Thursday, February 01, 2007

Iraq, Iran, I Wonder What's Next

How fast is this story going to change?

For a long time, we heard that Iran was a threat because it was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Iran has consistently avowed that in only wants to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Despite machinations by Dick Cheney's Iran Directorate--an intelligence crock pot that serves the same purpose that Cheney's Office of Special Plans did during the run up to the Iraq invasion--no proof that Iran is lying about its nuclear intentions has emerged.

A couple weeks ago, around the time the U.S. naval buildup in the Gulf region was announced and Admiral William Fallon was nominated to take charge of Central Command, the story on Iran changed. The problems in Iraq weren't being caused so much by that pesky al Qaeda as they were by those dadburned meddling Iranians.

On Wednesday, International ran a story that cited two unnamed "officials" in the U.S. government as saying the Pentagon was "investigating whether the attack on a military compound in Karbala was carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives" and that "We believe it's possible the executors of the attack were Iranian or Iranian-trained."

Come Thursday, lo and behold, Fox News (of all media outlets) reported that the Pentagon has detained several Iraqis for questioning in the Karbala attacks, including two senior Iraqi generals. The money quote:
Because high-level generals were possibly involved, the Pentagon said, it raises questions about the loyalty and trustworthiness of Iraqi military officers at the highest levels.

The loyalty and trustworthiness of high-level Iraqi military officers is questionable? Get out!

The Burden of Proof Goes Poof!

Last month, Iran's ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi challenged U.S. officials to show "any shred of evidence" of Iranian meddling in Iraq. Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S ambassador to Iraq and charter member of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, promised last week to produce that evidence. American officials initially planned to produce the dossier on Tuesday.


As the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday, the Bush administration has decided to postpone making proof of its allegations public "amid internal divisions over the strength of the evidence."
We don't want a repeat of the situation we had when [then-Secretary of State] Colin L. Powell went before the United Nations," said one U.S. official, referring to Powell's 2003 presentation on then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons program that relied on evidence later found to be false. "People are going to be skeptical."

People aren't going to be skeptical. People--at least the ones who can spell their own names correctly--already are skeptical. In fact, they're downright incredulous.

And speaking of incredulous…

Chirac Takes It Back

French president Jacques Chirac pulled a Biden-class gaffe on Monday when he told the international press "I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb - having one, maybe a second one a little later, well that's not very dangerous."

The bomb would be of no use to Iran, Chirac continued. "Where will it drop it this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200m into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed to the ground."

Chirac later called a second press conference to take back his statement, saying that he assumed his earlier remarks--made to a recorded interview with the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and the Nouvel Observateur, were "off the record."

You thought your comments were off the record my derrière, Frere Jacques.

Chirac was saying what any sane political scientist knows. Even if Iran does produce a nuclear weapon--and that's a big if--it would never dare use it except as a desperate defensive measure. Chirac is expected to step down as president in May. Good on him for telling the press what needed to be heard and then saying Merde, I forgot I was talking to the press (heh, heh).

Springtime's End for Dubya?

We had one Hitler in the 20th century. How many will we have in the 21st? Osama bin Laden was Hitler after 9/11. Saddam Hussein was Hitler during the run up to the Iraq invasion. Now, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Hitler. If Ahmadinejad gets run out of power, who will we Hitlerize next?

I don't know, but it's a safe bet that somebody in Dick Cheney's office is already working on the problem.

It's just possible that the leaves are starting to turn orange on Mr. Bush's springtime. The L.A. Times identifies one of the officials who want to hold off on releasing the "proof" of Iranian interference in Iraq is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Maybe Bush's favorite office wife has decided she doesn't want to get bent over the kitchen table like her predecessor Colin Powell was when he got tapped to present bad intelligence on Iraq to the United Nations.

But maybe she's just part of a stratagem that will say "See, we double checked this time!"


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.


  1. I heard a rumor (just a rumor) that the Israelis were behind the abduction of Americans in Karbala.

    I would like to encourage you to post your blog over at Daily Kos - to get the word out. We are being pimped for another war, and meanwhile the bushies are playing "let's you and him fight" all over Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Palestine - and the big game coming up is between Sunni Arabs (of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc) and the Iranians.

    so we have got to stop them.

