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The Case against Iran
Posted by: McQ on Monday, July 02, 2007

Glenn Greenwald's latest screed is pointed at the NYT's Michael Gordon. Apparently he's displeased Greenwald by being reliably "pro-surge", a cardinal sin to the reliably anti-surge Greenwald.

After explicitly accusing Gordon of being a "stenographer" for the military in Iraq he makes the following accusation:
"Terrorist with ties to Iranian elements" — "close ties to Iranian terror networks" — "fill the rank of Iranian terror groups operating in Iraq" — "responsible for numerous attacks on . . . Coalition forces in Baghdad." That's all in the first three paragraphs. Michael Gordon couldn't have said it better himself. Whatever else is true, and for whatever reasons, it is transparently clear that the U.S. military has made it a top priority to link the Iranian Government to attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

It is certainly news that the U.S. military is making such accusations. But the crux of Gordon's article is not to report that — i.e., that the U.S. military has escalated its rhetoric. The purpose of the article is to pass on the substance of those accusations uncritically, as though they are facts.

Gordon, as is his wont, does not question a single statement that he conveys, does not include a single dissenting view, does not provide a single reason to hold such assertions in doubt, does not obtain or include any responses to the accusations, does not identify any evidentiary gaps in the accusations. Instead, the article does nothing but magically transform the highly provocative yet unverified statements of military leaders into "news" on the pages of The New York Times. Again, read the article carefully — is there even a single sentence that advances beyond the role of loyal court stenographer to Gen. Bergner?
Essentially it boils down to this: BG Bergner is probably a liar and Gordon is simply someone who uncritically passes on those lies. What he implies is Gordon should be questioning everything this General says. Because, you see, per Greenwald, there is precious little evidence to make the link Gordon is passing on.

Of course the other side of that is the information Gordon is reporting isn't really in dispute and anyone really paying attention would know that.

So what did Bergner/Gordon really say?
Iranian operatives helped plan a January raid in Karbala in which five American soldiers were killed, an American military spokesman in Iraq said today.
This is how the article ends:

But military officials say that there is such a long and systematic pattern of Quds Force activity in Iraq, as well as a 2005 confidential American protest to Iranian leaders regarding Iran's alleged supply of road-side bombs, that senior Iranian leaders must be aware of the Quds Force role in Iraq.

"Our intelligence reveals that the senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity," he said. When he was asked if Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be unaware of the activity, General Bergner said "that would be hard to imagine."
In between those two passages, one "learns" that Iran is also arming Shiite militias in Iraq though its proxy, Hezbollah, and that "Iranian officials have helped plan operations against American troops in Iraq and have had advance knowledge of specific attacks that have led to the death of American soldiers."

These are quite extraordinary claims the NYT is publishing, as they amount to an accusation that the Iranian Government, at its highest levels, is directing fatal attacks on American troops in Iraq, which constitutes, of course, an act of war. As Gordon himself points out: "In effect, American officials are charging that Iran has been engaged in a proxy war against American forces for years."
Well actually, they aren't "quite extraordinary claims". They've been in the news since January. But you have to know who Quds Force is and who they work for. Their involvement in Iraq, however, isn't in question.

So a quick primer on Quds Force (this from a February 16, 2007 article):
The Quds Force's role underlines how deeply enmeshed Iran is in its neighbor — and how the U.S. could face resistance even from its allies in Iraq if it tries to uproot Iran's influence in Iraq.

The Quds Force — the name means "Jerusalem" in Farsi and Arabic — is the most elite and covert of Iran's military branches. Over the past two decades, the corps is believed to have helped arm and train the Hezbollah guerrilla group in Lebanon, Islamic fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and even Sudanese troops fighting in south Sudan.

The force is part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which are separate from the regular military, report directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and are tasked with protecting Iran's Islamic government. The Quds Force, first formed in the 1980s and picked from the very best of the Guards, is its special branch for operations outside Iran.

"What Quds does is very specialized, the most dangerous work, operating underground," said Mahan Abedin, an Iran expert and the research director at the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism.
So the Quds force is the special operations arm of a separate force (Revolutionary Guards) which reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader. It is, therefore, rather difficult to argue, given direct evidence of their involvement in Iraq, that somehow Iran's top leader (the man who gives them their marching orders) knows nothing about it. I mean you may find some people gullible enough to buy into that notion, but not any reasonable person.

Given that's who Quds Force are and who they report too, when General Bergner was asked if Khamenei would be unaware of that, his answer "that would be hard to imagine", was a perfectly reasonable answer. To a reporter like Gordon, who actually knows facts like that, there was nothing to question. Of course someone like Greenwald, who hasn't a clue, questions it. Instead of simply researching the answer, he makes a wrong assumption and then attempts to assassinate Gordon's integrity based on that assumption.

Also note that the article from February specifically mentions Hezbollah. So it must have come as a shock to Greenwald today when CNN reported:
A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah has been captured in Iraq, where U.S. officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.

[...]

Intelligence officials say Daqduq is one of Hezbollah's top special operations commanders, an expert in the use of roadside bombs. The Americans say he, along with the Iraqi militia commanders he worked with, has admitted working with Iran's elite Quds Force special operations unit.

