there in the
moonlight, under a altocumulus sky like the ridges and whorls on your fingers, was
an earthworm, crawling across the stone. Amazing. Not one, but dozens of them,
out in the half-moon light, wet and warmth, cool fog laying low to the ground and
ragged, rising, like the hopes of Iraqis that you Yanks will come to your senses.

"What are the odds?" A chorus of frogs, chirruping "What are the odds?"

What are the odds that in the dead of winter, when we should be wrapped around
the woodstove, that I'd be out in the moonlight with a tupperware bowl, collecting
earthworms, almost like an answer from heaven to my wish? I kept looking up at
the moon filtered behind the clouds, expecting the soft contrail of a shooting star.
Rather like the poor Iraqis must look up at night from time to time, searching for the
pale contrails, silver against dense black, right before another B-2 carpet bombing.

If wishes were fishes, beggars would bake loaves.

So after awhile, as the thrill of hunting re-learned sank into medulla-land and freed
my mind to wander, I started thinking. If everytime I found the largest worm yet,
and tracked the odds, of course the first worm's odds would be 100%. And then
the second worm would be either larger, or smaller, for an odds of 50%. And so
on, and so on, in what we call a natural logorithmic recession. Eventually, in a static
but random population, measuring for the largest worm, the hottest day, the highest
market, the odds in a natural system would tend towards zero. Not quite, but zero.

Then there was this wormy epiphany. If measuring the next greatest event of any
natural system tends to a zero probability, then we have an index, a measure, for
global warming. Compared to pre-industrial weather cycles, any given day has a
nearly zero chance of being the hottest day on record. In the ups and downs and
cool winters and warm ones through the last 400,000 years of ice cores, the odds
of a hottest day at any time of year are nearly zero, and the interval between these
successive hottest days would extend to near infinity. If the system is stable, when
you multiply odds times the interval, the answer would tend towards the number 1.

1.000000000000000000000000000000 to be exact.

Let's develop an instability index then. The inverse of odds times the inverse of interval.
If the odds of another hottest day in a sufficiently long weather record are 1/1000, but
the interval is now only 400 days, call the instability index at 1/1/1000 x 1/400, or 2.50.
Two and a half times more unstable than pre-industrial times. You can plot the records.
In a system out of control, you'll have a horizontal line at 1.0, slowly drifting upwards,
then faster and faster towards a geometric asymmetric blowout. Long before you reach
the true vertical vertical, all life on earth as we know it will cease to exist.

Onward to Titan!

And for you ADD alpha-freaks, you can use the same methodology to track the market.
In any natural, ungamed, unrigged, unmanipulated, uncrooked buy-sell system, the interval
between new highs tends to uniformly track the rate of growth of that economy, however
you measure it. Zero growth, and a large enough market index, and the interval between
successive highs begins to extend towards infinity. Rapid growth, and you get a dot.bomb.
But if you have zero growth, or even negative growth in the case of you Yanks, but your
stock market is still going up, then you are being gamed. Played.

You could develop a gaming index. A way to measure in a simple numerical way, odds
and intervals, the rate of how a market is being gamed or rigged. Not that it's necessarily
bad, it's probably inevitable. The difference between the open range and the stockyards.
Cattle to the slaughter. Take a number. What are ya' gonna do?

Gotta go put my worms to the garden. January 20th. Dead of Winter, Canada. Worms.
What are the freaking odds?!

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire."
Robert Frost

================

P.S. Brad, don't worry, as soon as BushCo has held the mock election and confirmed their Alawi puppets, they will withdraw to a hardened Green Zone around those puppets, and electronically participate in the dismantling of the largest remaining oil pool on earth. In the same way as BushCo got Karzai elected, surrounding his palace with permanent American militia, where Karzai paces the grounds, rattling his sabers at the warlords hoping for opium tax tribute, and generally holding the chess board until someone in Houston says, "Let's build a new pipeline."

You have to think like a crocodile or a vulture. Study those Indonesian monitor lizards. Beady black eyes. Long sticky tongues. Sharp teeth.
The NeoCons 'crawl under snakes', as they say, down in the bayou in the heart of darkness.

Posted by: tante aime at January 20, 2005 10:59 PM


Like all Muslims, the Iranians consider Jerusalem (but not Tel Aviv) sacred. They would hardly want to nuke it. The Israelis probably don't care one whit whether Teheran or Isphahan become a radioactive wasteland. From a purely game-theoretical point of view, the Israelis have the advantage in terms of deterrence due to this asymmetry.


