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April 08, 2008

Al Qaeda is Out, Iran is In
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Probably the single largest trend that's come out of the Republican side of the hearing is the attempt to substitute Iran for Al Qaeda.  In the fall and for the last year the reason we need to stay in Iraq is Al Qaeda.  But now it seems like all the emphasis is on Iran.  This is either because Al Qaeda in Iraq has gotten weaker and we need someone new to fight so that we can justify staying in the middle of what is essentially an ethno-sectarian conflict.  Or it's because the Iran NIE has made it much more difficult to vilify Iran's nuclear weapons program, and so it's time to drum up the "supporting terrorists" card. 

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I think it's both of these - and any other Persian yarn that works: Iran wants hegemony in the Middle East, Iran is going to destabilize Saudi Arabia, Iran wants to take over OPEC, Iran seized American hostages once, Iran is selling us poisoned figs and carpets. As far as the Bush-Republican axis goes, who cares. They'll use any excuse they can drum up for staying in Iraq forever.

If Obama got into power the situation could change dramatically. Here's an interesting article about it: http://observers.france24.com/en/content/20080409-obama-iran-talk-ahmadinejad-banisadr

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The first part of what the President said is sort of boilerplate: we won't impose democracy or our system of government on another country, yada-yada, even when we do.


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