Know Your Enemy

New York Times: "Mr. Bush also accused Iran of arming, training and financing the militias fighting against the Iraqi forces." Would it have killed the Times to point out that Iran is also arming, training, and financing the militias fighting alongside the Iraqi forces? After all, the government of Iran has extremely cordial relations with the government of Iraq and our main militia allies in Iraq were literally created in Iran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. This context certainly seems relevant.

Meanwhile, is there any real precedent for the sort of repeated misstating the identity of the enemy that we've seen from the Bush administration? Recall that it took years for the administration to grudgingly acknowledge the existence of a non-AQI Sunni Arab insurgency even though this insurgency had long been the US military's primary adversary. But now we're supposed to believe that everyone we and our Iranian-backed allies fight are Iranian. Sure.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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