Complicated politics in the ME

Iraqi politics certainly is complicated. Try this article.

So, I was at a great Center for American Progress panel yesterday with journalists Nir Rosen and Michael Ware. They have been in Iraq for most of the last five years and get the perspective on the ground the we don’t usually hear about here. Ware said something that just totally blew my mind.

The Badr Organization is the military arm of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI previously known as SCIRI). Now ISCI is closely aligned with Maliki government and is arguably the most significant player in the current central government. In fact significant elements of the Badr Organization have been incorporated into the Iraqi Security Forces.

Now, here is where things start to break down. The Badr Organization (Originally called the Badr Brigades) was originally formed by Iran. But according to Ware many of its members were considered to be part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. And many of them are now considered to be retirees of the IRGC. Which means…wait for it… wait for it…

They still get pensions from the IRGC!! But it gets better. The Bush Administration has classified the IRGC as a terrorist organization!!

So, just so that we’re clear on this. We are building an army full of people who are still getting pension payments from an organization that the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization. And we are basing our entire future in Iraq on that army. Not only that, but when this army decides it’s going to take out its major opponent for power as it did last week, and doesn’t even tell us about it, we still back it up with air power and American troops as it stumbles…

No special knowledge, but part of the general knowledge. The game begins.