Friday, October 26, 2007

There's an Iranian under every bed!

If you listen to US Maj. General Rick Lynch these days, the Surge is working like a charm. An AP story quotes Lynch saying, "I've never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we've made in Iraq." US military deaths are down to 2005 levels, 1.2 a day, and for the current month civilian casualties are only running so far at about 900 (last month the number was 1,023).

And hey, AQI is on the run! Even OBL is so concerned about the sorry state of AQI these days that he's issued a communiqué imploring Sunnis to put aside their tribal traditions, to "beware of division," and join al-Qaeda in the fight against the American invader. [AP]

[Two funny things about the OBL message: The first thing that strikes me is that he apparently doesn't understand the whole Iraqi tribal system any better than we did when we went in. The second thing is that he's still out there making videos and audio messages. While things appear to be more "stable" in Iraq, which is a very relative term, Pakistan is falling apart. And guess who's sitting comfortably in a cave somewhere in Pakistan pulling all the levers waiting for the "Islamic bomb" to fall into his lap?]

Rather than the brilliance of General David Patreaus, though, there might be another reason violence is down in Iraq. Besides the fact that after a year and a half of intense ethnic cleansing, which has separated the Sunnis and Shiites into walled off ethnic enclaves ( i.e. there's no one left to kill) -- and the exodus of over four million Iraqis to Syria and Jordan -- NEWSWEEK reports that another reason things might be going so swimmingly in Iraq is, according to senior U.S. officials, "a decrease in the number of attacks attributable to insurgents backed or armed by Iran."

Why is the question. Mark Hosenball writes: "Multiple officials note that radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has close ties with Iran, recently ordered his militia to settle down. It's also possible, two U.S. officials say, that Iranian leaders are responding to diplomatic lobbying from the Iraqi government and scaling back some of their support for the insurgency."

Or it could be that they're pulling back their resources within Iranian borders to face the coming shock and awe campaign.

In any case, as Hosenball notes, this development sort of flies in the face of the administration's war rhetoric that Iran is interfering in Iraq to such a level that W. can pretty much blame them for everything that goes wrong in Iraq.

What's the next excuse? Ahmadinejad's bad breath is a WMD?


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