Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hitchens Promises, and Fails to Deliver

The headline of Christopher Hitchen's latest at Slate is intriguing: Neighborhood Watch: Yes, Iran is meddling in Iraqi affairs, but maybe the influence works both ways.

Wow! Now maybe here's some good news that the Mainstream Media hasn't reported. Even while Iranian agents are having great success in their efforts to turn Iraq into a Shiite theocracy, maybe the influence of Iraqi democracy is influencing Iran, creating some sort of movement from below for greater freedom. In the first sentence of the article, we learn that Hitchens was actually in Iran this year, so no doubt his article will be filled with inside details on how what's going on in Iraq is influencing Iran.

But read the article. What a disappointment. Nothing. Hitchens seems to have done some reporting on the Iran's meddling in Iraq, but when it comes to showing that "the influence works both ways, he can only ask rhetorical questions:
everything I can glean from friends and contacts in Iraq makes it ever-clearer that the Iranian state and its clerical proxies made a huge intervention in the Iraqi voting earlier this month, most especially in the southern provinces and in the capital city of Baghdad. It was probable that the Shiite parties would have won anyway, but they made assurance doubly sure by extensive fraud and by using both militias and uniformed policemen to exclude, coerce, or intimidate voters. So, the regional dilemma is now as follows: Will the Iraqi model be one day followed in Iran, or will Iran succeed in imposing its own "model" on Iraq?

Hitchens does tell us that the Ayatollah Sistani is an opponent of Khomeniism and that he has some influence in Iran. Thanks for that-- Hitchens could have saved himself a trip to Iran and reported this hot news back in 2003.