Wednesday, September 19, 2007

U.S. Accusations against Iran in Iraq are False

Analysts Ervand Abrahamian and Gareth Porter have recently make essential points in talking about Iran's purported involvement with groups that have attacked the United States in Iraq. First, Brigadeer General Kevin Bergner, General David Petraeus and their underlings have used the slogan "Iranian-backed militia extremists" creating the utterly false impression that there is a unitary force backed by Iran that is engaging with the United States. Second, Bush administration officials have invoked the impression that Iran has some kind of uniform strategy to implement some kind of campaign. Both of these propositions appear to be completely false.

There are at least five identifiable Shi'a militia groups operating in Iraq. The Mehdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr is perhaps the most troublesome of them--so troublesome that the United States has initiated attacks against them, prompting retaliation--hardly an Iranian plot. It is not clear who and under what conditions IED/ETFs have been planted in other areas, and as Porter has shown in a whole series of decisive articles, one must strain at gnats to demonstrate an Iranian connection. Wayne White's anecdote about some militia person going and getting some kind of arms across the Iranian border, if even reflecting a true event, only emphasizes the logical source of such weapons, namely from gun runners. What conflict has not had such people?

As deep as suspicion may run of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, no evidence exists that they have been active in Iraq, and no amount of public jawboning can eliminate the thundering lack of evidence. The formula "Hezbullah=Iranian control" as much as it has been invoked by the Bush administration, is patently false, as Hezbullah observers have been asserting for more than a decade. But beyond this, even the active involvement of Hezbullah in Iraq lacks any concrete proof, beyond the identification of a few individuals who may well be simple freebooters.

Does anyone seriously believe that Iran desires chaos in Iraq? Has anyone understood that Muqtada al-Sadr and Ali al-Sistani will never be Iranian clients--that they both oppose Iran's governmental structure, and have their own ideas about how Iraq should be constructed? These obvious questions are never asked by either press or politicians. They inconveniently contravene the dominant Bush administration Iranian plot scenario, but they are the most important analytic factors in understanding Iran's true relationship to Iraq today.

It only takes a little sober thought and a careful examination of the lack of evidence to see that this giant "plot" on the part of Iran is a total house of cards concocted to gin up an excuse for military action against Iran. I am frankly appalled at the U.S. government for promulgating such chicanery on the world. What is especially appalling is the gullibility of both the press and the American politicians, who now repeat this specious formulation as if it were fact. This can not end well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

been to Iraq twice, even the Iraqis know the Iranians are there stirring the pot (they just don't say because they are not confident we will stay and they have to live w/ Iran next door after we go). In fact, we have had shootouts on the boarder when they have tried to capture our soldiers. in early 08 a british helicopter was shot down in Basra by a sophisticated man-portable surface to air missile, where do you think that missile came from? do your homework. I don't want war with Iran either... but that doesn't mean they are NOT doing exactly what they are accused of.