As Palestinians swore in their Hamas-dominated parliament, Israel froze contact with the “terrorist” group, and stopped a planned transfer of funds.
Hamas dismissed the effect of the sanctions, and former President Jimmy Carter warns in an Op-Ed that America risks severe consequences if it conspires with Israel to disrupt the transfer of power to Hamas.
Moqtada al-Sadr, who led two deadly uprisings against American troops, now controls enough seats in the Iraqi parliament to be a puppet master. Read the New York Times profile, or check out Truthdig’s Robert Scheer on the ominous implications of Sadr’s ascendancy.
The largely ineffectual interim leader is now set to take formal control of the country. He is backed by theocratic Shiites in Iran and the rabidly anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr in Iraq. A theocratic state, virulently hostile to U.S. interests? Right now Ahmad Chalabi is almost starting to look good in comparison. | story
With America sticking its guns in the eyes of so many Arabs, is it any wonder that Muslim hard-liners have gained so much popular support? Do we need any further proof of the neocon fallacy of Rumsfeld-style shake-n-bake democracy? | story And with right-wing pretenders lingering over Sharon’s deathbed, have prospects for peace in the Mideast ever looked more distant?
The parliamentary results are confirmed: Shiites will dominate both the Sunnis and the Kurds in Iraq. So while the U.S. tries to intimidate Iran over its nukes, Iranian-bred theocratic Shiites—those most hostile to our interests—are in the ascendancy in Iraq. So much for the neocons’ “Field of Dreams” scenario for creating democracy in Iraq: “If you break it, they will come.” | story
Also, read Juan Cole on how Bush created a theocracy in Iraq. | column
And read Robert Scheer on Iran’s victory in Iraq. | item
Update: A former Pentagon analyst is sentenced to 12 years-plus for leaking confidential documents in an attempt to get the U.S. to take the threat of Iran more seriously. | story Update No. 2: Iran and Iraq are already linking arms on the construction of electricity facilities.