Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This is really confusing

The Cucking Stool's Iraq correspondent, Dave Thul, just posted a link in a comment to an earlier post of Spot's. The post is sufficiently old that Spot isn't sure many will see the new comment. Here's the link to a January 3rd article in the New York Sun.

This is the lede:
Iran is supporting both Sunni and Shiite terrorists in the Iraqi civil war, according to secret Iranian documents captured by Americans in Iraq. The news that American forces had captured Iranians in Iraq was widely reported last month, but less well known is that the Iranians were carrying documents that offered Americans insight into Iranian activities in Iraq.

The article goes on to quote American intelligence sources as saying that the documents show that the Iranians are assisting both the "Shiite militia and the Sunni Jihadist groups."

The article continues:

Rough translations of the Iranian assessment and strategy, as well as a summary of the intelligence haul, have been widely distributed throughout the policy community and are likely to influence the Iraq speech President Bush is expected to deliver in the coming days regarding the way forward for the war, according to two Bush administration officials.
The news that Iran's elite Quds Force would be in contact, and clandestinely cooperating, with Sunni Jihadists who attacked the Golden Mosque in Samarra (one of the holiest shrines in Shiism) on February 22, could shake the alliance Iraq's ruling Shiites have forged in recent years with Tehran. Many Iraq analysts believe the bombing vaulted Iraq into the current stage of its civil war.

A former State Department official said he believed it unlikely that the Iranians would help the Sunnis, but he stressed that he didn't know for sure:

A former State Department senior analyst on Iraq and Iran who left government service in 2005, Wayne White, said he did not think it was likely the Quds Force was supporting Sunni terrorists who were targeting Shiite political leaders and civilians, but stressed he did not know.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that al-Quds forces are on the ground and active in Iraq," he said. "That's about it. I saw evidence that Moqtada al Sadr was in contact with Sunni Arab insurgents in western Iraq [Holy Smoke! That's where Dave is!], but I never saw evidence of Iran in that loop."

Mr. White added, "One problem that we all have is that people consistently conduct analysis assuming that the actor is going to act predictably or rationally based on their overall mindset or ideology. Sometimes people don't.

"One example of a mindset that may hinder analysis of Iranian involvement is the belief that Iran would never have any dealings with militant Sunni Arabs. But they allowed hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives to escape from Afghanistan across their territory in 2002," he said.

Hizbullah and Hamas have made common cause against Israel, so Spot thinks it's certainly possible that Iran is helping some Sunni groups: a case of the middle eastern bromide that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The comments to the linked article are quite interesting. They range from "Of course, general mayhem is what Iran is after," to "this sounds like a black op and a reason for George Bush to rachet up the pressure on Iran and dodge the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group."

This one is worth watching, boys and girls.

Thanks to Dave for the link.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: