Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 22, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SENDING MESSAGES....The Guardian has a story today featuring lengthy analysis from "a senior US official in Baghdad" about Iran's intentions in Iraq:

The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat.

...."Certainly it [the violence] is going to pick up from their side. There is significant latent capability in Iraq, especially Iranian-sponsored capability. They can turn it up whenever they want. You can see that from the pre-positioning that's been going on and the huge stockpiles of Iranian weapons that we've turned up in the last couple of months. The relationships between Iran and groups like al-Qaida are very fluid," the official said.

....Any US decision to retaliate against Iran on its own territory could be taken only at the highest political level in Washington, the official said. But he indicated that American patience was wearing thin.

I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true. If it is, and Iran is being so unsubtle about it that we already know their plans, then the Iranian leadership is populated by morons. After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there. Even Feingold and Reid would vote against Feingold-Reid if that happened.

But put that aside since the truth is unknowable. It's still telling that a senior U.S. official in Baghdad, presumably with the authorization of his superiors, decided to give a lengthy and public warning to Iran that included the possibility of "retaliating against Iran on its own territory." Question: who is senior enough to say stuff like that? And who is senior enough to give him the green light?

Kevin Drum 1:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (117)

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Comments

I think you are right on both counts.

Smells.

Posted by: Monzie on May 22, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

I don't believe it for a second. If they had proof they would have released it.

Shia's working with al-Quaida/Sunni because Iran controls they strings? It's Cheney's bullshit again.

Posted by: padcrasher on May 22, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

"But he indicated that American patience was wearing thin."

Is there anything American that isn't wearing thin?

Posted by: Kenji on May 22, 2007 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody in the government has the authority to speak like that.

It was a consensus decision, which was developed through a process.

Posted by: trainwreck on May 22, 2007 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Shenanigans!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 22, 2007 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Pfffft. Whatever. This is just an effort to make the insurgency appear monolithic. G.T.F.O.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on May 22, 2007 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

C'mon Kevin! You know this is bullshit. Al Qaeda and Iran working together?!? This is more neocon war mongering.

Posted by: D. on May 22, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Shiites and Sunnis stopping the killing of each other (dozens each night) in order to orchestrate attacks against the U.S. which will prove to be a propoganda coup and we will then decide it is time to leave.

Fuck me running. If the plan included a death ray or "methods so extreme we can't disclose them" I would be at least entertained. As it is, I am sick of this shit, and I'm not sure why this post doesn't focus on the absolute bullshit of this news as opposed to wondering who is allowed to spew such bullshit.

Posted by: abject funk on May 22, 2007 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Shiites and Sunnis stopping the killing of each other (dozens each night) in order to orchestrate attacks against the U.S. which will prove to be a propoganda coup and we will then decide it is time to leave.

Fuck me running. If the plan included a death ray or "methods so extreme we can't disclose them" I would be at least entertained. As it is, I am sick of this shit, and I'm not sure why this post doesn't focus on the absolute bullshit of this news as opposed to wondering who is allowed to spew such bullshit.

Posted by: abject funk on May 22, 2007 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true.

Kevin, didn't you just say several weeks ago that "in fact, there's a dirty little secret of the Iraq war that neither party is eager to acknowledge publicly: namely that the fastest way to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is probably for us to leave and let the Iraqis do it themselves"

But now with this latest report from US commanders, we know even if America withdraws Al-Qaeda will still be there because Iran and the Shiite militias (like Al-Sadr's) will be backing and working with them. What could be worse than Al-Sadr and Al-Qaeda and Iran attacking America together?
It's great you realize you were wrong before about how Iran/Al-Sadr/Shiites/Al-Qaeda can't be working together, but I wish you could be more honest about how liberals were completely wrong about the working relationship between the Shiites and Al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Al on May 22, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Al, you irrepressible moron, there have been plenty of signs that when al Qaeda try to push their extremist ways on the populace even their willingness to kill US soldiers is not enough to prevent them being rejected forcibly by the people.

So, as ever, the only reason they, al Qaeda, are there is because we, the US, are there. They've said as much and, in fact, don't ever want us to leave as it is the best recruiting/money raising medium they've ever had.

Will you ever stop spewing garbage?

Posted by: notthere on May 22, 2007 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

First, we might want to reflect on that embarassing (all round) capture of of the UK seamen and marines. The Irani government didn't seem to know anything about what the revolutionaries were doing, and put an end to it once they got their heads together.

Secondly, it's not like we're not trying to forment all kinds of problems for Iran, both internally and internationally in any way we can.

Third, and I know this is hard for some to remember, no one, no one asked us to go bumbling into Iraq and upset the apple cart on Iran's doorstep. Of course they've got ligitimate interests in this outcome which is something brainbox has stubbornly (there's a surprise) denied them.

I don't discount the threat or the difficulties all this might create, but in the manner stated this strikes as both a little hysterical and little whiney. "They're doing bad things better than we're doing bad things. Moooommmmy!"

Posted by: notthere on May 22, 2007 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

It's just more hyperbole & BS to convince the American public to bomb Iran. The War mongering Corporate Aristocracy are slyly using McCain, Guillianni & Gingrich comments/bloopers to put in the viewers minds that a Churchilian style bombing of Iran & Syria & killing multitudes of Islamics for the sake of Freedom & God, might just be an OK thing.

Open your eyes. Your Govt. are war criminals working w/ wealthy armament, media, construction, finance & fossil fuel industrialists to prolong this 'bogus war' so they can keep the massive profits coming in. The soldiers are merely disposable pawns used by these Elite chess players. They stir up the Islamic hornet's nest & make big bucks in the process. Evil stuff.

Posted by: nasking on May 22, 2007 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

As someone else noted earlier there have been quite a few double posts.

I got a "page not found" screen before I sent this post earllier, so this repeat must have spinning around the ether for 17 minutes before arriving here now.

Well, that's my excuse, anyway.

Posted by: notthere on May 22, 2007 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Why does the Guardian make us guess at the identity of this official? The guy is obviously trying to send a message to Iran (and seed the ground for military action with the US public). If the Guardian says, "No on-the-record quote, no story," the guy doesn't get his message out. This kind of interview seems like pretty obvious territory for the press to insist that the source be ID'd by name.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on May 22, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure you meant to imply that these bufoons are elite chess players rather than an elite playing chess with others' lives.