More likely than not, the Iranians would point their sought-after nukes towards the Ras Tannura oil terminal, the world's most important. Saudis have no effective means of retaliation (their US-made jets have had their range shortened at the behest of the Israelis).


To paraphrase Dune, he who has the power to destroy something has control over that thing, and the risk of worldwide economic collapse would be an incredibly effective deterrent to US military action against the mollahs' regime, even if they only have a handful of nukes without a delivery mechanism capable of reaching the United States.

Posted by: Fazal Majid at January 20, 2005 11:08 PM


But I thought we were supposed to be invading Iran next, at least if Sy Hersh is to be believed? Granted, we have nothing to invade them with except Bush's childhood GI Joe doll...

Posted by: rps at January 20, 2005 11:55 PM


I firmly believe the US invasion of Iraq was a coup for the Iranian intelligence service. In all but one analysis of a successful US policy in this regard, Iran wins big time. From short-term entrenchment of American resources in Iraq, through Iranian backed Shiite supremacy in Iraq to a long-term trading partner with far stronger ties to its neighbour than the superpower that "freed" it.

The only scenario where it is a loss for the Iranian people (not necessarily the mullahs who govern them) is if the US started a full scale invasion. An invasion (or limited strikes) will certainly give the current regime greater strength and may result in a bloody war of attrition with "human wave" attacks of 16-year old boys like before.

You have to remember Iran is not like Iraq. It has rebelled against a US puppet regime before and with much greater popularity than you witness in Iraq today. Whilst the outcome of the revolution may not be what those protesting in the streets in '79 where hoping for, the consensus that the nepotistic cronies of US foreign policy were not welcome was pretty wide. I don't foresee anything but a fringe minority (currently residing in LA) accepting US occupation regardless of how reviled the current regime may be.

As for the nukes question: Why do we contine to assume that leaders who have displayed no suicidal tendencies seek nuclear weapons for anything other than a means to prevent American intervention?

The problem with a first-strike policy for dictators is that the likely response is a *personal* threat unlike conventional warfare where others pay the price of their adventures.

As for Fazal's asymmetry in Israel/Iran nuclear policy: The historical evidence suggests Israel has been prepared to scorch the earth rather than accept the end of a Jewish state. In terms of messianic doomsday scenarios the Israelis upped the ante many years ago. In contrast, the mullahs of Iran are far more interested in enforcing their orthodox views on the captives in their territory whilst they enjoy the wealth of petro-dollars.

Posted by: Seyed Razavi at January 21, 2005 12:01 AM


To write things like "The second is to say that the rulers of Iran are people who believe that God is commanding them to turn Tel Aviv into a radioactive abattoir" shows the abyssal level of ignorance about Iranian affairs in the US. And that is this point which is really worrying.

Posted by: thierry coville at January 21, 2005 01:10 AM


Brad, what's your personal view of Iran's intentions?

[I don't know enough to say]

Posted by: No Preference at January 21, 2005 04:47 AM


I think an American 'fuite en avant' is highly unlikely, and exists only in the fevered brains of Neocon placeholders at the Pentagon and the American Enterprise Institute. Iran will undoubtedly eventually acquire a nuclear capacity, but they can afford to wait, take out a little learning here, a little learning there, and continuously avoiding a casus belli. It not at all obvious on what grounds the United States could attack Iran under such circumstances, unlike in Iraq where Saddam's bluster and bluff gave them some (transparent)cover.

The short to medium-run problem is that the U.S. has lost the war to Saddam's secret police, which survived the attacks and has reconstituted itself as an effective guerilla force. The Bush administration cannot admit to this, and must find an outside force to blame. They are leaning on Syria because Syria is an easy target, even given the depleted state of the American land army. They will hoot and holler about Iran. The whole business is a magician's trick to get people to look the other way, while our position in Iraq deteriorates.

Another thing to consider. Britain will be having an election within 18 months, and the British government will be looking for any excuse to get their troops out of the South. At that point, the lid will blow, since we don't have enough feet on the ground to patrol it.

For every thing, there is a season.

Posted by: Knut Wicksell at January 21, 2005 05:07 AM


Knut
Britain will have an election in first week of May 2005, less than five months away. No way UK troops will be out of Iraq by then.

