"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."
This is a long and complex article, but the up-shot of it is that the Bush administration is funding groups sympathetic to Al-Qaeda - illegally - with Saudi Arabian money. (Anyone old enough to remember Iran-Contra?)
A more accessible version of this is the Fresh Air interview with Seymour Hersh. You'll want to be sitting down when you listen to this. Seymour Hersh has an amazing track record. He was the primary person who broke the Abu Ghraib story in 2004. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1969 coverage of the My Lai massacre.
Apparently the Bush administration is surprised that the Shiites in Iraq are aligning themselves with the Shiites in Iran. The Bush administration continues to view the Middle East as a conflict between moderates and radicals, rather than a sectarian war between the Shiites and the Sunnis, which has been going on for over a thousand years.
One mildly hinted-at implication of the missing billions of dollars from rebuilding Iraq is that those moneys have been redirected to funding militias - either explicitly by our government or indirectly because the lack of accountability for the distribution of funds which allowed corrupt officials in Iraq to redirect the funds. Ouch.
But worse is the use of Saudi Arabian money to fund Sunni radical groups.
And even worse than that is more vague and probably fabricated intelligence that Iran is actually attacking American soldiers in Iraq. Once again, the Bush administration chooses who they want to listen to and ignores everyone else. Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia is a 'friend' of the administration and has been supplying money and highly suspect intelligence about Iran - self-serving intelligence that will get the US to attack Shiite-controlled Iran to the great benefit of Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia.
(C) 2007 Stephen Clarke-Willson