Friday, August 20, 2004

You Are Smarter than Andrea Mitchell 

You already knew you were smarter than Ms. Mitchell despite the fact that you do not get paid big bucks to pontificate on subjects you know nothing about. You knew this because you are not obliged to have sex with Alan Greenspan under any circumstances.

However, in regard to at least one of those subjects, I heard Ms. Mitchell say just last night that "the situation in Najaf is complicated by the fact that nobody knows what Muqtada al-Sadr wants." This proves that she does not read Juan Cole, and since we DO, we know what al-Sadr wants. NBC should just fire her increasingly sorry ass and hire the Corrente Collective as her replacement.
So, I don't understand the widespread puzzlement reported by AP. It may not be a simple set of positions, but they aren't hidden from view or hard to understand.

I don't understand this confusion. Muqtada has given many sermons and interviews in the past 16 months outlining his goals exactly.

1) He wants the US troops out of the country immediately, which is to say, an end to Occuption. If there have to be foreign troops in Iraq, he wants them under a United Nations command.

2) He refuses to cooperate (he would say "collaborate") with the caretaker government of Iyad Allawi, which he sees as a puppet regime installed by the United States. He insists that no legitimate Iraqi governmental process can begin until the US is out...

5) He wants Iraqi Shiism to emerge from Iran's shadow and to establish its independence from Iran. His movement is rooted in the Shiite ghettos of Iraq and is very indigenous. He is not Iran's catspaw in Iraq, quite the opposite. He is strong Iraqi nationalist.
As you can tell from the numbering, Dr. Cole makes several other points in this piece, which you are encouraged to read. However Ms. Mitchell was still spouting the party line about "al-Sadr is fronting for Iran" on last night's broadcast, so we see that her idea of "reporting" consists of "reading Occupation press releases" rather than doing, like, research.

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