Posted by: otto at January 21, 2005 06:11 AM



I doubt Iran's mullahs are really that religiously fanatical and unworldly -- they seem to be pretty good at ditching their religiosity whenever it interferes with bolstering their own personal economic prosperity. Like the Chinese government, they're thoroughly cynical by now: a Moslem nomenklatura. The REAL danger of Iran possessing the Bomb is -- as with every tyranny equipped with it -- what the hell happens when that tyranny finally sees itself threatened with collapse? In that situation, they'll be willing to gamble with it in ways that would be insane for any nuclear-armed democracy, but will be perfectly rational for them -- trying to raise the cash to stay in power by either using the Bomb to stick up their neighbors, or (albeit less likely) selling it on the black market -- and during the actual revolution, the chaos will a perfect opportunity for some of Iran's Bombs to fall into God knows whose hands.


Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at January 21, 2005 06:39 AM


This notion that the Iranian ruling clique is notably crazier than other world regimes really is nuts. I hold no brief for those guys but I certainly see them as more likely to make a practical political choice than Bush and Co. If the Iranians were as dumb or crazy as Bush's admin, the Islamic Republic would be gone by now.

Posted by: sm at January 21, 2005 07:11 AM


"I fear I think the US is stuck in Iraq."

... yet, just to state the obvious, continued occupation of Iraq is not really what I'd call a free lunch ... and whereever he is, Bin (who?) Laden must by now be happier than ever ...

Posted by: Jean-Philippe Stijns at January 21, 2005 07:22 AM


tante aime says:

"Brad, don't worry, as soon as BushCo has held the mock election and confirmed their Alawi puppets, they will withdraw to a hardened Green Zone around those puppets, and electronically participate in the dismantling of the largest remaining oil pool on earth."

Nope.

"Today in Iraq" quotes counterpunch.org, a Jan 20 posting:


"America's NBC television chain are holed up in a hotel with an iron grille over their door, forbidden by their security advisers to visit the swimming pool or the restaurant 'let alone the rest of Baghdad' lest they be attacked. Several Western journalists do not leave their rooms while on station in Baghdad."

One so pessimistic about the climate and the stock market has no reason to be so willing to buy a "we're there for the long-term" scenario.

Posted by: sm at January 21, 2005 07:22 AM


Didn't Christian Europe go through the same thing? Wasn't it called the Hundred Years War? Wasn't it actually longer than one hundred years.

Just break up Iraq like the British broke up colonial India between Hindu and Muslim. Just try not to include the slaughter as the populations shift past each other.

Posted by: Brendan at January 21, 2005 08:24 AM


Note - Brad (or somebody) edited my post above to add the comment between brackets.

Posted by: No Preference at January 21, 2005 08:43 AM


And how is that slaughter to be avoided? It's precisely the prospect of a new international frontier being erected with you on the wrong side that inspires the massacres. Or, for others, the prospect of being finally able to get rid of the bad guys who live next door.

I really think the USA has done enough damage in Iraq without these constant suggestions that it unilaterally redraw the borders of Iraq. Who made you people the masters of the universe! Step down!

Posted by: sm at January 21, 2005 08:47 AM


In the best case, the Shiites will rule in a loose alliance with the mostly autonomous Kurdish regions. If the United States withdraws, it will be interesting to see if the Pesh Merga and Shiite militias can take on the Sunni insurrectionists on their own terms.

Posted by: Wombat at January 21, 2005 09:00 AM


"If the United States withdraws, it will be interesting to see if the Pesh Merga and Shiite militias can take on the Sunni insurrectionists on their own terms."

And I would say the determinant here is whether or not the Shia and Kurds got significant access to the unguarded munitions. If they did, then they can probably take on the Sunni's, and Iraq enters into a drawn out civil war. If not, then, as Juan posits, the end result will probably be a third Sunni coup.

Posted by: flory at January 21, 2005 10:05 AM



What if Saddam's way of ruling Iraq was the only and thus the best given the turf?

Strange indeed to hear talk of using the 'bomb'. Or is it, given the current occupant. Time's warped for those of us who remember the 50s. Imagine the surprise when they found out Ronnie thought he could use the 'bomb'. Don't think they've sensed it yet, but this goofy bastard thinks he can and may well try. For those who think Israel can and should; try looking down the road say 25 years and see if you can find Israel on the map.

