Every time I read something about Iraq in particular, or the Middle East in general, I realize that for an American such as myself this part of the world often takes on the form of a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. And I think I'm as fairly well informed on geopolitical issues and the Middle East as anyone short of being able to speak and read Arabic. It always makes me wonder how this region appears to self-satisfied, incurious dolts like our Bicycle Chief, his evil genius Mr. Cheney and the other neoimperialist drum-beaters trying to hurry our national parade back down Little Brown Brother Street.
So when I read - such as here and here - these fascinating summations of recent news items in the Arabic press that suggest that even the Iraqis are being twisted around by the political machinations in play in this benighted land...
Remember the old Kevin Costner movie "No Way Out" (remember when Costner was an actor rather than a punch line of a Bad Joke..? Remember when Sean Young...oh. Oops. Sorry, Sean, you were ALWAYS a Bad Joke - at least, a bad actress. Sorry.) where you spend the whole movie rooting for Kev to outwit the Bad Government Traitor and save the day? Until the KGB controller steps out from behind the two-way mirror and you realize that dear Kev IS the Bad Guy, the Evil Spy, and the whole damn plot you've thought you were seeing is backwards, an immense deception, a farrago of lies that you bought and believed and were invested in?
Yeah, it's kinda like that.
I won't apologize for the cheescake illustration. Bad Actress as she is, Sean is a hell of a lot more scenic than Iyad Allawi or Mookie al Sadr.