If you can forget the giant sucking hole where our strategy ought to be, and the total hopelessness of it all, Iraq can be a real pleasure to watch just for the sheer coolness of the videos coming out lately. My favorite is the footage showing the bomb going off in the cafeteria of the Iraqi Parliament.
The set-up was classic comedy: a reporter from Al-Hurra, our billion-dollar try at translating Fox News into Arabic, was interviewing a Shi'ite mullah - one of those crusading democracy heroes who also kind of appreciate the $5,000 monthly salaries and $7,000 expense accounts. The reporter's asking the Mullah some fake question when there's a big WHAM! through the wall.
That noise was a bomb going off in the legislature's official cafeteria. It was one of the Honorable Gentlemen from the Jihadi Party saying in real clear language, "I beg to differ." It wasn't exactly Robert's Rules of Order, but it got the point across. "Point of or-duh, Mis-tuh Chairman! I wish to ask the House's indulgence while I pull this little string and blow you to hell before you can finish your American-taxpayer funded hummus lunch special! I wish to express myself with these little ball bearings! I wish to splatter my colleagues, very rare, over the steam tables!"
That, as the hippies say, "is what democracy looks like."Or in this case, "sounds like." It was the noise of somebody detonating an explosive belt, or vest, or some other item of the local tailoring specialty: Semtex accessories. In order to pull his pop-top, the bomber had to get through five separate checkpoints.
So I had to laugh when CNN spent days asking its high-priced military experts (re: media assets) if this might be "an inside job." Gee, ya think? Nah, maybe he just brought in the plastique on a serving tray, told the cooks it was a slab of tuna for the sushi lunch deal. If they asked about the wires coming out of it, he could say it was the latest spa fad from Osaka: acupuncture to stimulate the freshness cells.
Christ, of course it was an inside job. There's no other kind of job in Iraq. Here's the bottom line that nobody wants to face: Nobody is on our side in Iraq. Nobody.