No surprises in Seymour Hersh's latest in the current issue of The New Yorker.
The administration is trying to prop up the Shiite Maliki government in Iraq against Iraqi Sunni radicals who account for the bulk of the attacks on U.S. troops. Winning in Iraq means killing Sunni radicals.
By invading Iraq, dissolving the Iraqi army, and installing a Shiite government in Baghdad the Bush administration has improved Iran's influence in the region. Shiite Iran is, naturally, supports the new Shiite government in Iraq.
Meanwhile, to undermine Shiite influence and the emergence of a "Shiite crescent" led by Iran, the administration is working with the Saudis, "spreading the money around as much as we can,” according to a former senior intelligence official and the U.S. government consultant. In the process, "we’re financing a lot of bad guys with some serious potential unintended consequences. We don’t have the ability to determine and get pay vouchers signed by the people we like and avoid the people we don’t like. It’s a very high-risk venture.”
Hersh quotes Vali Nasr, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations:
“The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”So according to the Hersh article, an administration that cannot walk and chew gum at the same time is propping up Iraqi Shiites who hate us. The Iranians are propping up Iraqi Shiites who hate us. And behind the scenes, the U.S. and the Saudis are working to undermine the Shiites by funding Sunni radicals who also hate us (but hate Shiites too). The Saudis did something like this in Afghanistan, financing young Saudi ex-pat fighters -- Sunni radicals -- and building Islamic madrasas and training camps on the Afghan border to support the struggle against the Russian infidels, eventually breeding radical groups like al-Qaeda.
Makes perfect sense. Pass the Kool Aid, please.