Going to Hell in a Jihadist Handbasket

Bad s*** coming out of Iraq. (Dogrun member) Professor Juan Cole is writing that the situation over in our Mess O’Potamia is lookin’ pretty ominous… in particular, the recent guerrilla bombing of the gold domed Shiite Askariyah Shrine in Samarra, which in turn led to retaliation against Sunnis all over Iraq, with 75 Sunni mosques attacked, including 3 burned to the ground, 3 clerics and 6 people overall killed, on the same day that saw bombings all over Iraq that killed dozens more.
Bruce the Veep suggests that Iran (or, as I prefer to think of it, Iraqi elements closely aligned with Iran) may be responsible for this, just to keep the pot stirred up. Just as (I read somewhere that I can’t find now) that Iran has been very, very instrumental in keeping the hoopla over the Danish cartoon fully stoked.
Let’s just say that this is all very conveeeeenient for the Iranian regime, that is itself maneuvering to avoid likely U.N. sanctions coming soon for its own refusal to abide by international limitations on its nuclear power program (which, of course, is a weapons program…) It should be noted that Israeli and American intelligence estimates that Iran is probably between seven and fifteen years from developing nuclear weapons, but Iran needs to overstate its development for street creds and to deter an American attempt at Iraq-style “regime change”, and the Bush Administration needs bogeymen, real or imagined. Meanwhile, Iran gets to (credibly, to the Middle Eastern “street”) blame the United States, and to some extent, Israel, for the chaos…
None of this diminishes for one moment just how bad things are in Iraq right now. That sectarian civil war that some of us have been promising for nearly the three years since the American invasion just got a whole lot more likely.
Maybe this will work out in some way that isn’t disastrous.
Maybe. But I’m not sure that’s how you bet, right now.