Despite the fact that… it’s not true… the Bush Administration is hellbent on asserting (via anonymous officials no less!) that Iran is smuggling weaponry used to attack American (and Iraqi) forces in Iraq. It certainly seems implausible from the get-go, because “Iraqi forces” tend to be overwhelmingly Shia, indeed, that’s the problem– they patrol with Americans by day, and by night, they form death squads and attack Sunnis (and Americans who might be trying to protect them).
Indeed, the Bush Administration’s claims are preposterous on their face. Professor Juan Cole offers this rather extensive debunking; note that once again, The New York Times uncritically prints Administration propaganda as “news”. [Pinch, you f***ing moron… these bastards will not hesitate to call you a traitor the second you cross them even 1 inch… you will never EVER be respected by them… your only hope is to play it straight… and yet Judy Miller seems to have taught you nothing…] But I digress…
Professor Cole’s analysis is so dead on, and so important, that I have to provide a rather lengthy quote from it:
Over all, only a fourth of US troops had been killed Baghdad (713 or 23.7 percent of about 3000) through the end of 2006. But US troops aren’t fighting Shiites anyplace else– Ninevah, Diyala, Salahuddin–these are all Sunni areas. For a fourth of US troops to be being killed or wounded by Shiite EFPs, all of the Baghdad deaths would have to be at the hands of Shiites!
The US military often does not announce exactly where in Baghdad a GI is killed and so I found it impossible to do a count of Sunni versus Shiite neighborhoods. But we know that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was running interference for the Mahdi Army last fall, and it seems unlikely to me that very many US troops died fighting Shiites in Baghdad. The math of Gordon’s article does not add up at all if this were Shiite uses of Iran-provided EFPs.
So the unnamed sources at the Pentagon are reduced to implying that Iran is giving sophisticated bombs to its sworn enemies and the very groups that are killing its Shiite Iraqi allies every day. Get real!
Moreover, there is no evidence of Iranian intentions to kill US troops. If Iran was giving EFPs to anyone, it was to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and its Badr Corps paramilitary, for future use. SCIRI is the main US ally in Iraq aside from the Kurds. I don’t know of US troops killed by Badr, certainly not any time recently.
It is far more likely that corrupt arms merchants are selling and smuggling these things than that there is direct government- to- militia transfer. It is possible that small Badr Corps stockpiles were shared or sold. That wouldn’t have been Iran’s fault.
Some large proportion of US troops being killed in Iraq are being killed with bullets and weapons supplied by Washington to the Iraqi army, which are then sold by desperate or greedy Iraqi soldiers on the black market. This problem of US/Iraqi government arms getting into the hands of the Sunni Arab guerrillas is far more significant and pressing than whatever arms smugglers bring in from Iran.
We now know that Iran came to the US early in 2003 with a proposal to cooperate with Washington in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and that VP Richard Bruce Cheney rebuffed it. The US could have had Iran on its side in Iraq!
The attempt to blame these US deaths on Iran is in my view a black psy-ops operation. The claim is framed as though this was a matter of direct Iranian government transfer to the deadliest guerrillas. In fact, the most fractious Shiites are the ones who hate Iran the most. If 25 percent of US troops are being killed and wounded by explosively formed projectiles, then someone should look into who is giving those EFPs to Sunni Arab guerrillas. It isn’t Iran.
Finally, it is obvious that if Iran did not exist, US troops would still be being blown up in large numbers. Sunni guerrillas in al-Anbar and West Baghdad are responsible for most of the deaths. The Bush administration’s talent for blaming everyone but itself for its own screw-ups is on clear display here.
What else is new? It appears that the Bushmen may be doing something even more
venal evil troubling than what I first suspected: I just thought that provoking some fireworks in the Straits of Hormuz would serve the salutory purpose of driving up oil prices significantly without a risk of decreased demand for Saudi oil, as Iranian supply would be reduced (until its shipping lanes and blown up refineries and pipelines got cleaned up)… a win-win situation in the President’s service of the Saudi royal family (at the expense of… everyone else… on Earth.)
But Professor Cole ties in the domestic political purpose, which, given the recent mid-term losses, I (heretofore) viewed as secondary at best. But things are worse than I thought: it would seem that these maniacs are “playing for their legacy”. Not content to be deemed responsible to posterity for the loss of two major American wars (Iraq, of course, and …the Taliban are making a major resurgence in… that other place we forgot about where Osama bin- someting or other was once), the Bushmen’s answer would seem to be to open a third (and equally hopeless) front. Unable to nail down a win against (ragtag basket-case) Iraq, the Bushmen are now hellbent on taking on the much more populous, much better armed and organized Iran… [one wonders how soon Condi will appear before the U.N. with aerial pictures of an Iranian chickpea processing plant that she claims to be a nuclear or bio-weapons laboratory…] It seems that they must think that by tying us down in [an even bigger disaster in] Iran, the public will be more forgiving of the Iraq debacle… or something equally insane, reckless, and, not to mince words, stupid. Words fail me… so I’ll use Dylan’s:
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.