LEDEEN'S IRANALYSIS. Utterly dedicated to the task of getting us into war with Iran, self-described "Iranologist" Michael Ledeen has taken it upon himself to decide who does and does not qualify as a true Iraqi.

"A footnote to Fred Kagan's exceptional work on events in Iraq: he rightly says "al Qaeda in Iraq is a foreign-run Iraqi terrorist organization." Moreover, one has to stipulate that "Iraqi terrorist" is a term rather more complicated than outfits like al-AP seem to understand. Many Iraqis went to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, where they were trained/indoctrinated by the mullahs for twenty-plus years. We're talking about several million people, not a few cadres. Some of them, along with children, were sent into Iraq to fight us. It's very misleading to simply call them "Iraqis." Maybe they—and their children even more so—should be called "Iranians of Iraqi origin," or "Iranian agents" or some such.

Groups like AQI, along with Shi'ite militias, have a strong "foreign" component well beyond the foreigners who run them."

Yes, many Shia Iraqis went to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, where Iran supported the development of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), now renamed the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, with a view toward eventually overthrowing Saddam Hussein (whom the U.S. was supporting) and installing a friendly government in Baghdad (Mamnun, George W. Bush!). Of course, none of that has anything to do with al-Qaeda, and Ledeen's attempt to confuse and conflate these groups, their origins, and their aims, is clearly meant to create that impression.

--Matthew Duss