Personally, no matter how much money and power they've stolen from the US public, I refuse to see them as any kind of elite. Just a bunch of not very clever criminals that were allowed a 6 year run by their compliant comrades in Coingress.

Posted by: notthere on May 22, 2007 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

mattsteinglass, I am with you on that. It's normal operating procedure for this administration to use these unidentified sources, but when it comes to using the press as a conduit for diplomatic warnings it crosses a line. Big time.

Goodnight.

Posted by: notthere on May 22, 2007 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there.

Is this just some macho emotion you feel in your gut, or does this change the actual situation such that staying becomes worthwhile?

If it's just tough guyism, there's a portion of the country who've had enough.

Posted by: Boronx on May 22, 2007 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

Kenji: "Is there anything American that isn't wearing thin?"

Sure: the bank accounts and stock portfolios of the richest 1%. The stupidity of the wingnuts. The duplicity and mendacity of the Bushies. The worthlessness of 'moderate' Republicans who are willing to say a few critical words about Bush from time to time, but never vote against him when it matters.

None of these things are wearing thin.

Posted by: RT on May 22, 2007 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

From the Guardian: US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat. "We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus's report in September

According to this article, it's almost a partnership between the anti-war Americans and the insurgents. The anti-war folks say to the insurgents: Give us violence and we will force American withdrawal from Iraq.

The insurgents, backed by Iran, al Qaeda and Sunni elements, will provide the requested terrorism at the approprate time.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 22, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

My computer doesn't like my change of online identity. But be that as it may...

First, why on earth would Iran be eager to see us gone from Iraq? The longer we stay, the weaker both we and Iraq will be, the less of a threat we'll represent to Iran, and the easier it will be for Iran to manipulate (or even grab territory from) Iraq once we leave.

Second, if they want us gone from Iraq, why would they work through the Sunnis and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQIA)?

a) Both the Sunnis and AQIA are their enemies; why strengthen them, especially since the weapons given to them to use against us can also be used against Iraq's Shi'ites? Why would Iran want to hurt their allies?

b) If the Iraqi Shi'ites could be shown proof that Iran's arming the Sunnis and AQIA, then the Iran-Shi'ite Iraq alliance would be on the rocks. Can you imagine anything more geopolitically stupid for the Iranians? Neither can I. I don't believe they're that stupid.

c)The Sunnis and AQIA are insufficient to the job of driving us out of Iraq. Even with better weapons, they probably can't change the political equation that much. There just aren't enough of them. After four years, that should be pretty obvious.

d) If Iran really wanted us out of Iraq, they'd try to get their Shi'ite allies to rise up against us. That's the condition that could force us out. Our troops in Iraq depend on a long and vulnerable supply line from Kuwait to Baghdad; if we lose the forbearance of the Shi'ites, we lose that supply line, and are limited to the troop strength that we can resupply by air, which is much smaller.

3) As long as we have upwards of 100,000 troops in Iraq, any threat against Iran has no credibility. Anyone paying attention to this chess game knows that if we attack Iran, we lose Shi'ite Iraq, our supply line gets cut, and we have to retreat to our permanent bases, our 'lily pads,' and eventually get forced out of country altogether.

So this whole thing is bullshit from beginning to end.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on May 22, 2007 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

Why would one believe anything in the Guardian? Why would anyone believe anything this administration is saying via its friends in the media? Haven't you Americans been sucked into enough wars in your history with this kind of second-rate propaganda to ever learn anything?

Posted by: alpha on May 22, 2007 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

The anti-war folks say to the insurgents: Give us violence and we will force American withdrawal from Iraq.

Did anybody else see those big demonstrations on the news - the big gatherings of liberals carrying pro-insurgency signs and chanting for violence?

No?

Me neither.

You're just a stupid fuck, aren't you, ex-lib.

Posted by: skeg on May 22, 2007 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't the Iraqis and the Iranians be surprised to awaken one morning to clouds of dust and the smell of burning tires, after our military vehicles laid rubber in a race to get out of this shithole?

Elect a Democrat to the White House in 2008 and this lovely image might become reality. Elect a Republican and expect more death and torture. The GOP = The Party with No Vision and No Future.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 22, 2007 at 5:49 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: it's almost a partnership between the anti-war Americans and the insurgents. The anti-war folks say to the insurgents: Give us violence and we will force American withdrawal from Iraq.

It's interesting to note how, as the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, Bush's feckless incompetence becomes more exasperating to the American people and the lunatic bloodthirsty ambitions of the neocons are revealed as responsible for one of the worst disasters in American history, "ex-liberal"'s posts grow more provocative and offensive. It's a tacit admission that he/she/it recognizes that Bush's fuck-uppery has wrecked Iraq and endangered America, and that the Republican party won't be trusted with national security for a generation.

What's particularly disgusting is that the antiwar folks insist that Bush actually provide security, not chaos and bloody anarchy, in Iraq, as is the occupying powers duty. And, of course, in four years Bush has failed at that, as he has everything else. Now not only does "ex-liberal" admit that the US and Iraqis are powerless to prevent the violence, but also implies that even expecting order and objecting to wasting American blood and treasure in a futile effort to police a civil war is some sort of radical idea.

Shame on you, "ex-liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on May 22, 2007 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

The insurgents, backed by Iran, al Qaeda and Sunni elements, will provide the requested terrorism at the approprate time.

Note, also, how "ex-liberal" dishonestly pretends that the insurgency, Shiites, Sunni and terrorist forces are all on the same side.

No, skeg, "ex-liberal" isn't stupid; he/she/it is willfully dishonest and posts in nothing but bad faith. But then, he/she/it is here to support Bush and the neocons, so he/she/it has little choice.

Even so, as I noted, it's been fascinating to see "ex-liberal" taking more and more radical positions -- enthusiastically embracing torture, for example, or voicing full-throated support for unchecked Executive power -- as Bush's mendacity, incompetence and corruption become more and more obvious to the American people, and the extent of his recklessness and fecklessness becomes known.

