Somebody who gets it - Bob Baer on Iraq:
BAER: Yes. (U.S. Ambassador to Iraq) Ryan Crocker said it was the Iranians blocking a basing agreement. It was the Iranians buying elections and buying up the parliament. That tells me that Iran has de facto control over the country. Crocker didn’t say it was just a question of bringing a few parliamentarians around; he said Iran. That was his official statement. Crocker was the ambassador to Lebanon at the time I was there, and he calls this Iraq’s “Lebanonization.” Observers use Serbia as an example for Iraq and say we accomplished a victory there with just American troops. But they did it there with the Sunnis and Shi'a together. They were complicit in lowering the level of violence. Iran could make life hell if they unleash the Shi’a on us, as they’ve already done in the south of Iraq. The Iranians could fight us forever in Iraq, but that doesn’t actually serve their immediate interests. They know to just remain patient because eventually the Americans will leave. I don’t care if we even reach a basing agreement. Iran will undermine it. Unless we’re committed to placing a million troops in the region to contain this empire—as we did the Soviet empire—the basing agreement simply won’t have an effect.