Juan Cole on the latest developments in Iraq:
The entire episode underlines how powerful Iran has become in Iraq. The Iranian government had called on Saturday for the fighting to stop. And by Sunday evening it had negotiated at least a similar call from Sadr (whether the fighting actually stops remains to be seen and depends on local commanders and on whether al-Maliki meets Sadr’s conditions).
So can someone explain to me why Shrub and Cheney are spending $12 billion a month expand the influence of Iran in the Middle East? Is this why we have spent 4000 plus American lives and countless thousands of Iraqi lives? So that Iran can have a clear playing field in Iraq.