Newsweekreports on Muqtada al-Sadr's role vis-a-vis the surge:
Gen. David Petraeus has been deservedly praised for tamping down violence in Iraq, but an unlikely character deserves some credit—Sadr. Five months ago the firebrand cleric ordered his followers to lay down their arms, and they've largely obeyed...American officers now talk about "splitting the seams" within the Shiite militia—working with moderates in the group to isolate the radicals, similar to the strategy adopted to tame the Sunni insurgency.
If we were concerned about Iranian influence, we should not have had this government installed in the first place, [and] we shouldn't have invaded [Iraq] in the first place. It was part of the reason that I think it was such a profound strategic error for us to go into this war in the first place.
Let's all just take a moment to thank our lucky stars that Rudy Giuliani, a man who relentlessly tried to capitalize on the fear and confusion that Americans felt, and still feel, about 9/11, who tried and tried to sell himself as the embodiment of America's rage and the instrument of its unreasoning vengeance, and who offered America nothing but a future of disunity at home and endless war abroad, will not be president. If you have a loved one nearby, go hug him or her now.
Noah Pollak has a follow-up smear to his earlier smear of Samantha Power, in which, among other delights, he interprets Powers' suggestion (in a 2002 interview, during one of the most violent periods of the second intifada) of the possible necessity of an American-led peacekeeping force in Palestinian areas as advocacy for "an American ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories." You know, if you squint really hard and tilt your head ... no, not really.
Over at Contentions, Noah Pollakwrites “there has been an awakening in recent days to the presence of a disturbing number of foreign policy advisers to the Obama campaign who harbor hostile views of Israel.” As evidence of this “awakening,” Pollak offers a couple of articles by Ed Lasky, the substance of which hovers somewhere around your basic right-wing chain email, and a