Which is worse?
That there are five or six different exile groups vying to control post-war Iraq? Or that each of those five or six groups is allied with a different arm of the United States government?
It's not quite that bad. But it's not that great an exaggeration either. We've touched on this in passing over recent weeks. But the divisions that bedeviled US Iraq politics through the 1990s haven't gotten resolved. And now they could become really acute -- especially since time is now of the essence. (Say what you will about the Iranians, they at least know who they're supporting.) Of course, the Pentagon is in league with Ahmed Chalabi's INC. For years the CIA has been backing the Iraqi National Accord headed up by Iyad Alawi -- basically made of ex-Generals and security types. State has its own theory. (To say that there is bad blood between Chalabi and Alawi is the vastest of understatements.) Zalmay Khalilzad, President Bush's envoy to the Iraqi opposition likes Adnan Pachachi. The list goes on and on. (The Brits had issues like this in their sojourn in Arabia and Iraq.)
It's the Beltway on the Tigris. Just as the divisions of Iraqi politics got played out in Washington during the 1990s, the reverse may happen now.
Tomorrow a really good article is coming out that unpacks this aspect of the story quite nicely. I'll link to it when it goes online.
Coming soon -- the backstory on that New York Times four US bases in Iraq story that Rumsfeld knocked down.