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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

Back to Iraq Iran.

When we went over to Back to Iraq today, we found out that not only has Chris Allbritton left Iraq, but he's also parted ways with Time magazine to go freelance again. For those of you who don't remember Allbritton's earlier freelance work, he raised money online before the Iraq war to pay for him to cover events in Iraq and post his stories online. His immediate plan is to head for Iran, and afterwards to report generally on southwest Asia.

Speaking of Iran, Allbritton also posted his thoughts on whether a US attack on Iran is likely:

Now, the U.S. makes all sorts of plans. I'm sure there plans to nuke Canada or France mouldering away somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon. That doesn't mean they'll ever be dusted off and implemented. So the real question is not "Are we making plans to nuke Iran?" but "How likely is it that we will implement plans to nuke Iran?" A friend of mine who follows this stuff closely told me that he doesn't think Bush has the political capital or time to pull off an attack. As he says, the worst-case/most-likely scenario is that this is a real Bush plan that will never see the light of day after Cheney has little fantasies in the VP bathroom over it. Neo-con porn, in other words. The best-case/least-likely scenario is that this is a feint to convince the Israelis we mean business so they will keep their planes on the ground. Or, alternately, Hersh could be dead-wrong about the whole thing. Maybe he's just doing that thing he does of dangling sexy rumors with enough meat on them to make them interesting and then seeing what bubbles up to the surface after he's turned up the heat. It's a good reportorial strategy to shake things up.

Or it might all be disinformation from the U.S. to get the Iranians to the table. Of course, there's no reason the buzz can't be all of these things and, frankly, that's pretty likely.

At any rate, things are about to get a lot more interesting in the region. I well remember the July 2002 1A story in the NYT outlining the Bush plans to invade Iraq. (4th ID [infantry division] from Turkey! Oops.) As many others have noted, the whole Iranian scenario of WMD, regime change, etc., is stunningly similar to the run-up to the Iraq war.

Allbritton has also re-opened the kitty for donations to support his freelance efforts. If he runs it like last time, people who donate will be the first ones to see his stories. At any rate, we donated to support his Iraq work and plan to donate to support his new efforts — more independent coverage of events in Iraq, Iran, and the Mideast would certainly be a Good Thing.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:24 PM | Get permalink




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