Monday, June 26, 2006

Strangers In A Strange Land?

During the past three years, almost every credible report I've read has described the insurgency in Iraq as overwhelmingly indigenous with a negligible foreign element. Here's an exchange from a press conference on March 14, 2006:
Q: You and General Pace and, indeed, the president and others have had intimated strongly in recent days that Iran is stirring -- actively stirring up violence in Iraq. You said that Revolutionary Guards and IEDs and weapons are moving across the border from Iran. What you have not said conclusively is whether the government of Iran and the mullahs are sponsoring that activity. Do you have proof that they are, indeed, behind this, the government of Iran?


GEN. PACE: I do not, sir.
Previous attempts to characterize the insurgency as significantly foreign---or to hype the importance of foreign support---having been discredited, it's time for another try. WaPo:
Iranian support for extremists inside Iraq has shown a "noticeable increase" this year, with Tehran's special forces providing weapons and bomb training to anti-U.S. groups, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said yesterday.

Other U.S. officials have complained about Iranian meddling in Iraq, but the criticism of Tehran by Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. was the most direct and explicit so far. Speaking at a Pentagon news conference before an array of reporters and television cameras, the general listed Iranian influence as one of the four major problems he faces in Iraq.

"We are quite confident that the Iranians, through their covert special operations forces, are providing weapons, IED technology and training to Shia extremist groups in Iraq, the training being conducted in Iran and in some cases probably in Lebanon through their surrogates," Casey said, using the military abbreviation for "improvised explosive devices," or roadside bombs. The Iranians are "using surrogates to conduct terrorist operations in Iraq, both against us and against the Iraqi people."
Indeed, the latest agenda is clear. Here's a Centcom news release from Friday, the day after General Casey held his news conference at the Pentagon:
Coalition Forces killed four foreign terrorists and wounded one Iraqi insurgent during a raid approximately 18 km north of Fallujah June 23.

Information gathered from a recent detainee from another operation in this area led the troops to known location of a mid-level terrorist whose cell is involved in the facilitation of foreign fighters and insurgent activities.

One of the killed terrorists was wearing a 15-pound suicide belt. Another 15-pound suicide vest was found in a vehicle on the target. The remaining terrorist, thought to be an Iraqi, claimed the four killed terrorists were foreign fighters who had hired him to support their operations.
Here's another Centcom release from Friday:
Coalition forces detained a senior al-Qaida in Iraq network member and three suspected terrorists during coordinated raids southwest of Baqubah the morning of June 19.

The terrorist is reportedly a senior al-Qaida cell leader throughout central Iraq, north of Baghdad. He is known to be involved in facilitating foreign terrorists throughout central Iraq, and is suspected of having ties to previous attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces.
See a trend here?

Remember, as our desperation grows so must the search for scapegoats, eventually leading to the war's expansion; see #8 on this list posted over a year ago.

Something to watch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hardly surprising, TCR. There's still a score to settle with the Persians. I can't get as worked up about this as you TCR, as I get a bizarre comfort from the notion that our children and their children will continue waging this war against the anti-modernists. We just can't help ourselves...

6/26/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger David the Gyromancer said...

What I immediately wondered about when I heard this report on TV news was, why the hell didn't one of the journalists ask something like, "General Casey, sir, exactly what proof do you have of Iranian involvement? You say you are 'quite confident,' but surely the American people and the world are entitled to some idea of the basis for that confidence." ... or something very like this. I heard no such question, and certainly no answer to it.

6/26/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a plan. Get Iraq to attack Iran, unifying Iraq, and occupying the Iranians.

6/26/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Strategically we cannot win a war like this. Without killing a bunch of innocents. This is Viet Nam all over again.

6/27/2006 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well there is that, and then there is something else. The BBC has been too eager, just recently mind you, to tie foreign terrorists as the 'heart of the insurgency'. Yet, until Sunday, there was no mention. Was it a specific geared leak, trying to bring the foreign element into the mind of more people, or if it was just as Andy Sullivan says 'to throw cold water on any sign of progress.' Either way, trust no one, until verified otherwise

6/27/2006 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, if the U.S. opens a front with Iran, they simultaneously open a front with Syria (which has a mutual defense agreement with Iran) and guess which 180,000 armed services personnel will be caught in the middle. Want to see an insurgency escalate into a meat grinder? Keep pushing the hard line.

6/28/2006 3:38 AM  
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