[...]

Qais Khazali, a onetime spokesman for anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, was one of the men sought by American troops in connection with the attack. By the time of his March arrest, he had left the Mehdi Army and was leading one of the "special groups," according to U.S. intelligence.
And al-Sadr's Mehdi army is what? Oh, yeah, a 'shite militia'.

So to recap. Claim one: Top Iranian leadership is involved in, or at least knows about Iranian involvement in attacks in Iraq. Seems hard to deny given who from Iran is involved in the attacks. And far from speculation, this involves actual capture of Quds Force personnel.
The U.S. ambassador said Wednesday that one of the Iranians detained by U.S. forces in Iraq during two raids over the past month was the director of operations for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Quds faction, the organization responsible for funding and arming Iraqi militants.
Claim two: that Iran is arming Shite militias through Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, and that "Iranian officials have helped plan operations against American troops in Iraq and have had advance knowledge of specific attacks that have led to the death of American soldiers."

See the CNN story. Most likely Gordon already knew about what CNN reported today. So again, there was no reason to be critical or question the General. This, as CNN figured, was news. The fact that Greenwald, again, was clueless, reflects much more on him and his argument than it does on Gordon.

Greenwald does a couple of updates and seems satisfied that his accusations are sound since the story was, in his words, "edited substantially" from it's first release. I'd guess that simply means the editor is as clueless as Greenwald. Naturally Greenwald forgets to add an update to the story which reflects the Hezbollah/shite militia connection.

Oh, and not satisfied with attempting to destroy Gordon's credibility (based solely on Greenwald's ignorance and inability or unwillingness to do research), Greenwald, through a proxy, goes after BG Bergner's integrity as well. But then, that's to be expected from a partisan hack like Greenwald.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Denial (The Nile) isn’t only a river in Eygpt.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Lordy Greenwald’s a moron...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://

As with Michael Moore when he pretends average Cubans have access to quality health care, I doubt Greenwald is really this ignorant.

It’s just red meat for their audience, who could care less about the facts.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
I hope Greenwald doesn’t have mustache...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Shorter McQ: Anyone who doesn’t accept government propaganda as "known facts" is obviously a moron.

Your reaction to this is rather like your reaction to Greenwald (Sock Puppet!!!!!)’s post on the fake "Al-Qaeda" connection. You’re not only unaware of the fact that Al-Qaeda is a minor factor in Iraq, you’re actually furious that anyone would question the government’s attempts to pretend that half the people we kill in Iraq are members of "Al-Qaeda". And now you’re furious when people don’t accept government claims about the Quds force at face value. Your entire rebuttal is based on quoting government sources, when the whole point is that the government has an interest in pretending that minor factors in Iraq (like Al Qaeda and Iran) are major factors (because if they admit that most of the violence comes from home-grown Iraqis, they’ll have to admit we can’t "win" and we should leave).

This is the difference between normal people and pro-Bush outlets like the New York Times (the Times’ editorial page is liberal, but its reporting, as we see with Michael Gordon or Judy Miller, is pro-Bush). Normal people want actual proof that Iran — an even more insignificant factor in the Iraqi civil war than Al-Qaeda — is making war against the states. Bush cultists, on the other hand, believe everything the government tells them. This is why conservatives are the Big Government party; they don’t question anything the government says.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
Or, McQ’s reaction is nothing at all like Greenwalds because it uses facts, and not ignorant speculation and personal attacks of two people with little in the way of reason for you to suspect their integrity...

MA, show me, in detail, how AQ is a minor factor in Iraq. Prove it.

Show me, in detail, that Quds isn’t assisting in the violence in Iraq. Prove it.

McQ has shown his actual, documented facts. Where are yours?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"MA, show me, in detail, how AQ is a minor factor in Iraq. Prove it."

Facing eroding support for his Iraq policy, even among Republicans, President Bush on Thursday called al Qaida "the main enemy" in Iraq, an assertion rejected by his administration’s senior intelligence analysts...

U.S. military and intelligence officials, however, say that Iraqis with ties to al Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops. The group known as al Qaida in Iraq didn’t exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn’t pledge its loyalty to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn’t controlled by bin Laden or his top aides.


I know why the Bush administration pretends that Al-Qaeda is a major factor in Iraq: if they admitted otherwise, they’d have to admit that we’re not protecting Iraqis from evil-doers: the violence is being done by home-grown Iraqis.

Show me, in detail, that Quds isn’t assisting in the violence in Iraq. Prove it.