Posted by: ken melvin at January 21, 2005 10:12 AM


I disagree. With the growing doubt in the US for the war, it is increasingly difficult to avoid the cut and run solution particularly when the only strategy is the attrition of insurgents and we have the Israeli experience to guide us there...for all political intents and purposes..."too long" ???
Consequently It becomes a question of orchestrating the withdrawal to minimize the bloodshed while leaving a framework so that some kind of viable political community can start evolving. I think most observers would agree the problem is now one of transition that causes less bloodshed than if we stayed rather than the acclaimed goal of a stable democracy.
This probably entails drawing the insurgents into the process. Difficult yes, impossible God only knows. If we cannot find the immagination to do that and it may well be impossible then cut and run anyway. Give a one year notice.
It is hard to see that things will be worse for the Iraqi population for our leaving versus our staying. We have failed and will have to live with the only justification for this fiasco, we threw a thug down albeit at a great cost to the innocents.

Posted by: Honza at January 21, 2005 10:17 AM


Letting ethnicities autonomously set their own borders, ref. Sarajevo 1991-1998. In fact it's already started in Iraq.

The question is can we admit reality and help the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias separate themselves politically rather than with guns and car bombs.

It's admittedly FUBAR and far from the delusions that got us in this debacle, but it's a more honest and attainable Exit Strategy than abstracts like Freedom and Democracy.

Or should we let Imperial Britain's colonial boundaries restrict us forever?

Posted by: Brendan at January 21, 2005 10:19 AM


The Shiite (and Kurdish) strategic priorities are:
1. Control of their own area(s) so they aren't arrested and murdered. Actual cantonal, or contiguous, or interspersed ghetto forms are acceptable. Just as long as someone isn't going to come to their house and arrest them, or kill them right there.
2. Control of the oil funds of Iraq, or a part. That's so they can buy guns, pay an army and a police force, and steal the rest for themselves. Some will be allowed to leak out to public health, schools, infrastructure, etc, so someone else can't use the promise of redistribution to entice the armed forces and police to overthrow them.
3. Revenge. Revenge is the emotional one. The US set up the Baathist regime after the British monarchy was obviously failing. They murdered a million Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis, or caused them to die by stealing the oil funds and tax funds that deprived them of medical or sustenance funds.
Every one of those murdered people had relatives and friends. They all want blood. Sunni blood, mostly, but also American and British blood if they ever see their way clear. That's more of a hope than an expectation.
Sunni blood has priority because they are presently under US occupation and so relatively helpless. The Shiites are waiting for the US to leave so they can imprison and kill the two hundred thousand Sunni who benefitted from the Baathist regime.
They also want the twenty thousand higher ranking Sunni who benefitted from the Baathist regime who have moved to Europe, etc, with their gains. That's going to be harder, and more of a wish than something they are going to work toward.
Since they are not as constrained by collateral casualties as we are, they will simply level the Sunni areas until they stop shooting back. This will cost perhaps two million casualties if the Sunni fight to the end. The Sunni don't have heavy weapons, or an airforce.
Unless the Iranians attack in the middle of the war. Unless we prevent them from attacking. Unless they have nukes.
Which is why the US special forces are in Iran right now looking for the nuclear industrial sites.
You make foreign policy with the geopolitical situation you have, not the one you wish you have.

Posted by: walter willis at January 21, 2005 10:51 AM


Let me protest once more about Brendan's usurpation of the prerogative to divide Iraq for "us."

Posted by: sm at January 21, 2005 10:59 AM


One problem with "Iran to the rescue." Iraqi Shiites are Arabs. Iranians are not Arabs. You forget to mention the Kurd Army which is the largest non-American military force in Iraq. Muqtada has his army out of the fight until after elections. Most likely, Iran would stay out of Iraq and instead fund al Sadr or a proxy army under SCIRI. Iran has a very long border with Iraq. They have reason for wanting Iraq to be stable. Just look at their 1980s casualty lists.

Posted by: bakho at January 21, 2005 11:48 AM


Iranians are not arabs, but the province with the most oil (across the border from Iraq) seems to be ethnically Arab. The rest of the border lands with Iraq are mostly Kurdish. The north is largely Azeri. Is there an Azeri nationalistic movement? I have no idea what kind of ethnic tensions, if any, there are in Iran.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/iran.html

Posted by: idook at January 21, 2005 12:13 PM


> Unless the Iranians attack in the middle of the
> war. Unless we prevent them from attacking. Unless
> they have nukes. Which is why the US special
> forces are in Iran right now looking for the
> nuclear industrial sites.

