Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq on Wednesday forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, marking a sharp break with President Bush’s position and highlighting the growing power of a Shiite Muslim identity across the Middle East.

“The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure,” Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. “I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression.” ~The New York Times

Via Leon Hadar

Never let it be said that Mr. Maliki is simply a toady for American interests! But here’s a small problem for the glorious transformative democratic revolution. If every election in the Near East brings to power people who are either more pro-Iran or more anti-Israel, and perhaps violently so, and this is conventionally considered a Bad Thing in Washington, how many embarrassing contradictions on the ground of the “democracy brings peace” mantra will it take before the administration shelves the entire project as one of those good ideas whose time will never come? But the neocons can take heart–who will now believe that the Iraq War had anything to do with benefiting Israel, when their pet project has probably managed to do more strategic damage to Israel’s position in the region in three years than the combined forces of all of Israel’s enemies have managed in three decades?