Posted by: Gregory on May 22, 2007 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

C'mon, Kevin, this is transparent bullshit! It's a preview of the party line explanation of worsening casualty rates.

American casualty rates are the result of the administration's hopelessly bungled occupation of a very foreign country brought to crisis in the wake of the administration's ill-conceived military adventure.

Posted by: BroD on May 22, 2007 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

This supposed Iranian-created Shi'a/AQIA/larger Sunni bloc may be an attempt to spin the reports of Moqtadr al-Sadr's recent overtures to Sunni politicians to form a united bloc against the occupation. Hard to know whether those reports are true; it wouldn't be the first time al-Sadr has tried to bridge this gap, but none of the previous efforts came to much.

But claiming that this is an Iranian initiative is highly doubtful, since al-Sadr, unlike Maliki and others associated with the Badr brigade, not only has never had any fealty to Iran, but has been more of an Iraqi nationalist, whatever that might mean at any given time, And adding Al Qaeda in Iraq to the mix is more delusional than doubtful: the Salafist sectarians who blew up the mosque in Samarra have nothing but hatred for al-Sadr and other Shi'a. And have been slaughtering them, and vice versa, for years.

Someone, sometime will toss out the Hitler-Stalin pact as an equally improbable alliance to argue "Never say never." And while that may be a good rule in trying to keep track of all of the twists and turns of Iranian politics, the analogy doesn't work here, unless you want to imagine Stalin making a deal with both Hitler and Tojo in 1943 at the height of the war. And then claim it was a Japanese initiative. And then use that to justify the U.S. bombing Moscow.

And who would believe in such an Iranian/Shi'a/AQIA/larger Sunni conspiracy? Probably not even Cheney--but that wouldn't stop him from peddling this. Any other candidates?

Posted by: Henry on May 22, 2007 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "The insurgents, backed by Iran, al Qaeda and Sunni elements, will provide the requested terrorism at the approprate time."

You know, dude, I find it rather pathetic that such unctious and self-righteous hooey is what perpetually passes for critical policy analysis on your part.

That the Shi'a theocracy governing Iran would knowingly and openly support virulently anti-Shi'a networks like "al Qa'eda in Iraq" and other various Sunni insurgent groups is simply ludicrous.

If you can't grasp that fundamental concept, then you're even more stupid than everyone here currently gives you credit for being.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 22, 2007 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

Read Juan Cole on the subject.

Posted by: eCAHNomics on May 22, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

The memo authorizing the postulation of a projected Iranian summer offensive was genetically validated by the presence of the fuhrer's sputum on said memo. It is being preserved for a place of honor in the Bush Imperial Library.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on May 22, 2007 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

This is liberal democrat propoganda aimed at disguising the democrat-orchestrated summer offensive in Iraq and belittling the discovery of caches of democrat weapons around Baghdad.

It's clearly part of the secular/shiite/sunni/buddhist/etc. coalition involving the NAACP, ACLU, al-Qaida, Ansar al-Islam, al Aqsa martyrs brigade, FALINTIL, FARC, Zapatista National Liberation Army, KKK, and the DPRK.

Posted by: Annerican Havvk on May 22, 2007 at 7:36 AM | PERMALINK

Someone put out the alert. The missing CPA intern has been found and he/she is still in Iraq. Notify his/her parents so they can arrange to have the intern flown back to the US and reunited with their family.

Posted by: B on May 22, 2007 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

I disagree with Kevin on the following post: "I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true." Kevin, you are usually much sharper than this. You should have dispensed with this transparent propaganda as quickly many of your commenters did. It reeks of Cheney and the neocons. Iran working with Sunni and Al-Qaeda? Yeah, that'll happen.

And what's with the Guardian printing this without context?

Posted by: wvng on May 22, 2007 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

"...the huge stockpiles of Iranian weapons that we've turned up in the past couple of months."

Huh? That's certainly slipping in some bonus disinformation. It builds on the previous disinformation about how only Iranians were sophisticated enough to run a metal shop. The key is just to keep repeating the words "Iranian weapons."

Posted by: putnam on May 22, 2007 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

It's the semi-annual bullshit train leaving the station. Toot toot! All aboard!

I've heard a duck fart underwater before.

Posted by: serial catowner on May 22, 2007 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well, damn. If Iran can do what we have been unable to do -- unite the Sunnis and the Shia in Iraq -- shouldn't we just leave Iraq and let the Iranians handle it?

Posted by: Disputo on May 22, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

bogus.

Posted by: mestizo on May 22, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

bogus.

Posted by: mestizo on May 22, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

bogus.

Posted by: mestizo on May 22, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

And what's with the Guardian printing this without context?

It's only without context if you live in the US.

I'm pretty sure that everyone in Britain, including the Guardian editors, understand that they are printing blatant US propaganda.

Posted by: Disputo on May 22, 2007 at 7:58 AM | PERMALINK

After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there. Even Feingold and Reid would vote against Feingold-Reid if that happened.

Is the Washington Monthly nothing but sorry Repug mag???

Of course Iran is against US troops, it was against Saddam too, and only those made-up WMD kept Iran from attacking Iraq back in Saddam's days, and NOW, nothing keeps them at bay. So what?

This how Bush wants a war with the entire Mideast, and how Kevin wants one too. BUT NOT REID and NOT Feingold.

Kevin Drum (aka Newt Gingrige) says it's WW III.

Iran can do whatever the hell it wants, Bush can't do a damn thing about it and Americans STILL want out. Why would the US want a war with Iran when we're alreadly lossing a war with Iraq?

There something serious wrong with the Washington Monthly. Maybe it's that DLC funding, whatever it is, this mag totally sucks, just like that rag mag TNR.


Posted by: Me_again on May 22, 2007 at 7:58 AM | PERMALINK

If we've united the Shia in Iran and the Sunni of Al Qaida have we achieved political unity in Iraq or have we screwed the pooch beyond our wildest imagination?

Posted by: JimBob on May 22, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

A question for other commenters: have we in fact been seeing reports of large stockpiles of Iranian weapons in Iraq? Has this been widely reported? If the administration has reliable evidence, it would certainly seem to be not only a newsworthy story, but one that would receive enormous play in the mainstream media.

