Just a couple of quick thoughts before I head in to work:
Given that one of the reasons that we’re so implacably opposed to al-Sadr and his motley gangland crew is because they would likely establish an Iranian-style theocracy in Iraq, how weird is it that we’re allowing Iran to take part in the negotiations? Wouldn’t it occur to you that maybe, just maybe, while the parleying’s taking place, there might be some planning for future operations, or at the least, promises of future support?
While I don’t place much stock in allegations of covert Iranian support for al-Sadr (I’ve stated before that the real covert support’s going to Ibrahim al-Jaafari), it is something worth considering.
Look, maybe Wolfowitz isn’t as bad as all that. I’d argue that he’d be worse than Negroponte because of his ideological blinders (the same ones that led him to think Iraq would be pro-Israel), but I’m with Matt Yglesias on this one: if you’re looking to guide the establishment of an Iraqi democracy, John Negroponte is about the last guy you’d want doing the guiding. Except for Elliot Abrams–he’s really bad news. I’m beginning to think that for all the talk of freedom and liberty, if Negroponte gets in there, we’re seriously going to take off the gloves here. I think the first signal of this new approach is our overture to the old senior staff of the Iraqi Army, a group that isn’t noteworthy for their warm and fuzzy approach to fellow Iraqis.
As stated before, I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation in Najaf, and if anything major happens, I’ll post on it. Later today, my victory strategy for Iraq.