The neo-cons never cease to generate ideas – bad ideas. Incredibly bad ideas.

There has been a lot of speculation about why in the world the CPA would provoke Sadr at this point in time by closing down his newspaper. The result, as we see, is twenty American deaths and mounting, not to mention – because nobody mentions them – the Iraqi deaths, which must be over fifty to eighty.

This article in the Asian Times quotes one Larry Diamond, from the dreaded Hoover institute, that explains part of the mystery:

"We are on the edge of a generalized civil war in Iraq," said Larry Diamond, a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), who told Inter Press Service that occupation authorities must follow through on any crackdown against Muqtada's forces by disarming and dismantling all of Iraq's militias if the transition process and future elections are to have any hope of success.

Diamond, a democracy specialist at the Hoover Institution in California, also called on the administration to sharply increase the number of US troops in Iraq in order to disarm and dismantle the militias, and accused Iran of financing and arming Muqtada and other Shi'ite militias, which he says are building up arms in advance of elections or possible civil war.

"Iran is embarked on a concerned, clever and lavishly resourced campaign to defeat any effort to create a genuine pluralist democracy in Iraq, and we've been sitting back," he said in what has become a growing refrain among neo-conservatives and administration officials who blame Tehran for the coalition's growing problems among the Shi'ites."

In other words, it wasn’t Sadr the loony toons CPA was after – they were striking at Iran. It has been one of the causes of the diehard War fans that we went into Iraq as a preliminary thing, and we are going to follow up by going into Syria and Iran too – a general war-o-rama, followed by privatized Social Security, patriotic mercury in the water, and tax cuts for victims of the SEC’s Gestapo like war on the best and the brightest, that’s the deal. The nightmare world of Bush-ist wish fulfillment is unlikely to be in the offing any time soon, but these players have a puzzling and disproportionate influence. Puzzling, because they have proven to be wrong so often that they have become political liabilities. If there is one thing the Bush administration notices, it is political liability.

So what we are seeing in Iraq is the result of the idea that we had to strike at Iran by striking at those of Iraq’s shi’ites who are close to Iran. As Diamond puts it at the end of this revealing article, better to clean up the militias now, rather than later.

And this man is being paid by the CPA? Surely we need to pack him up and ship him gently back to the Stanford Campus, where he can extensively analyze communist influence in the Civil Rights movement, circa 1965.