Some more data points to help us all celebrate the tenth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Liberation.
* Spy officials say that the next head of CIA’s clandestine branch is savvy, talented and up to her eyebrows in torture. Apparently she worried a bit about accountability for the dozens of prisoners whom we tortured to death. Thank god we chose to look forward. Just think how accountability could destroy the promising careers of those talented
* LA Times, summarizing every analyst they interviewed:
Ten years after Iraq war began, Iran reaps the gains
Speaking of, former Iran spook Robert Baer noted that Iran was Israel’s best and most reliable friend in the mideast, largely due to strong and shared feelings about Sunni dictators in the region. It helped that Iranians felt minimal connection with the Sunni Palestinian militants. Eliminating Saddam turned Iran’s incentives on their head; now they had a shot at empire with only two real rivals for regional hegemony: Saudi Arabia, a military joke with an overfed family of Sunnis uncomfortably ruling a lot of volatile Shi’ites, and Israel.
Of course we could have asked Juan Cole before the war. He would have explained all this without the need for debt, death and geopolitical humiliation.