Posted by: Thomas C on May 22, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Have we in fact been seeing reports of large stockpiles of Iranian weapons in Iraq?

No. But certain officials have claimed that copper liners used in improvised explosive devices must come from Iran because the technology necessary to stamp out copper bowls is beyond the capabilities of those who don't speak farsi.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/world/middleeast/27weapons.html?ex=1330232400&en=499d376d06186157&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Posted by: rewolfrats on May 22, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

The only chance the Sunnis have is to keep the US in country to force some sort of political settlement. They and George Bush are the only ones who don't want us to leave. If we leave, they either die or become second class citizens in a Shia theocracy.

Sunnis, Shia they all hate the US, but they hate each other just as much, maybe more. This story just doesn't make sense.

As to Al Qaeda, they are Sunni extremists after all. The last thing they want is an Iranian victory.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 22, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: If it is, and Iran is being so unsubtle about it that we already know their plans, then the Iranian leadership is populated by morons.

But everyone knew Bush's plans for months before he invaded Iraq. Does that make him a moron?

No. Only God can make a moron, and He did it before Georgie was born. Knowing the plans to invade Iraq just makes it obvious.

Posted by: anandine on May 22, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

"After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there."

Is it possible that Iran does want us to stay in Iraq?

While it seems unlikely that Iran would want the US to remain in Iraq, the single biggest beneficiary of our presence in Iraq may be the group that the invasion was supposed to hurt - al Queda. Of course, Iran and al Queda have very different interests.

Little more than a year ago, Al Qaeda's core command was thought to be in a financial crunch. But U.S. officials said cash shipped from Iraq has eased those troubles. "Iraq is a big moneymaker for them," said a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-binladen20may20,0,5046563.story?coll=la-home-center Posted by: Catch22 on May 22, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Did someone move the Tonkin Gulf to the Mid-East?

Posted by: martin on May 22, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

This is like Rock's secret plan to ally with Paper for a joint offensive against Scissors, no?

As someone else recommended above, see today's Juan Cole for a demolition of this fantasy.

Posted by: lampwick on May 22, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Be prepared for Rove's last gambit.

Posted by: Buford on May 22, 2007 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK
just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there.

But put that aside since the truth is unknowable.

Didn't you learn anything in the last 4 years? You kinda-sorta supported the Iraqi invasion, and were man enough to fess up later. Did you forget that experience??

Shiites are killing sunnis, and incidentally, a few Americans. Sure, Sunnis are killing shiites right back, but Iran is eating popcorn on the sidelines. The Shiites have numbers on their side, and right now the only common enemy they all hate--us!--is nicely caught in the crossfire. It's like a dream come true for the Iranians!

Why would they interfere and fuck it up? They won't!

And who has the most invested in having gullible Americans believe that Iranians are stirring trouble? Shit, Kevin, sometimes I wonder about you! ISN'T IT FUCKING OBVIOUS?!?!?? Niger uranium, anybody? WMD? Buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

Posted by: Amit Joshi on May 22, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney has already set up yet another "Office of Special Plans" type operation for Iran. Likely, bypassing DOD and CIA channels. This sounds like the crap they would put out.

Posted by: padcrasher on May 22, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget that very few of the idiots in Washington even know the difference between Sunni and Shia so they probably actually believe this bullshit.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on May 22, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true.

Really? You really don't? Even after all this time, even after being lied to again and again and again? The US government is the source -- isn't that, by itself, ipso facto proof that it isn't true?

Posted by: Stefan on May 22, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

"...the huge stockpiles of Iranian weapons that we've turned up in the last couple of months."

Flat out lie. There haven't been any.

Posted by: Stefan on May 22, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

It's still telling that a senior U.S. official in Baghdad, presumably with the authorization of his superiors, decided to give a lengthy and public warning to Iran that included the possibility of "retaliating against Iran on its own territory." Question: who is senior enough to say stuff like that? And who is senior enough to give him the green light?

A hint: the first three letters are C and H and E....

Posted by: Stefan on May 22, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

The ordinary Iraqi doesn't much care if Iranians supply any insurgent groups, they want justice.

But Iraqis have no means to take action against the occupiers.

The US has not accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has the power to investigate complaints of genocide.

With no doors of justice open to them, many Iraqis are taking to unlawful ways to hit back at occupation forces and government targets.

"The only way to do it is at gunpoint," said Ali Aziz, 32, from Ramadi, 100 kilometers west of Baghdad.

Posted by: TJM on May 22, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:The insurgents, backed by Iran, al Qaeda and Sunni elements, will provide the requested terrorism at the approprate time.

Right, and in the meantime the KKK and the Black Muslims will join forces to overthrow the oppressive U.S. government, right after their joint bake sale and sing along to raise money for the offensive.

Dumb.as.a.bag.of.rocks.

Posted by: trex on May 22, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

You know, this whole venture of quoting unamed officials really turns the media/newspapers into Bush government spokespersons.

Posted by: mirror on May 22, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK
I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true.

You have no reason to believe it is true, and if you've been paying attention at all plenty of reason to believe it would be invented. Therefore, you ought to have some idea about whether or not its true. You don't need conclusive proof to have an idea about whethere something is true.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 22, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

You know, this whole venture of quoting unamed officials really turns the media/newspapers into Bush government spokespersons.

I would say the problem is uncritically quoting government officials, whether named or not, the it is aggravated when the officials are unnamed. He said/she said journalism rewards whoever has the least constraints about what they will say, though if you name your sources, at least people can learn which ones have a record of outright lies.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 22, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Bush, Cheney and the Neo Cons are trying to provoke a conflict, or better yet, a war with Iran to distract from their failed Iraq policy.

Dems are suckers if they sign-off on a blank check to continue the occupation.

Keep sending Bush bills with conditions he will feel obligated to veto.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on May 22, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Several posters have asserted that Iran, al Qaeda, and Sunnis would never cooperate in the insurgency. The source for that claim is the Guardian article Kevin cited in his original post.

anandine: But everyone knew Bush's plans for months before he invaded Iraq. Does that make him a moron?...Knowing the plans to invade Iraq just makes it obvious.

anandine implies that Bush is a moron because everyone knew his plans for months before he invaded Iraq.

