Friday, February 09, 2007

The Lie Factory

AP reports that DefSec Robert Gates says today he's got "pretty good" evidence that Iran is supplying the Iraqi insurgency with more sophisticated IEDs. [Those Sunni insurgents who would just assume kill the Iranians as look at them.] He says ""I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found." 'I think?' That's good enough for me, let's nuke 'em!

I don't know, sounds kind of flimsy but whatever may be lacking evidence-wise can always be manufactured later on. Gates also said the second aircraft carrier now in the Gulf was there to "reassure" our allies, not to attack Iran. I'm sure two aircraft carrier battle groups poised to pounce on Iran at the slightest provocation is providing many hours of restful uninterrupted sleep to the tiny Gulf States sitting in the line of fire. Oh, but I forgot, they have new Patriot missile batteries to protect them. When these Patriot missiles aren't shooting American fighters jets out of the sky, they sometimes come close to hitting missiles. ( So Raytheon says, anyway.)

Gates' latest bogus assertions come on the heels of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's head honcho, doing his level best to keep the bellicose rhetoric at fever pitch telling a captive audience of air force commanders yesterday that any attack by the US on Iran would cause "a response from all sides by Iranian people on their interests all over the world." To put a finer point on this threat, the Revolutionary Guards kept everyone on their toes by shooting off some more land to sea missiles claiming that they could "hit different kinds of big warships throughout the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, and the northern Indian Ocean." (Would those "big warships" be US aircraft carriers by any chance?)

All of this saber rattling is all really no biggie, though, as Gates explains: "It's just another day in the Gulf." Yes, just another day of throwing wild accusations around with no basis in fact to create a causus belli for another war. Just like they did before the Iraq invasion, W. and company are putting this stuff out there and seeing what sticks. Like, for instance, the story going around that insurgents who abducted and killed five American soldiers on Jan. 20 in Karbala were trained by the Iranians. There's not a shred of evidence behind this claim, but as the NYT reports, "Officials said the sophistication of the attack astonished investigators, who doubt the Iraqis could have carried it out on their own -- one reason a connection to Iran is being closely examined."

Somehow the Iraqi insurgents have managed to fight the most powerful and advanced military in history to a stand-still for almost four years, yet American investigators are "astonished" that they were able to get hold of some uniforms that looked vaguely general issue, had stun grenades and had fake IDs. The Iraqis have never been known to dress up in phony uniforms or present fake IDs, who else could it have been but the Iranians? What isn't being "closely examined" is why Iranian agents would help Iraqi Sunnis, their sectarian enemies, launch such an audacious raid on American troops. I know it doesn't make any sense, but they've got evidence, you betcha'.

Do they? Remember last week when military officials in Baghdad were going to show reporters all the evidence they had about Iranian interference in Iraq but then had to cancel the big show for lack of any? The latest NIE says, contrary to W.'s assertions about clear Iranian meddling, that Iraqi sectarian fighting is "self sustaining" and that Iranian and or Syrian influence is "not likely to be a major driver of violence." [Where's Douglas Feith and his Lie factory -- Sorry, "Office of Special Plans" -- when you need him?] Mark Hosenball writes in this week's Newsweek that "three U.S. officials familiar with unpublished intel said evidence of official Tehran involvement [in Iraq] is 'ambiguous,' in the words of one of the officials."

Gates keeps saying there's no "intention" to go to war with Iran but there's nothing like stumbling into a war by accident to clear up all that ambiguity, is there? Because if both sides keep pushing, something is bound to go wrong. One of these days, the Iraqis or the Americans are going to arrest, kidnap or kill the wrong Iranian diplomat or launch a raid on the wrong Iranian "liaison office" and all hell is going to break loose. This, I guess, would suit Cheney and his minions’ just fine.

Another shock and awe extravaganza on every 24-hour news channel would sure put an end to any talk in Congress of voting for resolutions against the surge. Hell, it might even put an end to all these investigations going on in Congress looking into the administration losing billions of dollars on Iraqi reconstruction. Cheney's former company Halliburton would sure breath a sigh of relief. Mission accomplished!


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