That would imply someone in the W administration has an amount of foresight which has so far not made itself known.

> You make foreign policy with the geopolitical
> situation you have, not the one you wish you
> have.

That is the exact opposite of Cheney's and Rumsfeld's view of the world, as I am sure you know.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer at January 21, 2005 12:57 PM


We are never leaving Iraq. The oil is there, the Straussian Neocons won't allow it because we are there to protect Israel, and it's strategically a good place to be for future implementations of the Bush doctrine.

We will always be present in Iraq. I agree with Tante Aime. It's a multifaceted thing, our being there, and we will never give up the power of all that oil.

Posted by: DRK at January 21, 2005 02:11 PM


I doubt if the Iraqi resistance is really a unified organisation with a single post war programme. The comparison is with the WW2 resistances which were split between communists/ socialists & ancien regime supporters (often themselves split between monarchists, republicans etc) with side orders of Jews, Slovenians, Ukrainians, Poles etc. What they usually had in common was agreement to get rid of the Germans.

Had Saddam set up a Baathist underground organisation it (a) would have been able to hide him (b) would have been fighting all out from day 1 rather seeing casualties growing.

The 2 options for Iran's wishes are not mutually exclusive. Throughout the Cold War the US was a status quo nation interested in peace. They would also have turned Moscow into a radioactive abbatoir given the chance to do so safely. This does not mean that the optimum Russian response should have been a pre-emptive strike.

Posted by: Neil Craig at January 21, 2005 02:31 PM


A partition of country would be the best solution, except for two small problems: the status of Baghdad and the status of Mosul...and perhaps also the possibly minor issues of Turkey's reaction to an independent Kurdish state on its border and Saudi Arabia's reaction to an independent Shia republic on its border.

Posted by: MTC at January 21, 2005 04:31 PM


You know, I've been writing about Iran for a while.

Posted by: Eric at January 21, 2005 08:02 PM


Cranky
On the level of the Bush administration's foresight, how did Twain put it?
"A boy who has once picked up a cat by the tail has a quantity and quality of knowledge he never had before, and one that will stay fresh for a long time."
I'm not sure that's an accurate quote, but I am sure that Bush is paying a lot more attention to geopolitics now than he was four years ago.

Posted by: walter willis at January 21, 2005 08:47 PM


[comment spam]

Posted by: at January 21, 2005 11:02 PM


George will never, ever leave Iraq. As long as he is President, we are staying in Iraq. It's a masculinity thing. There are several implications proceeding from this fact. The first is that things are going to get much, much worse in Iraq before they get better. By the end of this new term, George will be advocating a military draft...he has to.

Then there's the economy. Randall Forsyth, writing in this morning's Barron's, referred to the war in Iraq as a "crusade". Holy cow! Isn't that Osama's phrase? Anyway, Randall (whose name would have to be made up if it did not already exist) doesn't like the prospects of the economy. So George, when he is not advocating a draft, will also be dealing with plummeting home and stock prices.

Good luck, George.

Posted by: Arbogast at January 22, 2005 08:10 AM


"Now there are two ways to look at it. The first is to say that Iran is a status-quo power that is pretty happy with the way things are, and has a strong interest in peace, order, and prosperity.
The second is to say that the rulers of Iran are people who believe that God is commanding them to turn Tel Aviv into a radioactive abattoir."

What terrifies me is that there are some people, in this country and in Israel who believe the latter to be true. They're idiots Don't encourage them.
Or are you one yourself?

[I don't know what the rulers of Iran believe in their hearts-of-hearts. I do know that you clearly need to read more about the history of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, and to reflect hard upon what people do when they think God is on their side.]

Posted by: seth edenbaum at January 22, 2005 09:36 AM


[I don't know what the rulers of Iran believe in their hearts-of-hearts. I do know that you clearly need to read more about the history of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, and to reflect hard upon what people do when they think God is on their side.]

When the risks to internal stability got too big, they made peace with that heretical athiestic nationalist, Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: sm at January 22, 2005 11:08 AM


Someone has been adding bracketed comments to my comments.
Interesting.
Perhaps you should read more about recent Iranian history (and after a revolution, ten years is a long time.)

Posted by: seth edenbaum at January 24, 2005 06:32 PM


[comment spam]

Posted by: at February 7, 2005 12:32 AM