Hersh for the lazy

[Seymour Hersh’s latest piece on Iran](http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/061127fa_fact) isn’t one of his greatest hits, but there are still some fascinating nuggets…

>In the past six months, Israel and the United States have also been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance group known as the [Party for Free Life in Kurdistan](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_a_Free_Life_in_Kurdistan). The group has been conducting clandestine cross-border forays into Iran

Having this run as a military rather than a CIA operation apparently reduces the need for the US administration to report on it. But most of the article isn’t about covert ops so much as it’s about showing how crazy the people in power are:

>many in the White House and the Pentagon insist that getting tough with Iran is the only way to salvage Iraq…..They believe that by tipping over Iran they would recover their losses in Iraq–like doubling your bet. It would be an attempt to revive the concept of spreading democracy in the Middle East by creating one new model state.

um. Iran is at least somewhat democratic – imperfect, but certainly more appealing than a US puppet imposed by force. So here’s another idea for saving Iraq:

>The White House believes that if American troops stay in Iraq long enough-with enough troops-the bad guys will end up killing each other, and Iraqi citizens, fed up with internal strife, will come up with a solution.

In their defence, although the optimism is misplaced, getting the army out of Iraq’s cities isn’t a bad start. Back to Iran, and another example of the American tendency to exaggerate Sunni-Shia differences:

>A nuclear-armed Iran would not only threaten Israel. It could trigger a strategic-arms race throughout the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt-all led by Sunni governments-would be compelled to take steps to defend themselves.

And finally, yet another reason why bombing Iran is a very stupid idea:

>the C.I.A.’s assessment suggested that Iran might even see some benefits in a limited military strike-especially one that did not succeed in fully destroying its nuclear program in that an attack might enhance its position in the Islamic world.

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