Monday, November 08, 2004
Perhaps you are looking for a yardstick by which to measure the success of Mr. Bush's master plan to "democratize" Iraq, or perhaps you merely have an appetite for low comedy. In either case, consider: the inveterate liar and convicted swindler who was the administration's original pick to run postwar Iraq (prior to the unfortunate revelation that he was spying for Tehran) may yet wind up running postwar Iraq -- in collaboration, mind you, with the firebrand cleric who sparked the Fallujah revolt. All we have to say is watch your back, Muqtada:
The two main religious Shiite parties in the interim Iraqi government have already banded together. But they face a formidable challenge to their prominence from an unlikely and possibly anti-American alliance that is looming between Ahmad Chalabi, the former exile and Pentagon favorite, and Moktada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric who ignited two deadly uprisings against the Americans and the interim government.Meanwhile, the assault on Fallujah continues, with American troops attacking a hospital in an effort to stem the flow of negative publicity:
After falling out with the Americans last spring, Mr. Chalabi has recast himself as a pious Shiite and is pursuing a coalition with Mr. Sadr, who has a zealous following. An anti-American platform would have widespread support.
American officials also say the hospital has been a haven for insurgents in what has been a "no-go" zone for American forces for months. And they have made little secret of their irritation with what they contend are inflated civilian casualty figures that regularly flow from the hospital - propaganda, they believe, for the Falluja insurgents, whom they blame for much of the car bombings, beheadings and other acts of terror in Iraq.Apparently Fallujan hospitals are yet another venue in which the Geneva conventions do not apply. And a good thing, too, because otherwise -- as Joe Wezorek of American Leftist explains -- American troops would be guilty, under international law, of flagrant war crimes. Which, considering the shameless opportunism of our foes, could result in further propaganda for the Fallujah insurgents.