“Al-Zawahiri, Bush and Aljazeera,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 5 August 2005, http://www.juancole.com/2005/08/fool-me-once-shame-on-you-fool-me-cant.html.
“Tehran has the veto over peace in Iraq …,” by Thomas Barnet, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 6 August 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002120.html.
Dr. Thomas Barnett seems to accept claims that Iran is supporting anti-Shia terrorists in Iraq…
I said in the Feb issue of Esquire, I say it again:
Some Bombs Used in Iraq Are Made in Iran, U.S. Says
By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: August 6, 2005
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 – Many of the new, more sophisticated roadside bombs used to attack American and government forces in Iraq have been designed in Iran and shipped in from there, United States military and intelligence officials said Friday, raising the prospect of increased foreign help for Iraqi insurgents.
American commanders say the deadlier bombs could become more common as insurgent bomb makers learn the techniques to make the weapons themselves in Iraq.
But just as troubling is that the spread of the new weapons seems to suggest a new and unusual area of cooperation between Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis to drive American forces out – a possibility that the commanders said they could make little sense of given the increasing violence between the sects in Iraq …
You can say this is not good. I say it’s as good as we choose to make it.
… while Dr. Juan Cole is skeptical
Do you notice how Hizbullah (Hezbollah), which is Shiite, is in southern Lebanon, way over in the west of the map, on the Mediterranean? Do you notice how northeastern Iran (also Shiite) is way over to the east of the map, near the Caspian sea? Do you notice how there isn’t any way to get from Lebanon to Iran except through Syria and then Turkey? Do you notice how there isn’t any way to get from Lebanon to Iraq except via Syria or Syria-and-Jordan? (You could fly, but if the Lebanese government is permitting air transport of 500 pound bombs out of Beirut, we have other problems than just some Iraqi arms smuggling).
Do you notice how there are 250,000 tons of missing munitions in Iraq, such that it is not necessary for the Baath military intelligence to import very many from elsewhere?
Do you notice how the US military has not captured any Lebanese Hizbullah in the company of Sunni guerrillas in Iraq? Do you notice how only the Baathist ex-Minister of the Interior, Falah al-Naqib, an appointee of CIA asset Iyad Allawi, ever alleged that he had captured Lebanese Hizbullah in Iraq? (Do you notice how Allawi’s Minister of Defense, Baathist Hazem Shaalan, charged that Iran was Iraq’s number one enemy when he was briefly in power last year?)
Do you notice how there are two, count them, two, Iraqi organizations called “Hezbollah” (which just means “party of God”) and how Americans frequently are confused and think these are the Lebanese party, which they are not?
Do you notice how the US military has not captured any Iranians in the Sunni Arab provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin, etc.? (Occasionally Iranian pilgrims have been captured in Shiite areas, where they threw in with Shiite militants.)
Do you notice how the US military has captured lots of Sunni Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Sudanese, etc.?
Do you notice how the Sunni guerrillas talk nasty about the Shiites and blow them up and slit their throats? Do you notice how some people are depending on you not to know that radical Shiites and extremist Sunnis don’t like each other?
Apparently, so is the Iraqi Government
Iraq’s Prime Minister, Iran’s President
Iraq’s defence minister, on a landmark visit to Iran, called Thursday for reconciliation between the two neighbours and former arch-foes and pledged not to allow Iraqi soil to be used for attacks against the Islamic republic.
“We have come here to turn a painful page and to open another,” Saadun al-Dulaimi said at a press conference with Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani.
“I have come to Iran to ask forgiveness for what Saddam Hussein has done,” he said, referring to Saddam’s attack on Iran in 1980 that sparked a bitter eight-year war and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Dulaimi pledged that the two sides would begin military and anti-terrorist cooperation, but nevertheless asserted it was too soon for US and other foriegn troops to pull out of his country.
Iran is concerned about the US military presence on its borders and has repeatedly called for their withdrawal, but Dulaimi asserted that “given the present situation, if foreign forces leave Iraq there will be nothing but chaos and more trouble.”
“Iraq will not be a source of insecurity and instability for any of its neighbors. Nobody can use its soil to attack Iraq’s neighbors,” Dulaimi insisted, in response to Iranian concerns over a possible American attack.
Tensions between Iran and the US are high over Washington’s claims the clerical regime here is seeking to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Tehran has also been accused of backing Iraqi insurgents and Palestinian militants.
Shamkhani announced the formation of joint committees for military cooperation, the fight against terrorism, clearing minefields and investigating the missing soldiers from the 1980-1988 between Iran and Saddam’s Iraq.
The military committee is aimed at “equipping the Iraqi army … to create an independent and self-sufficient Iraqi army”, he said.