More War News

It may take a certain tolerance for paradox, but signs suggest that the US-Iran war that will never happen has already begun:

The Iranian government is training and equipping much of the Shiite insurgency in Iraq, a senior U.S. general said Wednesday, drawing one of the most direct links by the Pentagon.

[…] “I think it’s irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these (Shiite) extremist groups and also providing advanced IED technology to them,” Barbero said. “IED” refers to the improvised explosive devices _ roadside bombs _ that have caused much death and destruction in Iraq.

Barbero, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would be inappropriate to specify when, where and how many Iranians have been training Iraqi insurgents.

Maybe this is psyops or disinformation and maybe it is stone-cold accurate. Basically it doesn’t matter, since we already knew that the dominant Shiite factions have intimate ties with Iran which will only grow as our influence diminishes. It also remains mostly irrelevant since the anti-American insurgency remains largely Sunni. If the shiites chose to expel the US they would hardly need Iran’s help to quickly make out stay in Iraq untenable. We only stay at the behest of Iraq’s Shiites and when their goodwill ends the Iranian help will only serve to make the pullout that much more painful.

Rather, the real factor here is probably Iran training/equipping the Shiite factions in preparation for the coming partition and civil war. Sunnis inherited the better part of Saddam’s army and Mukabarat and they have shown themselves as more than capable of making a modern army miserable out of proportion to their actual numbers. No doubt Iran doesn’t mind if their trainees pick off the random American, but from a strategic perspective we’re already gone. We simply cannot sustain our current numbers for much longer (the IRR callup demonstrates that), which itself means little when the balance of our forces spend their time hunkered in FOBs to minimize casualties. In the end I think that Gen. Barbero has an inflated sense of our own importance.






32 replies
  1. 1
    Pb says:

    This is just Democracy in action, baby, the Iraqi people have been empowered, and they are learning to be more friendly to their neighbors, like Iran!

    Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision
    By Robin Wright
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, February 14, 2005; Page A08

    When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran’s theocracy — potentially even a foil to Tehran’s regional ambitions.

    But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base — and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy — $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say.

    So what’s the problem? Why does the Bush administration hate Democracy and co-operation in the Middle East? This is just more of their catastrophic success in action!

  2. 2

    Let’s think here.

    The false intelligence that Bush relied upon to draw us into the war with Iraq came from Iranian intelligence sources.

    Iran was elated when we took out Hussein because it got rid of their major competitor in the region.

    Iran has a Shiite government.

    Iraq is majority Shiite and is home to the major Shiite religious shrines and such.

    This revelation that Iran is mucking around in Iraq draws this one word answer.

    DUH!

  3. 3
    Slide says:

    hmmmm….. Iran is a danger to the US… Iran has ties to terrorism…. Iran has WMD…

    to quote the great Decider:

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

    Do they really think it will work again?

  4. 4
    ThymeZone says:

    Israel’s ‘Moral High Ground’
    It keeps getting lower…
    by Justin Raimondo
    The other day on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks revealed the true face of the utter ruthlessness that underlies Israel’s actions on the ground in the Middle East:

    Howard Kurtz: “And joining us now here [in] Washington [is] Anne Compton who covers the White House for ABC News, and Thomas Ricks, Pentagon reporter for the Washington Post and author of the new book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Tom Ricks, you’ve covered a number of military conflicts, including Iraq, as I just mentioned. Is civilian casualties increasingly going to be a major media issue? In conflicts where you don’t have two standing armies shooting at each other?”

    Thomas Ricks, reporter, Washington Post: “I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they’re being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.”

    Kurtz: “Hold on, you’re suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?”

    Ricks: “Yes, that’s what military analysts have told me.”

    Kurtz: “That’s an extraordinary testament to the notion that having people on your own side killed actually works to your benefit in that nobody wants to see your own citizens killed but it works to your benefit in terms of the battle of perceptions here.”

    Ricks: “Exactly. It helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.”

    Just when you thought Israel’s high moral ground couldn’t get any lower, they go and do something like this. Maintaining the moral high ground is always a dicey matter for a brazen aggressor, but making sure some of your own civilians die as you wantonly slaughter your neighbors is unique in the annals of war propaganda. Not even the Nazis pulled crap like that.

    I don’t like to make such comparisons, but in view of Ricks’ reportage it is clearly not hyperbole. And so what has been the response of the Israelis and their American amen corner? On a later program, Howard Kurtz had this to say:

    “One other note. On Reliable Sources two weeks ago, Washington Post Pentagon reporter Tom Ricks said he’d been told by U.S. military analysts that Israel was leaving some Hezbollah rocket launchers intact because the killing of Israeli civilians provided an image of moral equivalency in the war. Post editor Len Downie, responding to a letter from former New York mayor Ed Koch, says he told Ricks he should not have made those statements.