But, the reason his plans were known is that he spent almost a year getting various UN resolutions passed, giving Saddam a chance to fulfill those resolutions, and organizing a coalition. If Bush had attacked immediately without those steps, would anandine and other Bush critics have been happier? I don't think so.

skeg: Did anybody else see those big demonstrations on the news - the big gatherings of liberals carrying pro-insurgency signs and chanting for violence?

Fair enough. The message from anti-war folks wasn't explicit. But, anti-war folks have used violence as their sole criterion for evaluating the success of the surge. Each act of insurgent violence has been trumpeted as proof that the surge is failing and so the US must withdraw. Insurgent read the news. They must get the message.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 22, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Careful, trex, if Rush gets ahold of your post, he will have NOW running the bake sale.

So, Mary Matalin, visited Baghdad recently, eh?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 22, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal", not surprisingly, comes to defend his/her/its dishonest neocon bullshit with -- yes! -- more dishoenst neocon bullshit.

The message from anti-war folks wasn't explicit.

Bullshit -- it wasn't existent, except in your own (and the likes of Glenn Reynolds') dishonest interpretation. Thanks for conceding, though, that you're reduced to beating on straw men.

But, anti-war folks have used violence as their sole criterion for evaluating the success of the surge.

And why would that be, I wonder? Why, bless my soul, it's because the surge is supposed to improve the security situation, and Iraq is still in chaos, you jackass!

Oh, and voilence isn't the sole criteria; we note the obvious dfailure of Iraq's political process as well, you disgusting neocon turd.

"ex-liberal" feels compelled, somehow -- or is the proper word motivated? -- to post dishonest bullshit supportign the neocon point of view. "ex-liberal"'s defenses become more extreme, as the fecklessness, incompetence, mendacity and corruption of the Bush/neocon administration becomes more undeniable -- and yet he/she/it can't imagine the posts are persuasive.

One envies "ex-liberal"'s lack of shame at ignoring posts that refute him/her/it at will, but one does wonder how he/she/it can maintain the pretense of an honest commentator. Like the rest of "ex-liberal"'s bullshit, it's clear that even he/she/it doesn't really believe it, but again, there seems to be a motivation to post it anyway -- as if someone wants the neocon point of view on record. One can't help but wonder why that is.

Posted by: Gregory on May 22, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

That's right, fundamentalist Persian Shiite clerics are risking open war with the United States by arming Arab Sunni militants who are happily engage in a sectarian bloodbath with Iraqi Shiites in the hopes of creating a united front.

Right.

"In other news, AIPAC and the Aryan Nation announced their joint sponsorship of a new summer camp for kids in upstate NY. Now let's trun things over to the weather desk where our five day forecast calls for snow and ice storms as a low pressure system works it's way through Hell..."


Gee, I don't suppose the "senior US Official" in Baghdad, could possibly be a civilian political appointee, could he? Maybe He's one of the 21 year old Republican frat boys carried over from the CPA.

Posted by: Chesire11 on May 22, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Damn straight FAUX - It did take time for Sheriff Shrub to round up a posse - Not easy to bring in penquins from Tierra del Fuego, and a couple of guys from the Cameroons on a moment's notice.

Yeah, a great BIG coalition, just like his daddy, Marshall George did in Tombstone I.

Posted by: stupid git on May 22, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

First paragraph of the story finishes with "US officials say." And "US officials" have ZERO credibility. This is nothing but a neo-con PR Newswire release. Rubbish. Garbage. Period.

Posted by: matt on May 22, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Well, of course the coalition would have been larger, but the Hampton's Brigade Militia was a little busy with that sale over at Cartiers, or was there a long running auction at Southeby's?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 22, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

The fastest way to defeat al-Qaida is to let the devout Muslims do it themselves. Even the banjaxed Lebanese gov't is busy pulverizing the local al-Qaida hideouts.

It's a mistake to equate al-Qaida with Islam the way it would be to equate the Mafia with Catholicism.

But (and everyone has a big but, Simone) it's obvious that containing al-Qaida isn't the point of the Iraq War. The point of the Iraq War is the Iraq War.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on May 22, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

In other news, Iraq War prices, er oil and gasoline prices, are expected to rise the rest of the summer.

Wonder what Iraq War will cost at the pump today?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 22, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true. If it is, and Iran is being so unsubtle about it that we already know their plans, then the Iranian leadership is populated by morons."

My understanding of Iranian politics is that there is no monolithic "leadership" (although the Supreme Leader has the most power). At any given time there are several political factions which could be working cooperatively or working to undermine each other, depending on their interests at the time.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on May 22, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Senior US officials in Iraq, and everywhere else, are liars. Murderous liars. Whatever is said about Iran by any member of the Bush regime or US military is a fabrication created to kill more people and seize more of their natural resources. It is not the Iranian officials who are morons, it is the American people.

Posted by: Brojo on May 22, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Let's be clear: the only reason the adminisration put out this ridiculous propaganda was to deflect blame away from Bush and on to Iran as the "surge" continues to fail in a spectacular fashion this summer and the violence spirals even further out of control.

Posted by: trex on May 22, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

No. But certain officials have claimed that copper liners used in improvised explosive devices must come from Iran because the technology necessary to stamp out copper bowls is beyond the capabilities of those who don't speak farsi.Posted by: rewolfrats on May 22, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Ironically, Iraq is the region where the oldest known copper artifacts have been found. They were working copper before our barbarian ancestors figured out flint knives.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on May 22, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK
…a partnership between the anti-war Americans and the insurgents….ex-lax at 5:14 AM |
A-p-p-r-o-p-r-i-a-t-e. Today's news: attack in Sunni area kills 29, ergo, no linkage except in the fantasy world of ex-lax which is full of backstabbing fifth columnists who are destroying Bush's Reich and undermining his glorious victory against....against.... well, he doesn't know exactly who the enemy is, but let's attack a few more countries and refugee camps and maybe he'll get 'em eventually. Posted by: Mike on May 22, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, much of this saber rattling ties in with the story coming out of the Hearst papers today about the "second surge", or "secret surge" beginning. More combat brigades will be sent to Iraq, while several of those currently there will have their deployments out delayed.