    It is silly to compare people to Hitler - Hitler killed about 50-55 million people. Saddam killed about a million. bush is catching up to that, by the way. Ahmadinejad has not killed anyone.

    Iran has not attacked any other country, and was helpful in Afghanistan back in 2003.

    bush is supporting Hakim (SCIRI) and Maliki (Dawa) - both groups aligned with Iran. He is setting them up for future "Let's you and him fight" games.

    bush does not care who he kills.

  2. The Israelis, huh? Throw another log on the theory.

    Quite honestly, it would not shock me to discover that was true.

  3. Anonymous7:48 PM

    the Iraqi army is a joke. no way that country becomes stable any time soon. if it does- in 5 years we'll just have to go remove another U.S. supplied dictator.

  4. I'm so glad that Dancewater found her way over here ny way of my linking ya.

    My strong suspicion is that Mossad trained Kurds did the job. That their intended target for kidnapping was not there. And that is why the 4 that were taken were just to be ridden of. Or maybe a hookup with another team did not happen.Either way, I agree with Ranger, they were real pros.

    The argument to put forth to Bushusefools is, the one of cause and effect. No Illegal Immoral War and No dead Americans.

    As to what is next, the Secret Government does plan far ahead, however I think they have not planned much beyond Iran. Except maybe for another Domestic False Flag attack.

    It does smell like it'll all blow up anytime now.


  5. Anonymous11:21 AM

    One thing most Americans don't realize, is that it's not 1950 anymore. The world is vastly more interconnected, and the US, while still a "superpower", has a real economic soft side. All that is keeping our might in place is the lack of coordination between other major powers.

    Suppose for example the rest of the world decides that the US has basically gone insane, and that Europe, China & Russia decide it's in their national interest to put a stop to this nonsense once and for all. Why all they would have to do is to threaten major corporate US interests with financial destruction and it's bye bye Miss American Pie.

    I wonder if the Republican party is considering what's going to happen to them in '08 and beyond if this madness continues...

  6. Anon,

    Yes, I think some GOPers are wondering about that. And worried.

  7. NOT 00zero the insider8:47 AM

    If you want to know what happens if Iran goes nuclear then read this blog

  8. Anonymous12:44 AM

  9. Anonymous9:58 AM

    US Launching Attack against Iran April 6

    Operation Bite: April 6 Attack by US Forces against Iran planned, according to Russian Military sources.

  10. An attack, or rather a threat of an attack on Iran just helps keep the theocracy in power.

    Too many commentators make the easy assumption that the regime is the same as the people of Iran, where as there is considerable evidence that Iranians are hardly supportive of their theocratic regime, but would back it "My country right or wrong", if they are attacked or threatened.

    Currently the International campaign to stop Iran having nuclear power (and by extension, nuclear weapons), is forcing anyone who opposes the regimes programs to keep their heads down, for fear of being called a traitor.

    The Mullahs gain strength by portraying themselves as surrounded by enemies, and anything that apparently supports that view is something that they want. Churchill once said "Jaw, jaw, was better than War, war".

    Iran does have legitimate interests in Iraq, both ethnic and religious and after the Iraq/Iran war (in which the US backed Iraqi aggression) the Iranians can claim an interest in who governs in that country.

    If the West recognised these legitimate interests and concerns, then surely the nulcear issue could be defused?

    By all means keep up pressure, and don't rule out a military option, but play the politics card very carefully. Iranians per se are more inclined towards the west than any other middle eastern country, and that fact should be supported not ignored.

    The use of language in the Middle east is more florid than in the West, so comments must be read with that in mind. Using softer, but firm language will likely play better with the Iranian public (who do have a voice in Iran) than stronger language which just plays into the regimes hands.

    Finally, it is odd that the West said nothing about Pakistan obtaining the "Bomb" (Pakistan is only ever one bullet away from becoming an Islamic regime), and the accusation of 'dual standards' is why our policies fail so frequently in this region. But then again, Pakistan has no Oil.