Christopher Hitchens writes in Did the Toppling of Saddam Hussein Lead to Recent Events in Iran?
Which brings me to a question that I think deserves to be asked: Did the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the subsequent holding of competitive elections in which many rival Iraqi Shiite parties took part, have any germinal influence on the astonishing events in Iran? Certainly when I interviewed Sayeed Khomeini in Qum some years ago, where he spoke openly about “the liberation of Iraq,” he seemed to hope and believe that the example would spread. One swallow does not make a summer. But consider this: Many Iranians go as religious pilgrims to the holy sites of Najaf and Kerbala in southern Iraq. They have seen the way in which national and local elections have been held, more or less fairly and openly, with different Iraqi Shiite parties having to bid for votes (and with those parties aligned with Iran’s regime doing less and less well).
Hitchens is proof that one can have a lot of knowledge about something, yet practically no insight. Win Sayeed Khomeini was talking about the “liberation” of Iraq he meant freed from a despot who while a Muslim was a secularist in comparison to both Iran’s hardliners (“Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad) and to Sayeed Khomeini. Thus they would have an Iraq that more closely followed Islamic traditions of governance. Hitchens and the Republican blogs that have linked to him would have us believe that Sayeed Khomeini and the moderates in Iran lead by Mousavi, are a few degrees away from being a liberal Republican from the 60s. Matt Duss goes deeper in to the events in Iran that seem to be so perplexing to Hitchens and The Weakly Standard, The Growing Iranian Clerical Critique Mousavi
As other have noted, Friday’s news that the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom, a prominent Iranian clerical group, have declared Iran’s recent elections illegitimate is pretty significant, though by no means decisive. Even though Khamenei has spent the last years cultivating a stronger and deeper relationship with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), maintaining a genuine sense of religious legitimacy is obviously important for a regime that bills itself as “Islamic,” and the clerics’ statement took a big whack at that already battered legitimacy.
[ ]….It goes without saying, though, that whatever criticisms Qom’s clerics may have of Khamenei, they are not secular democrats seeking to join with the West. Nor have we seen any evidence that Iran’s demonstrators are seeking to eject religion from their political life.
The dynamic in Iran is not all that complicated for anyone that is up to a half hour of reading something other then drivel from the Weakly. Remember Bush did not know the difference between Sunni and Shiite before he decided to occupy Iraq – a glaring lack of knowledge that is responsible for quite a few America deaths – would there have been quite as much sectarian violence if the neocons had understood anything about about the religious and tribal divisions within Iraq. These are the same people who how want our national security policy and diplomatic tact to fellow their lead.
Genuine populism just keeps tripping up Republicans, Wallace let John Boehner falsely claim no stimulus contracts awarded in Ohio
…host Chris Wallace let stand House Minority Leader John Boehner’s false claim that “[i]n Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago,” as part of the economic recovery package, “there hasn’t been a contract let, to my knowledge. And the fact is is that I don’t believe it will create jobs.” In fact, in a June 15 update on the state’s stimulus spending, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) stated, “Combined with the contracts awarded so far using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ODOT has awarded more than $83.9 million in contracts for work on 52 projects — a combination of interstate, local roadway and bridge modernization projects.”
Let’s go with the assumption that House Minority Leader John Boehner is not as dumb as a doorknob. Though dumbness, as an excuse would make him look better then either adding another chapter to his infamous trail of deceptions or he really thinks it is beneath him to keep track of the number of jobs created or lost in his home state.