All of this so Shrub can play more "Rope-a-dope" to run out the clock. Moves like a butterfly, stings like a rattler. In real life, he is more of a moves like a butterfly, stings like a butterfly. Great to have surrogates do his dirty work.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 22, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Read Juan Cole's post on this very Guardian article. (As another poster suggested) He thinks it's bunk.

Posted by: padcrasher on May 22, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Question: who is senior enough to say stuff like that? And who is senior enough to give him the green light?

And isn't the identity of this person a great deal more newsworthy than then quotation.

And, besides, it's probably Cheney, on his world tour.

I'm getting really tired of administration propaganda cited without attribution.

Posted by: jayackroyd on May 22, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

"
b) If the Iraqi Shi'ites could be shown proof that Iran's arming the Sunnis and AQIA, then the Iran-Shi'ite Iraq alliance would be on the rocks. Can you imagine anything more geopolitically stupid for the Iranians? Neither can I. I don't believe they're that stupid."
Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on May 22, 2007 at 5:22 AM

I believe that *we* might be that stupid to think we could pull off such bullshit. We are trying to drive a wedge between the Shia in Iraq and the Iranians using yet more phony "intelligence". The only Shia in Iraq that might "buy" that (with a wink) are the ones that want to make sure THEY keep their cut on the control of the southern oil and not Iran. We're just paranoid that Iran will make a grab on the southern oil fields in Iraq. We're just trying to turn everybody against Iran that's all. This could "work" with the Iraqi Sunni Arabs (who are suspicious of Iran), and the Shia Arabs (they don't want to share the oil with Iran certainly). This is the "plan" that Cheney sold the Saudis on when he came to visit recently

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on May 22, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

So it's your opinion that you can't know whether or not this is true.

I'm sure the American people would love to know that you harbor doubts about official statements from our military commanders, Kevin.

Here we have a valid threat issued by our military. Do you take this as an opportunity to hop on board and show your pride for your country? No, instead you play politics and sew mendacious seeds of doubt about these statements.

The Iranians and their terrorist brethren, whether sunni or sh'ia, hunger for nothing but violence to feed their bloodlust and hatred of us. Why do you feel compelled to always rush to their aide?

I tremble for my country.

Posted by: egbert on May 22, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I don't really know squat about what separates the Shia and Sunni; however this statement:

linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat

...seems nonsensical on it's face. Iran and most of Iraq are Shia - Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden are Sunni. Shia and Sunni are waging civil war in Iraq - does it make sense for Iran to intervene against their sectarian interests?

I don't think so. It sounds like a plan hatched inside the Vice President's office. Cartoonish, confusing and divisive. What better way to hide a failed war - except inside an even bigger fiasco.

Posted by: bcinaz on May 22, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thinks that a Sunni-Shia alliance is even possible needs to read this.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 22, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the American people would love to know that you harbor doubts about official statements from our military commanders, Kevin.

Hey, fuckwit - "official statements" aren't fucking anonymous.

Did you remember to put your safety helmet on before you got out of bed this morning? 'Cuz you really shouldn't be walking around with that fragile melon unprotected.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 22, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

From the same geniuses who brought you the Surge™. and are now screaming about Iran allying with its bitter enemies a la an Evil Mutant Brotherhood:

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.

That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.

I'm beginning to believe that what we're dealing with in this administration and its followers is a subspecies of humanity, hampered in its efforts to survive by a tiny brain featuring an oversized amygdala.

Posted by: trex on May 22, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Why do you feel compelled to rush to their aide?"

Because that "aide" is so cute? Looks a lot like a young Omar Sherif. Blazing dark eyes. You'd really like him, eggie.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 22, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK
…the "second surge", or "secret surge" beginning…thethirdPaul at 11:44AM
Here are the stories: Bush to double down in Iraq and there's Plan B to keep the war going post surge. Posted by: Mike on May 22, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Probably the best pretext for us to attack Iran is to provoke them to come across the border into Iraq on foot in relatively large numbers. With the British leaving the South of the country that will provide cover for such a pretext. There will likely be increasing skirmishes between Shia factions in the South and if intense enough, could give Teheran a pretext to "put a stop to the chaos there". So you have the tension between Iran wanting to stabilize chaos in southern Iraq and the US wanting to attack Iran to take out nuclear facilities... not to mention the ultimate prize of possibly grabbing Kuzistan from Iran:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs_of_Khuzestan

Just a thought.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on May 22, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney like to have fun by clowing in front of a chained pit bull or reciting stale jokes to relatives. The next best thing is to have "troll" officials issue preposterous statements that set the whole Left roaring and gasping, but convince the "base" that you are still in sync with their views.

Posted by: JKoch on May 22, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to believe that what we're dealing with in this administration and its followers is a subspecies of humanity

Unfortunately we're led by the populace of Golgafrincham Ark B.

Posted by: Gregory on May 22, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

egfart: "No, instead you play politics and sew mendacious seeds of doubt about these statements."

Your grasp of what a blog is for is downright poetic. Oh, excuse me, I meant pathetic.

Posted by: Kenji on May 22, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: I tremble for my country.

No, you tremble for Bush.

And not in a good way, you weak-kneed, sycophantic idolator!

Posted by: anonymous on May 22, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

As to Al Qaeda, they are Sunni extremists after all. The last thing they want is an Iranian victory.

More than that, the last thing AQ wants is for the US to vacate Iraq. Just one of the many reasons this Iran "Tet" Offensive myth fails the laugh test.

Posted by: Disputo on May 22, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's a mistake to equate al-Qaida with Islam the way it would be to equate the Mafia with Catholicism.

That's about the simplest and best analogy I have seen wrt AQ and Islam.

Posted by: Disputo on May 22, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

If it is, and Iran is being so unsubtle about it that we already know their plans, then the Iranian leadership is populated by morons.

I wouldn't necessarily discount the "moron hypothesis", but have you considered the possibility that there have been a combination of captures, purchased leaks, enemies of the Iranian leadership in Iran, and exaggerated rhetoric to scare off the Americans?

