When I read stories like this, I wonder what the hell is going on:
Iraq has agreed to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build a pair of enormous power plants, the Iraqi electricity minister said Tuesday. Word of the project prompted serious concerns among American military officials, who fear that Iranian commercial investments can mask military activities at a time of heightened tension with Iran.
The Iraqi electricity minister, Karim Wahid, said that the Iranian project would be built in Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad that is controlled by followers of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr. He added that Iran had also agreed to provide cheap electricity from its own grid to southern Iraq, and to build a large power plant essentially free of charge in an area between the two southern Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.
The expansion of ties between Iraq and Iran comes as the United States and Iran clash on nuclear issues and about what American officials have repeatedly said is Iranian support for armed groups in Iraq. American officials have charged that Iranians, through the international military wing known as the Quds Force, are particularly active in support of elite elements of the Mahdi Army, a militia largely controlled by Mr. Sadr.
An American military official in Baghdad said that while he had no specific knowledge of the power plant contracts, any expansion of Iranian interests was a concern for the military here.
Man, it sure would be nice if we had a professional military under civilian control.
Seriously- I am tired of hearing the political opinions of anonymous military spokesmen. I know things have been confusing lately, with Bush crowning God-General after God-General in order to deflect from his disastrous leadership, but this is getting out of control. There seems to be a recent trend (this is where history buffs tell me I am full of it) in which the military feels the need to have a hand in shaping policy. It needs to stop.