But Powerline's analysis, I thought, was rather pecuilar:
Amanpour's breathless report implies that only the belligerence of the President Bush, who unaccountably included Iran in the "Axis of Evil," frustrates a full alliance between these nations, both of whom, she says, are bitterly opposed to al Qaeda.
Many others, of course, believe that top al Qaeda leaders are now inside Iran. And it is not hard to argue that from 1979 to the present, the foreign power that has most consistently been at war with the U.S. is Iran.
Now, aside from who these "many others" are (hint--if they've got names like "curveball", run), and aside from the problem that we've yet to have been at war with Iran since 1979 (in contrast to Iraq and Serbia), this is a rather odd point. It seems unlikely that Shi'ite Iran is harboring top leaders of Sunni al-Qaeda. If they are not, then Powerline's argument kind of falls apart, obviously, and the non-presence of al-Qaeda in Iran lends credance to the idea that we should ally with them against al-Qaeda, and that the Bush administration has been foolish in not pursuing that avenue. But if Powerline is right, then we're faced with the fact that our foreign policy has done something to spook Iran so much that they're willing to support their bitter enemy in a fight against us. I don't really expect the Powerliners to have a particularly intricate grasp of the Sunni/Shi'ite split, but suffice to say a hardline Sunni group will consider Shi'ites to be heretics, and vice versa. It can only be a failure on our part that we've managed to allow what should have been an impossible alliance to manifest itself, because we insist on playing macho cowboy or whatever.
So either way, we're faced with a failure of foreign policy that can be chalked up to the Bush administration. No surprise over here, I know, but it amuses me that this flows so precisely from Powerline's own analysis of the Iranian situation.