    “Ricks told the New York Sun that he accurately reported the comments from analysts but that, quote, ‘I wish I hadn’t said them, and I intend from now on to keep my mouth shut about it.'”

    Translation: What I said is true, and I promise never to say it again.

    Raimondo’s site also has a story to the effect that Israel is getting itself set up to “go it alone” against Iran, I presume to provide cover for the larger war that would be on when US came to the aid of its ally.

    Does anyone really doubt that we are being set up here?

  5. 5
    gus says:

    An article in the recent Vanity Fair suggests that Sunnis are now more concerned with fighting Shiites than they are with an anti-American insurgency. The civil war is in full swing. More disasters await, including Turkish and Iranian involvement (which has already begun) to prevent the formation of a Kurdish state. What a clusterfuck.

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    personally, i don’t think the shiite militias are fighting half as hard as they could. they’re biding their time, knowing that they have the numbers. they don’t need to fight the sunnis. they can just wait.

    america’s presence makes no difference in that.

  7. 7
    kb says:

    “Maybe this is psyops or disinformation and maybe it is stone-cold accurate”

    Or maybe its just the us goverment lying..

    Again.

    link

    From last year…..

    “Bush said in a speech Monday that Iran had supplied IED components to Iraqi groups, but U.S. officials have presented no evidence to support that”

    link

    Quite frankly the US government is not a very credible source about how iran is a threat..

    Maybe if the US tortures a few more people they can come up with how Iran is a threat to it’s neighbours.

  8. 8
    p.lukasiak says:

    “I think it’s irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these (Shiite) extremist groups and also providing advanced IED technology to them,” Barbero said. “IED” refers to the improvised explosive devices roadside bombs that have caused much death and destruction in Iraq.

    This is almost funny. “Advanced IED technology”?!?!?! I mean, the whole point of an IED is that its an IMPROVISED bomb….

    What Iran is doubtless doing is sending Bush and his buddies a message about attacking Iran…. the price that American forces stationed in Iraq would pay would be far greater than the damage caused to Iran’s nuclear program, should the US attack Iran (or allow Israel to use Iraqi airspace to attack Iran).

  9. 9
    Tim F. says:

    kb, please embed your links. Baby Jesus cries when the margins get stretched out to infinity.

  10. 10
    Demento says:

    Gus brings up some interesting points. We enlisted the help of the Kurds when keeping Saddam in check after the first Iraq war (remember no-fly zones?) The Kurds have developed a relatively stable, autonomous region and have access to the Kirkuk oilfields. In a civil war the Kurds will protect their turf but will we leave them to the tender mercies of the Iranians and Turks, much like we left the Hmong out to dry after the Viet Nam conflict?

  11. 11
    Tim F. says:

    ppGaz, this has to be the fifth time that I have asked you not to post entire articles. If John has to deal with a copyright lawsuit you’ll be stuck with Scrutator and that new kakistocrats site. Just put up a link and give us the gist of it.

  12. 12
    Tim F. says:

    In a civil war the Kurds will protect their turf but will we leave them to the tender mercies of the Iranians and Turks, much like we left the Hmong out to dry after the Viet Nam conflict?

    That is a question? Of course we will. The US has no diplomatic standing to condemn Turkey for militarily dealing with its Kurd problem and our army couldn’t begin to deal with a five-way war between the Shi’a, Sunni and Kurdish Iraqis and the armies of Iran and Turkey. Knowing Rumsfeld we probably don’t even have a GTFOD plan drawn up yet but when things get hairy I have no doubt that one will get written down quick.

  13. 13
    matt says:

    We simply cannot sustain our current numbers for much longer

    I have a real problem with this line, mainly because I’ve been hearing it since about six months into the war.

    I mean it makes sense, but it made sense when people said it a year ago, and two years ago, ect.

  14. 14
    Darrell says:

    Quite frankly the US government is not a very credible source about how iran is a threat..

    Maybe if the US tortures a few more people they can come up with how Iran is a threat to it’s neighbours

    I’ve noticed this as a new leftwingnut talking point – “Iran isn’t really such a threat, it’s just that Bush plays them up as a boogeyman for political gain”. As usual, trying to minimize, and in some cases, excuse real dangers we face.

  15. 15
    Darrell says:

    We simply cannot sustain our current numbers for much longer

    And military commanders seem to agree. Iraqi forces have gained experience and training. The question is how much reduction and how fast

  16. 16
    matt says:

    Darrell, that attitude scares the hell out of me as well. I think one of the most dangerous things that can happen is people become cynical about the threats we face, or worse, that cynicism turns into apathy and complacency.