What can we tell at this distance, when all the political powers have histories of mistakes and deceptions?

I would hope that, if the Americans actually have good evidence, they keep it secret until such time as they decide to act. If the Americans are saying this without sufficient evidence, then the bluff will backfire. As we have seen before.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: Note, also, how "ex-liberal" dishonestly pretends that the insurgency, Shiites, Sunni and terrorist forces are all on the same side.

A lot of the factions in those groups see the U.S. as a common enemy, and it would make perfectly good sense for them to cooperate in diverse ways to make the Americans leave.

Not to push the analogy too far, but the U.S. worked with Ho Chi Minh to defeat the Japanese in Indochina. It didn't work really well for the Viet Minh, but once the Japanese were withdrawn, the Viet Minh were able eventually to defeat the French. There have been many cases where long-term enemies cooperated for a short term to defeat a common enemy.

Everywhere in Iraq that there are Americans, it makes sense for Iranians to supply the local insurgents to attack Americans and keep our casualty rates high. Once Congress forces the U.S. to withdraw, a whole new war can begin.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: the last thing AQ wants is for the US to vacate Iraq.

That contradict their claims. They want the U.S. to vacate Iraq, and they want to claim it as their victory over the U.S., matching their victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK
That contradict their claims. They want the U.S. to vacate Iraq, ….MatthewRmarler at 4:54 PM
Please provide citation for that assertion. Just a couple of weeks ago, Ayman al Zawahri said:

"This bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap," Zawahri says in answer to a question posed to him an interviewer.
Continuing in the same tone, Zawahri says, "We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson."…

If you're going to make crap up, invent stuff that is not so easy to refute.

….it makes sense for Iranians to supply the local insurgents …. MatthewRmarler at 4:50 PM

Although that is the tactic the US used against the Rusians in Afghanistan, there is no independent evidence that Iran is supplying any materials either officially or unofficially.

Posted by: Mike on May 22, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Iran will ally itself with the Sunnis, Shites, and al-Qaida in Iraq just as soon as Israel allies itself with Hammas and the PLO.

Who makes up this @$#&?

Posted by: Timmy B on May 22, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Iran will ally itself with the Sunnis, Shites, and al-Qaida in Iraq just as soon as Israel allies itself with Hammas and the PLO.

Who makes up this @$#&?

Posted by: Timmy B on May 22, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

"The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat."

Tell me this isn't the most ridiculous thing we've heard since the occupation began ... A NATIONWIDE offensive? Led by Iran? Conveniently uniting all three of our mutually-antagonistic antagonists in Iraq? Good grief ...

Posted by: David on May 22, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

DAMN.

The Dems caved in to Bush.

Gawd DAMNIT!

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "chickenhawk", doesn't it?

Posted by: Disputo on May 22, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Not to push the analogy too far, but the U.S. worked with Ho Chi Minh to defeat the Japanese in Indochina. It didn't work really well for the Viet Minh, but once the Japanese were withdrawn, the Viet Minh were able eventually to defeat the French. There have been many cases where long-term enemies cooperated for a short term to defeat a common enemy.

It's a terrible analogy because at the time when the US cooperated with the Viet Minh to defeat the Japanese we weren't enemies. The US and the Viet Minh didn't come into conflict until after the war, and up to that time Ho Chi Minh considered the US a potential friend.

Posted by: Stefan on May 22, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

I read The Guardian online and have for several years.

I've found the newspaper interesting and sometimes informative but often wrong about political matters. Like others, The Guardian cherry picks its facts to conform to its spin . . . and spin it does.

Just proves that you must read as many reports as practicable to get a line on the facts. I think William Allen White gave that advice first.

Posted by: newsjunky on May 22, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: The US and the Viet Minh didn't come into conflict until after the war, and up to that time Ho Chi Minh considered the US a potential friend.

the Americans who worked with the VietMinh knew he was a Communist and expected conflict after war's end.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I take the Zawahiri quote to be an empty boast (there are not going to be any 200,000 - 300,000 U.S. killed, 4 - 6 times US deaths in VietNam), but it is true that they want to defeat the U.S., not promote a mere withdrawal. that they want to claim victory is in all of their rhetoric.

there is no independent evidence that Iran is supplying any materials either officially or unofficially.

That's true, but I was responding to the claim that the Iranians could not possibly have any such motive. At least some groups at different levels of command might very well think that a nation-wide summer offensive inflicting casualties on all and sundry might persuade the U.S. Congress to accelerate U.S. withdrawal. Like with the Tet Offensive, they could gain their objective even if their forces in Iraq are totally annihilated by mid-October or therabouts, as long as the September report to Congress by Petraeus is sufficiently gloomy. they might anticipate being able to invade in force (Shi'ite militia support, cheering citizens and all that) after the U.S. withdrawal is complete.

Paraphrasing a line from yesterday, all they really have to do is kill 500 Americans between now and Sept 1, and it probably does not matter how many innocent civilians and Iranian allies have to die along with them. I don't know whether they can, but if they think they can, they might be willing to try. I don't "believe" the American briefing either, but neither do I think it to be easily discredited.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there. Even Feingold and Reid would vote against Feingold-Reid if that happened.

There won't be indisputable evidence, will there? Plenty of Americans (Dennis Kucinich, Robert Byrd first, then others) will dispute everything. The Iranian government will deny everything, and claim it's all an American fabrication, or else a few "rogue elephants", or some such.

It's still telling that a senior U.S. official in Baghdad, presumably with the authorization of his superiors, decided to give a lengthy and public warning to Iran

Here is a possible take. Of the ways that Petraeus might think he can be defeated, such a widespread, clandestinely supported "anti-surge" might be the threat he thinks most likely to succeed against him.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 22, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of the factions in those groups see the U.S. as a common enemy, and it would make perfectly good sense for them to cooperate in diverse ways to make the Americans leave.

No it doesn't, not at all.

(Because your assertions are so patently ridiculous and unsubstantiated I've decided that a simple "no" is all they deserve. Work at making your lunacy a little more cogent and I'll deconstruct it in more detail)

Posted by: trex on May 22, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Timmy B. Iran will ally itself with the Sunnis, Shites, and al-Qaida in Iraq just as soon as Israel allies itself with Hammas and the PLO.

