There’s an irony in that irony (Plus me showing off).

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

In 2004, “radical Shiite Muslim cleric” Muqtada Sadr took control of the holy places in Kerbala and led a bloody, extended anti-US uprising there. In the end, the US military was compelled by Shiite leaders to allow Sadr’s Mahdi Army to leave the city under the protection of a cease fire. However, the US still vowed to crush Sadr in the future.
I posted this on Edgewise on 11/11/04
The Iraqization Program
DKo: The apparent reliance on former Kurdish militia as backup is explosive…. All of which tends to make Moktada al Sadr the tipping point, hence the kingmaker. Will the US accept that? Can Bush sell it as the success that vindicates the war?
And sure enough, per the NYT this Wednesday, 2/15/06
Radical Cleric Rising as a Kingmaker in Iraqi Politics
Late Saturday night, on the eve of a crucial vote to choose Iraq’s next prime minister, a senior Iraqi politician’s cellphone rang. A supporter of the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr….said that there’s going to be a civil war among the Shia if Mr. Sadr’s preferred candidate was not confirmed….The widely favored candidate lost by one vote, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari…was anointed as Iraq’s next leader.
“Everyone was stunned; it was a coup d’etat”….It was a crowning moment for Mr. Sadr….The man who led the Mahdi Army militia’s two deadly uprisings against American troops in 2004 now controls 32 seats in Iraq’s Parliament, enough to be a kingmaker. He has an Islamist vision of Iraq’s future, and is implacably hostile to the Iraqis closest to the United States–the mostly secular Kurds, and Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister.
So, there’s the first irony.
And, per the LA Times today, 2/16/06
Iraqi Shiite Bloc Showing Cracks
Leaders of [Muqtada Sadr’s] party threaten to break away if the alliance doesn’t reach out to Sunnis and restrain paramilitary groups.
And there’s the second.

At Last! A Voice for “The Aspirations of the Iranian People”

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Rice Asks for $75 Million to Increase Pressure on Iran, Washington Post
“…including expanding radio and television broadcasts into Iran and promoting internal opposition to the rule of religious leaders….'[W]e are going to work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom in their own country,’ Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee…”
DKo: At last! A voice for “the aspirations of the Iranian people.” For far too long, we have just stood by and left Iranian politics to be dominated by special interests.
(The Post article)

Cultural Conservatism–Eerily Apt from Lenin

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

“In civilized Europe [i.e., the USA of his day], with its highly developed machine industry, its rich, multiform culture and its constitutions, a point of history has been reached when the commanding bourgeoisie, fearing the growth and increasing strength of the proletariat, comes out in support of everything backward, moribund, and medieval …”
(V. I. Lenin, “Backward Europe and Advanced Asia,” Collected Works, Vol. 19, pp 9pff. Quoted from Against Method, Paul Feyerabend, page 147)

If it was unlawful, they are whistleblowers

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Inquiry Into Wiretapping Article Widens NYT
“…a rapidly expanding criminal investigation into…a New York Times article…that disclosed the existence of a highly classified domestic eavesdropping program…”
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DKo: I have no legal expertise, but this is my instinctive lay-person’s reaction:
If the NSA eavesdropping was unlawful, or even if it’s lawfulness was so seriously questionable as to require a legislative/judicial review, or if the secrecy surrounding it was illicit, then the leakers and reporters involved were whistleblowers, and are entitled to the standard legal protections due to whistleblowers.
(And the rewards: If the program is halted, or if the spending on it was unlawful at the time–prior to some future enabling legislation–then they should be paid a percentage of the spending, the standard whistleblower’s reward.)
If they do face punishment, that may give them legal “standing” to compel judicial review of the program’s legality in their trials, independently of congress. But if congress proceeds with investigations or even considers remedial legislation, without invoking protection for the people who showed the courage to bring it to their attention, it will be sickening cravenness.