As part of the Weekly Standard's ongoing effort cast blame on Iran (and, whenever possible, the Democrats) for the fact that reality has not cooperated with Bill Kristol's bong-hit fantasies about the salutary regional effects of an American invasion of Iraq , Jonathan Karlsuggests that Iraq's refusal to send a representative to the Annapolis conference is due to...the pernicious influence of Iran:
Saudi King Abdullah has pardoned "Qatif girl," the young Saudi Shia woman who was kidnapped and raped, then sentenced to 90 lashes for the crime of being alone with a man to whom she was not related, then sentenced to prison time and an additional 200 lashes for appealing the first sentence.
The "Qatif girl" case caused an international outcry with widespread criticism of the Saudi justice system.
The male and female victims were in a car together when they were abducted and raped by seven attackers, who were given jail sentences up to nine years.
Press reports say King Abdullah's move did not mean the sentence was wrong.
This article in yesterday's Washington Post on Iraqi refugees returning to Baghdad was accompanied by this graphic of the new sectarian make-up of the city. Comparing Baghdad's sectarian distribution in April 2006 to November 2007, we see a city completely transformed, with a majority of the formerly mixed neighborhoods now taken over by Shi'is, most of them supported by the guns of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
As noted below, co-chair of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign Bill Shaheenresigned after not being subtle enough about trying to make Barack Obama's youthful drug use an issue in the primary. Then Hillary Clinton apologized.