I am told that Israel has indeed allied itself with al Fatah in its civil war against Hamas.

My source is a series of e-mails from Sami El Soudi In Gaza, which are translated and distributed to a mailing list. Sami writes:

The choice of these targets, the report of the visit to Gaza of president Abbas, planned for this afternoon, as well as direct testimonials I collected leave no longer any doubt regarding a re-dealing of the cards: the Fatah combatants, in bad spot in the past few days, have asked for the assistance of the Israelis without going through any intermediaries. During a telephone message which I was allowed to witness, a chief of the presidential guard asked his interlocutors, in Hebrew, with "to neutralize the leaders of the Executive Force as they had done with their headquarters." Abbas’ officer did not hesitate to specify to the Israelis "that it was useless to tangle with the enemies in costumes (the Hamas ministers, editor’s note) because the Executive Force received its orders directly from Mashal in Damascus and did not respond to the directives of Hanya and of his clique."

Given the targets chosen by Tsahal, there is no doubt that these requests were heeded. Moreover, in my presence, the same officer of the presidential guard, accompanied by several fellow-members of the Preventive Security begged their interlocutors to put an end to the evacuation of Sderot. They explained to them that the transfer of these civilians served on a platter a justification to Hamas, which contends on its radio and TV channels that its policy is effective, that it bears fruit, and that therefore all the Palestinians ought to join its combatants.

Posted by: ex-liberal on May 22, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: the last thing AQ wants is for the US to vacate Iraq.

Smarmler: That contradict [sic] their claims. They want the U.S. to vacate Iraq, and they want to claim it as their victory over the U.S., matching their victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

As usual, you lack the mental acuity to distinguish propaganda meant to bait one's enemy from the truth. AQ doesn't have a hope in hell of beating the Sunnis or the Mahdi in Iraq, much less the U.S. military. All warfare is deception, and you're a slack-jawed yokel who's been duped.

The Iraqis who've formed Islamist and "Al Qaeda" groups don't want us to leave, period: our presence there is not only a huge moneymaker for them, it provides their fighters with prestige and experience.

Both "Al Qaeda Iraq" and Al Qaeda proper want us bogged down in Iraq; so certainly they're not joining Iranians (who they fucking hate, by the way) to drive us out.

Further in one breath you hyperventilate about all the "progress" because the Sunnis have turned against Al Qaeda - in the next you portray them as working together against the U.S.

You're just sad. Really, really sad.

Posted by: trex on May 22, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Further in one breath you hyperventilate about all the "progress" because the Sunnis have turned against Al Qaeda - in the next you portray them as working together against the U.S.

I was writing about the possible intention of Iran to work with Sunnis, and the existence of factions within the groups that might want to cooperate. "It makes sense" for Iranians to get such cooperation. I did not write that I knew cooperation was occurring -- at present, nobody seems to know, though the Guardian asserted that the Americans believed that some was happening.

I agreed with the following: there is no independent evidence that Iran is supplying any materials either officially or unofficially.

My posts were in opposition to a claim to know the Iranian motives.


I did in fact distinguish between classes of rhetoric.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on May 23, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

I did in fact distinguish between classes of rhetoric.

Oh I see, you were employing "argument from the alternative" that our resident sociopath Charlie was so fond of.

It's a great trolling method because on the one hand it make you appear sagely but when your argument is blown apart you can say it was all just academic conjecture - and anything is possible anyway so opinions are what matter most.

Then I refer you back to my post: it doesn't make sense at all for these groups to reach out to one another when in fact their aims are so divergent that they're killing each other either directly or by proxy. Arguing that just because some time in history two unlikely groups allied that it can or may be happening in Iraq and we should adjust our strategy around it is just another example of your uninformed, piss poor "analysis" based on empty categories devoid of the details critical to forming sound judgments.

though the Guardian asserted that the Americans believed that some was happening.

Transparent propaganda indistinguishable in class from flying drones of death, mushroom clouds over Miami, mobile weapons labs, tons of chemical weapons, alliances with Al Qaeda, Iranian weapons, being greeted as liberators, and every other blatant falsehood that has come down the pike to sell this war to mouth-breathing maroons.


Posted by: trex on May 23, 2007 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

the Americans who worked with the VietMinh knew he was a Communist and expected conflict after war's end.

No, they didn't. Ho was more of a nationalist than a Communist at the time, and during the war American authorities were focused far more on winning the war than on any expected conflict with the Communists afterwards.

As usual when it comes to history you have no idea what you're talking about.

Posted by: Stefan on May 23, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK
I am told that Israel has indeed allied itself with al Fatah in its civil war against Hamas…. ex-lax at 8:06 PM
They make no secret of their support and have been arming Fatah. It's SOP to support collaborators; however, the point was about Hamas, Hezbollah or some equivalent. How come Iraq is not a civil war and Gaza is?
….all they really have to do is kill 500 Americans between now and Sept 1….…. MatthewRmarler at 7:28 PM
How sad that you are so willing to endorse such misery for 500 American families and for untold Iraqi families for your political agenda. How sad that you care so little for anyone who sacrifices his life for Bush's unjust war which has become nothing more than continued violence to boost his ego because he hasn't the courage to admit error. Posted by: Mike on May 23, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

In 1953 we, in a cia operation much like the one described above, toppled the Iranian government, we removed Mosodec a good man and installed the shah. When they overthrew the shah we gave him sanctuary on a Rockefeller island. The Iranians told our government that if the shah ever set foot on American soil they would take the embassy. For cancer treatment he was taken to Miami-(they could of taken him to Mexico city) he set foot in America and they took the embassy like they said they would. After that long stand off they went to war with Iraq and we supported Iraq- I believe we have held their treasury (the fed) since the fall of the shah?

Posted by: john on May 23, 2007 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

For all crackers who made comments like 'iraq shithole' etc.

Here is some FACTS:
Your imperialist country made up of more than 50% bastards (bastard - dont know my daddy cause momma aint married) and the number grows each day - is in fact, the true shithole of the world.

Dont believe me? Ask the rest of the world for a reality check.

Posted by: Kurdi on May 23, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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