Saturday, February 24, 2007

U.S. Apologizes for Detaining Son of a Top Shiite

Who's apologizing now?

The US Military.....for being total idiots and capturing the wrong Shiite leader, the eldest son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, probably THE most powerful Shiite in Iraq. And no American understands what 'powerful' means in these's an all-encompassing primal and tribal power we can't comprehend. Oh, and PS - this is someone who just met with President George Bush in December at the White House! You can bet he's part of the future oil revenue sharing deal in the works.

This is the part where we're losing the 'culture war'. Americans still don't get the nuances of the Sunni / Shiite world in the middle east. Maybe we weren't really going to invade Iran, but after this event, well, perhaps Cheney and his gang will get his way after all.

NYT The American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said he was “sorry” for the detention. The son is himself a senior official in Mr. Hakim’s political movement and has often taken a leading role in building support for his father’s political efforts throughout Shiite-dominated southern Iraq. A Hakim aide suggested that the son was being groomed to take control of the family’s political dynasty.

The detention worsened relations with the Hakims — who spent years in exile in Iran and remain close to Tehran — two months after American forces raided the Hakims’ elaborate Baghdad compound near the Green Zone and detained two Iranians whom they accused of running guns and planning sectarian attacks.