Sunday, February 25, 2007

One of these things is not like the other 

Three phrases struck me from the most recent Sy Hersh article about the Bush Administration Sunni-Shiite shennigans in the Middle East.
Short summary: the Bush Administration (ie Cheney) is, at the behest of the Saudis, now supporting the Sunnis -- even though they are the Iraqi insurgents and Al Qaeda -- instead of the Shiites -- even though they are the majority in Iraq -- because the Shiites are the majority in the new bogeyman Iran. And Lebannon and Hezbollah and Syria and the Saudi government are in there somewhere too, and there's apparently lots of money floating around for off-the-books secret operations.
Anyway, back to the three phrases.
First was this description from Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
The new diplomatic approach ..."shows a real degree of effort and sophistication as well as a deftness of touch not always associated with this Administration."
Second was a description from "a former senior intelligence official" of why John Negroponti quit as ubermeister of US intelligence:
Negroponte "had problems with this Rube Goldberg policy contraption for fixing the Middle East."
Third was this description from "a former National Security Council aide" of the CIA reaction:
"The C.I.A. is asking, 'What's going on?' They're concerned, because they think it's amateur hour."
Now, which of these three is not like the others?
And, given the history and past performance, which would you tend to believe is the most accurate description of what the Bush Administration is now doing in the Middle East?

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