Iraq on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fawaz Gerges, professor in Middle East and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence College and author of The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global, offers analysis of the Crocker and Petraeus testimony in yesterday's Congressional hearings. Michael Hirsh, senior editor at Newsweek's Washington Bureau, joins in to comment on Obama's call for diplomacy in Iran, and how Obama and Clinton differ in their plans to stabilize Iraq.


Fawaz Gerges and Michael Hirsh

Comments [11]

megan from Park Slope

Erin - Iran did not "win the hearts" of the Iraqis. That's a lovely revisionist fantasy that might be good fuel for a little Bush/America bashing.

Iran's influence in Iraq is more about the bloodshed Iran funds in Iraq with it's petrodollars that should be going to the increasingly disatisifed Iranian people who, apart of the ruling elite and those in bed with the Mullahs, are living in dire poverty.

Apr. 09 2008 10:51 AM
Chris O from New York

Saddam and his clique were enemies with Iran. When we deposed him and enforced deBaathification, what the hell did we think would happen? We also deposed the Taliban, another enemy of Iran. Of course, the latter was necessary.

But you have to wonder: Is it possible that George Bush is an Iranian agent? A Revolutionary Guard mole? If he was, it would explain a lot. At any rate, they should make him an honorary member at this point since he has been the greatest thing to happen to the Iranian regime since it came into existence. Not only have their neighboring enemies been removed, but oil is over $100/barrel.

Apr. 09 2008 10:51 AM
laura from UWS

Please define Fascism: Mussolini first used the term c. 1932 to mean the union of corporate business with government!

May I suggest referring to "Big Brother" or "Thuggishness" to indicate surveillance or heavy-handedness?


Apr. 09 2008 10:47 AM
Erin from Manhattan

While we were busy bulldozing Iraq with pure military force, Iran was busy winning the hearts of many Iraqis while portraying the US as the enemy. Just another example of a flawed strategy on our part. The Bush Administration would argue that diplomacy can't work, but the Iranians have shown that it can... and now we must reap the effects.

Apr. 09 2008 10:44 AM
Robert from NYC

You got it Chris, they think we are stupid. They lie. There's the Betrayer along with his Crock. All to bow to the Big W, the incompetent, pickled brained fool.

Apr. 09 2008 10:43 AM
MCH from Brooklyn

Just a point of correction: Obama is on the Foreign Relations Committee, not the Armed Services. Clinton and McCain are on Armed Services which is chaired, I believe by Carl Levin. Obama's idea is a rather bold one. It would be interesting to see how it would play out. I can't think of any time that strategy has been used.

Apr. 09 2008 10:40 AM
megan from Park Slope

Iran's covert campaign to reshape Iraq has been clear since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Iranian intelligence officers prepared lists of Iraqis for assassination in the weeks and months after the war began; they sent Iranian-trained mullahs to take over the Shiite mosques of central and southern Iraq that had been smashed by Saddam Hussein; they pumped an estimated $12 million a week in covert financial support to their allies as the January 2005 election approached; they infiltrated all the major Shiite political parties, and many of the Sunni ones, too.
The Iranians have fixed the political game. They are on all sides at once. They have links to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Dawa party; they funnel money to the Badr organization of Shiite cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, which is a key recruiting ground for the Iraqi army; they provide weapons, training and command and control for the most extreme factions of the Mahdi Army. Moqtada al-Sadr, the Mahdi Army's nominal leader, is living in the Iranian city of Qom.

The Iranians were able to start the recent trouble in Basra and Baghdad through one set of operatives, then negotiate a cease-fire through another. In short, they play the Iraqi lyre on all its strings.

Apr. 09 2008 10:40 AM
laura from UWS

I don't quite trust the opinions of guests on Iraq and Iran unless we had full disclosure about them. It all sounds good, but there has been so much spin and bias. Also, if I knew what these guests had said before we invaded Iraq---did anybody get it right about predicting the ferocious chaos? THAT would be the guest I'd like to hear.

Apr. 09 2008 10:39 AM
Harry from NYC

From the holy city of New York City, I don’t know how you are supposed to talk to the holy people of Iran in the holy country of Iran until they allow inspectors in to monitor the holy reactor and make sure they aren’t building a holy H bomb!

Apr. 09 2008 10:39 AM
Marco from Manhattan

America learns geography (and Islamic politics) by going to war.

Apr. 09 2008 10:38 AM
Chris O from New York

It is pretty confusing. I remember Iran got credit for mediating and end to the fighting in Basra last week. Then Petraeus and Crocker are telling us that Iran is arming the insurgents and encouraging the fighting. Do they think we are so stupid that we can't remember last week's news?

After watching the hearings, I believe Crocker and Petraeus are lying about Iran and scapegoating Iran to cover up and explain away their own dilemma and Iran's victory in our Iraq war.

Apr. 09 2008 10:38 AM

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