Charles Krauthammer, “The Shiite ‘Menace,’” The Washington Post, May 2, 2003:
Before the war even began, the critics were predicting that Iraq was going to be the Bay of Pigs (plus “Desert One, Beirut and Somalia,” said the ever-hyperbolic Chris Matthews). A week into the war, we were told Iraq was Vietnam. Now, after the war, they’re telling us that Iraq is Iran — that Iraq’s Shiite majority will turn it into another intolerant Islamic republic.
The critics were wrong every time. They are wrong again. Of course there are telegenic elements among the Shiites who would like fundamentalist rule by the clerics. But even the majority of Iranians oppose the rule of the mullahs and consider the Islamic revolution a disaster. The Shiite demonstrators in Iraqi streets represent a highly organized minority, many of whom are affiliated with, infiltrated by and financed by Tehran, the headquarters for 20 years of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
These Iranian-oriented Shiite extremists are analogous to the Soviet-oriented communists in immediate post-World War II Italy and France. They too had a foreign patron. They too had foreign sources of money, agents and influence. They too had a coherent ideology. And they too were highly organized even before the end of the war. They too made a bid for power. And failed.
These days, of course, Krauthammer would have nothing but scorn for anyone who doesn’t want to see American troops fighting, killing, and dying for an indefinite period of time all for the sake of SCIRI’s hold on power.