(Sull, Iraq) So America’s liberal newspaper of record is shocked, shocked! that Prime Minister al-Maliki and the Iraqi government are puppets of the Iranian administration.

In what might be more a function of the curtailing of foreign reporters and the use of stringers to report news, one of the most open secrets in Iraq, even as far north as here in Kurdistan, was seen as news by the New York Times the other day. (“U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions,”

Vincent McGuire is a member of the University of Colorado political science faculty, currently on a two-year university teaching fellowship in northern Iraq.