I popped a vein in my forehead last night watching the interview with Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.
AAAAHHH! I am not even well-informed about Iraq, but it seems to me that the rhetoric of the American supporters of the war seems to be echoing the rhetoric that has justified the oppression of the Shia by the Sunni in Iraq. Shia are inferior and Iranian.
Kristol framed the bad guys as the Shia militia and Al Qaeda and the good guys as the Iraqi insuregents who are now turning against Al Qaeda. He is perpetuating the myth that Iraqis are (a)not Shia and (b)not responsible for any of the violence in their country. This argument reinforces our unbelievable ignorance of the differences between the Shia and the Sunni along with subtly regulating the Shia to non-Iraqi status. It does nothing to educate us. It also buys in to the claim that the Iranians and Al Qaeda -- 2 outside forces -- are responsible for the destabilization of Iraq. While I do think both have been destructive forces, certainly their influence in Iraq is vastly overstated. This argument does nothing to call to question the common use of Iran as the bogeyman along with the Iraqi-Sunni notion that the majority Shia population are "Iranians".
Maybe Bill Kristol should be reading Abu Aardvark:
Sure, some insurgent groups have been willing to take American weapons in order to rout their local rivals and to beef up their capabilities in advance of an anticipated showdown with the Shia militias (and Iraqi government) when the Americans finally leave. I long ago pointed out the real grievances that these groups had against an over-aggressive al-Qaeda (Islamic State of Iraq) muscling in on their territory, and I have no doubts that the strategy of arming 'former' insurgents and Sunni tribes is having some effect at the local level. But this has little to do with the insurgency's overarching strategy or its views of either the American presence or the current Iraqi government. Listen to what the leaders of the insurgency groups actually say, not to what American spokesmen project upon them: the major insurgency factions remain committed to fighting until the Americans withdraw and the current political system is revised.
Oh yeah, and war with Iran is not a bad idea. Yep, Kristol said that. See for yourself.
It's a bad idea, people.