Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iran and the Taliban

Charles Krauthammer (aka Davros) is a real joker, he writes:

"By the day, the debate at home about Iraq becomes increasingly disconnected from the realities of the war on the ground," the Democrats are so consumed with the losing the war that they "speak almost not at all about the first visible results of that strategy. And preliminary results are visible. . ."

I'll say!

AP reports today:

"Four large bombs exploded in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 178 people and wounding scores -- the deadliest day in the city since the start of the U.S.-Iraqi campaign to pacify the capital two months ago. . . In the deadliest of the attacks, a parked car bomb detonated in a crowd of workers at the Sadriyah market in central Baghdad, killing at least 122 people and wounding 148, said Raad Muhsin, an official at Al-Kindi Hospital where the victims were taken."

Add this to the suicide bombing in the Iraqi parliament's cafateria in the "heavily secured Green Zone" last week and the up-tick in sectarian killings since al-Sadr yanked his cabinette ministers and I'd say the results so far are pretty visible.

Krauthammer writes that "The landscape is shifting in the two fronts of the current troop surge: Anbar province and Baghdad."

Yes, in Ramadi, the captial of Anbar, success is just around the corner. AP reports:

"Police in Ramadi uncovered 17 decomposing corpses buried beneath two schoolyards in a district that until recently was under the control of al-Qaida fighters. At least 85 people were killed or found dead across the country."

And as far as Baghdad goes; what drop in violence there has been is more than likely due to the fact that the insurgents have redeployed to Diyala province. The NYT reported on the 16th:

"While the "surge" plays out in Baghdad just 35 miles to the south, Baquba has emerged as a magnet for insurgents from around the country and, perhaps, the next major headache for the American military. . . It is impossible to say how many insurgents are in Baquba now. Using a broad definition that comprises not just those who actively fight, but also those who place bombs and others paid by insurgents, some military officials put the number around 2,000. It is a nasty stew that includes former members of the Saddam Husein army and paramilitary forces, the Fedayeen: angry and impoverished Sunni men: criminal gangs: Wahhabi Islamists: and foreigners. "

Hey, the Fedayeen, remember them? And I wonder where all these "Wahhabi Islamists" could be coming from? Iran perhaps? No, Saudi Arabia, our good, "moderate" ally. But that's not to say that Iran isn't at the bottom of every problem we have in Iraq.

Michael Gordon is at it again, beating the war drums, reporting today the US military says it seized weapons from Iran going to the Taliban.

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims, "We have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran. It’s not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible." Gordon writes, "According to American intelligence officials, the support to militant groups in Iraq is so systematic that it could not be carried out without the knowledge of some senior Iranian officials," so this must go for the shipments to Afghanistan, too, right?

The fact than Iran is blood enemies with the Taliban and actually helped us oust them just makes this story even more beleivable. (Tell us the one about Saddman's WMD again Michael!) Gorodn writes:

"As relations between Iran and the United States have become more confrontational, some intelligence reports have indicated that the Revolutionary Guards might arm the Taliban in order to weaken and tie down the American military in Afghanistan."

Which "intelligence reports" are thoseI wonder? Gordon isn't back to looking over Cheney's shoulder for sources for his stories again is he? This entire thing just sounds really fishy. Yes, I could see the Iranians wanting to keep us off balance both in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I just don't see them supporting the Taliban. One reason is that the Taliban get all the weapons and support they need in Pakistan, from the Pakistani ISI. Why would they bother with doing business with the Persian infidel? Another reason is that the Taliban are buying their weapons with drug money, which is a social scurge in Iran.

Yassaman Taghibeiji at Iran and writes:

"Iran is having dismal results in its fight against drug trafficking, but officials predict that the struggle will only get much more difficult due to the conflict in Afghanistan and its aftermath. . . Mohammad Fallah, secretary of Iran's Anti-Drug Committee, says that whatever happens to the war in Afghanistan, 'the drug trade will find a way to live on'. But he adds that the influx of Afghan refugees into Iran is likely to help in the increased trafficking of drugs, and that the transit of illegal substances through this country will continue as long as Afghanistan remains impoverished. As it is, Iran is already struggling in its battle against drug trafficking as well as drug abuse. Numerous indicators reveal that despite all the arrests, imprisonment and executions of smugglers and distributors, the number of addicts and users is rising along with production and distribution of narcotic drugs."

Destabilizing Afghanistan and giving aid and comfort to people they consider apostates and drug dealers would be a crazy thing for the leadership in Tehran to do, even as crazy as they are.


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