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Born Under a Cloud of Irony

This is the title of a scary article by Robert Scheer in the Los Angeles Times [via Rittenhouse Review]. Irony, yes; but it's the fear factor that gets me. How much further can we screw things up in Iraq and turn their people against us?

The ironies are flowing thicker than crude oil in Iraq these days.

First, the United States surreptitiously turns over nominal control of the country to a government appointed by outsiders while leaving real power in the hands of U.S. military commanders and calls it an exercise in democracy.

And although the interim prime minister is a former member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who later conducted anti-Hussein terrorist operations on behalf of the CIA � operations in which innocent Iraqi civilians may have been killed � his anointment as leader of a "free Iraq" is being hailed by President Bush as a great victory in the war on terror.

According to several former intelligence officials interviewed by the New York Times this month, the political group run by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in the 1990s, but financed by the CIA, "used car bombs and other explosive devices smuggled into Iraq" in an attempt to sabotage and destabilize Hussein's regime.

With such a record, it is perhaps not strange then that Allawi, who built his exile organization with defecting Iraqi military officers, is already proclaiming the need to delay elections scheduled for January and impose martial law. On Monday Bush said coalition forces would support such a call for martial law, presumably enforced by U.S. troops.

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