Not a huge deal but this sort of thing is rare enough that it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

He’s a Kurd. Of course.

The Iranian foreign minister said the U.S. troop presence in Iraq had touched off an endless cycle of violence.

“The terrorist group in Iraq says, because of the continuation of the occupation of this country, we are fighting,” he said. “The American says, because of terrorist groups, we continue our staying in Iraq.”

Iraqi Ambassador Siamand Banaa rose to contradict him, and said that Iran itself had benefited from the war in Iraq.

“It would strengthen your case and give it much more depth if you tried to avoid cynicism and hypocrisy,” Banaa said. “The removal of the worst enemy of the Iraqi people and the Iranian people, Saddam Hussein, who caused the death and destruction of hundreds of thousands and almost the bankruptcy of your country, has been, I think, a great advance for you.”

He urged Mottaki to get off “the ‘America always wrong’ brigade.”

“America has also done some great and fantastic things, both in modern history and old, and especially as regards Iraq,” Banaa said.

Banaa said Mottaki’s analysis was wrong, and that without American troops in his country, “it would be a free-for-all, and in fact real civil war.”

Both of them know whose fault that would be, too. But since there’s nothing anyone can do about it, Banaa had to stand there and bite his tongue.

Hitchens, talking to Hugh Hewitt about the fact that he wasn’t asked to testify before the Baker Commission:

I don’t particularly mind being snubbed by someone like James Baker, let alone Mr. Lee Hamilton. I can live with that. But what does annoy me … I can be annoyed on someone else’s behalf. And I know, for example, that our friends in the Kurdistan regional government, which is the most successful and thriving and prosperous and peaceful part … not just only of Iraq, but of the whole region, is a great success of the regime change platform, were not invited to contribute, were not visited in the three provinces of Northern Iraq that they control, and that they’ve kept safe, without losing a single American soldier. In fact, there are hardly any American soldiers needed there, that the committee didn’t travel there when it was in Iraq, it didn’t seek their opinions in Baghdad either, and that seems to me an absolutely grotesque oversight.

If we do redeploy, it should be to Kirkuk.