    Although I assume we probably disagree on what’s responsible for making Americans feel this way and weakening our vigilance.

  17. 17
    ThymeZone says:

    ppGaz, this has to be the fifth time that I have asked you not to post entire articles

    I didn’t post the entire article.

    But anyway, tell me what the line limit is, and I’ll try to stick to it.

  18. 18
    ThymeZone says:

    Besides, the stuff I posted is mostly transcript from tv and Howard Klutz Kurtz. Is that copyrighted?

    This is, I think, the actual transcript.

  19. 19
    ThymeZone says:

    you’ll be stuck with Scrutator and that new kakistocrats site.

    Jealousy is not your best look.

  20. 20
    Tim F. says:

    Jealousy is not your best look.

    Who pissed in your oatmeal? I wish you guys the best of luck.

  21. 21
    Tim F. says:

    I didn’t post the entire article.

    But anyway, tell me what the line limit is, and I’ll try to stick to it.

    My mistake – I thought that was the whole thing. The lack of a link set me off, since people usually link to something that they excerpt.

  22. 22
    ThymeZone says:

    Who pissed in your oatmeal?

    Nobody. I am just being my lovable obnoxious self.

    Thanks for the best wishes.

  23. 23
    ThymeZone says:

    My mistake – I thought that was the whole thing.

    Not a problem. I have actually tried to be more careful about this since the last time you chewed me out.

  24. 24
    stickler says:

    Why are people always pissing in other peoples’ oatmeal? That just sucks.

    This, however, begs for explanation:

    “We simply cannot sustain our current numbers for much longer…”

    I have a real problem with this line, mainly because I’ve been hearing it since about six months into the war.

    Yeah, you have. And six months into the war, people were warning about second tours and what that would do to troop retention. And, lo and behold, it had a negative effect on troop retention. Then came increased US casualties, mission creep, Paul Bremer, IEDs, third tours … and fourth tours … and now, the Marines have to reactivate 2,500 IRR folks. And the Army has had to lower standards, and lower them again, and again. And equipment, we were warned, would be wearing out ahead of schedule — and it is.

    George W. Bush is breaking the Armed Forces. Slowly, but sure as hell.

    And he hasn’t even bombed Iran yet.

  25. 25
    BlogReeder says:

    …Yeah, you have. And six months into the war, people were warning about second tours and what that would do to troop retention. And, lo and behold, it had a negative effect on troop retention. Then came increased US casualties…

    War is hell, isn’t it? Only in Hollywood has war been fought with perfect logistics, perfect intelligence, perfect equipment, no casualties, and no collateral damage. And another thing, have you guys ever heard of contingency plans? Plan A and Plan B? War games? You have to plan things out way in advance. You guys complain, “there was no planning” and at the same time “Wouldja look, they’re planning something!”

  26. 26
    stickler says:

    Hey, BlogReedur:

    You mention contingency plans. Interesting.

    What is Bush’s “plan” to pay for this war? Increase taxes, or just keep on borrowing from China?

    What is Bush’s “plan” to increase the size of the Army?

    Or is his “plan” to just muddle through and let the IRR take care of the problem?

  27. 27
    lard lad says:

    War is hell, isn’t it? Only in Hollywood has war been fought with perfect logistics, perfect intelligence, perfect equipment, no casualties, and no collateral damage.

    Whereas under Dubya, we got a war fought with nonexistent logistics, worthless and/or distorted intelligence, increasingly inadequate equipment, casualties galore and collateral damage that hasn’t even begun to be felt.

    And for what end? So the two-thirds of the Axis of Evil that hated each other’s guts could become bosom buddies. And all for the low, low cost of 2500-and-counting American lives, half a trillion bucks, a dangerously diminished military and the scorn of nine-tenths of the non-US globe.

    Maybe we should have had Hollywood run this war… hard to imagine them doing a worse job.

  28. 28
    Richard 23 says:

    The real question is, where is BIRDZILLA?

  29. 29
    lard lad says:

    The real question is, where is BIRDZILLA?

    “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.”
    –Oscar Wilde–

  30. 30
    Sherard says:

    Disinformation ? Inaccurate ?

    Unreal. It has LONG been reported as accepted fact that advanced shape charge IEDs in Iraq are coming directly from materials and training provided by Iran. This is not news. But in Moonbat Land, not only is this suddenly news, but news to be skeptical about.

  31. 31
    Pb says:

    Disinformation ? Inaccurate ?

    Unreal. It has LONG been reported as accepted fact that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide. This is not news. But in Moonbat Land, not only is this suddenly news, but news to be skeptical about.

  32. 32
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Wheres the usial antiwar wackos going ove there to iran to stop this are they afraid they will end up being shot dead?

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