Middle East

Freeman: "Iraq Is Not a Flimsy Construction"


If I can add to Matt Welch's post on the execrable Chas Freeman (I blogged his Tiananmen massacre apologetics here): It should be pointed out that, despite his position as former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Freeman seems not to have too deep an understanding of the history of the Middle East. For instance, after the first Gulf War, Freeman told the left-wing journalist Alexander Cockburn that the prospect of an Iraq fractured by sectarian warfare was unlikely because, after all, the Shia and Sunni are actually pretty close pals.

"The behavior of the Iraqi Shia in the Iran-Iraq war convinced the Saudis that the Shia were not Iranian surrogates. Washington was obsessed by that idea, and attributed it to the Saudis. I don't know where all this panic about the breakup of Iraq came from. After all, Mesopotamia has been there for quite a while-about six thousand years. Iraq is not a flimsy construction."

Also, it is perhaps worth mentioning that The Nation's Robert Dreyfuss, quoted in Welch's post denouncing the "neocons [and] friends of the Israeli far right" that oppose Freeman (like liberal blogger Matt Yglesias), is a former Middle East editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, house organ of the Lyndon LaRouche movement.