I’m not saying they’re not, I’m just saying this hasn’t been proven and after the government’s falsehoods about the Al-Qaeda presence, government sources don’t count as proof. And of course Iran is inevitably going to have some people in Iraq, just as we would have some people — intelligence, military, etc — in an occupied country on our border. That’s very different from pretending that Iran is a major contributor to the violence in Iraq; that’s a big claim that requires real proof.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
Shorter McQ: Anyone who doesn’t accept government propaganda as "known facts" is obviously a moron.
Well, no, a moron would be someone who comes in here, obviously doesn’t read the post, and then starts with a sentence like yours above.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Facing eroding support for his Iraq policy, even among Republicans, President Bush on Thursday called al Qaida "the main enemy" in Iraq, an assertion rejected by his administration’s senior intelligence analysts...
What in the world has that to do with the subject of this post?
I’m not saying they’re not, I’m just saying this hasn’t been proven and after the government’s falsehoods about the Al-Qaeda presence, government sources don’t count as proof.
Well then who’s going to provide you ’proof’? Seems government "proof" in the guise of "his administration’s senior intelligence analysts" is just peachy keen when it fits your agenda, but when it the facts don’t support your nonsense, suddenly, "well it’s government sources, you know".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
What in the world has that to do with the subject of this post?

Scott Jacobs asked why I think Al Qaeda is a minor factor in Iraq. That’s part of the answer.

Seems government "proof" in the guise of "his administration’s senior intelligence analysts" is just peachy keen when it fits your agenda,

Well, the burden of proof should be on those making the case for war, don’t you think? If "government intelligence sources" had proof that Al-Qaeda was a major factor in Iraq, they would be offering it; instead, they can only provide evidence that it’s a minor factor. The point is not that government sources are always right but that Bush has no proof that Al-Qaeda is "public enemy number one," that all the available evidence shows that Al-Qaeda is insignificant in Iraq. If Bush had evidence, he’d be offering it.

And that’s how this ties into Iran: these are big claims that basically accuse Iran of making war on the U.S. It requires more evidence than "the ambassador and/or general said so." I don’t automatically discredit government sources. If they provide proof, that’s one thing. But Gordon’s sources don’t provide proof, they provide assertions.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
(Much) shorter Glenn Greenwald:

Risen/NYT/NSA/Illegal Wiretap/Bush Criminal - GOOD/GOSPEL.

Gordon/NYT/Qods/Iran Linkage/Bergner - BAD/BS.

Nuance.

 
Written By: stevesh
URL: http://
M.A.,

Here’s a few hundred MNF-Iraq press releases mentioning operation against Al Qaeda.

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?searchword=Qaeda&option=com_search&Itemid=

I think that proves Al Qaeda is certainly a large factor. Whether they’re the largest faction from a question of military strength is certainly questionable, but they are the ones setting off those car bombs targeting civilians, so if you care about people dying then in that sense they are certainly the largest problem.

As for Iran, the military has been making that case for a long time. Our soldiers are being killed by EFPs that give every indication of being manufactured in Iran.

But hey, Greenwald cultists believe whatever he tells them. That’s the difference between them and rational people.

 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
And here’s a few hundred MNF press releases mentioning Iran.

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?searchword=iran&option=com_search&Itemid=

Honestly, if you would look at the facts instead of getting your news from a polemicist, you’d be a lot better informed. Greenwald is just a less accurate Ann Coulter.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
Greenwald is just a less accurate Ann Coulter.
But he has larger boobs and a smaller adams apple.

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself)
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
A great many of you, starting with McQ, evince a serious problem with reading comprehension. Allow me to help.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://highclearing.com/
Mona offering political interpretations is like Michael Moore offering medical advice.

Silly us, if only we already agreed with their basic premise, we’d have no problem understanding...
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Actually, this is sort of a watershed moment.

When people basically assert that U.S. soldiers are lying, every day, about who they’re fighting, aren’t those people finally past pretending they’re patriots who question the war but “support the troops?”

Well, at least we’ve finally left that ridiculous meme behind.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
A serious issue is how Iran is manipulating the whole situation. They have so many contacts within Iraqi political parties and militias that they know every thing that happens in Iraq, and probably have more knowledge of the internal workings of government and elites in Iraq than we do. Iran is playing this whole situation well, and I have no doubt that their special forces are operating in Iraq and trying to manipulate the situation. But how can we handle it? Iran is much stronger than Iraq ever was, and they’ve learned by observing at close range US tactics and capacities. They are probaby over-confident, which can work against them, but still Iran’s strength and involvement is perhaps one factor which can work strongly against any long term success for the US.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Mona offering political interpretations is like Michael Moore offering medical advice.
Could be. But consider this.

But y’all only like your brass when they are backing Bush’s neocon-directed, dangerous craziness — and are now totally handpicked to do just that.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://highclearing.com/
But y’all only like your brass when they are backing Bush’s neocon-directed, dangerous craziness — and are now totally handpicked to do just that.

The reports come from the company level, so apparently you believe every officer in the Armed Forces is now a handpicked stooge of the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton/Hitler/Beelzebub cabal.

At least you’re not pretending to support them anymore.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
At least you’re not pretending to support them anymore.
If by "support them," you mean uncritically accepting every press release they issue, you are right, I don’t. It’s a libertarian thing.

But you don’t "support" the anti-Bush-idiocy dissenting generals, Jim Webb (a decorated combat hero whose son is in harm’s way in Iraq), vet Jack Murtha, and etc. You are highly selective as to the military you support— they must be pro-war and even ready to take on Iran via military force.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://highclearing.com/
TallDave, you’ve sort of proved my point. Just because the government puts out a press release that says they’re doing operations against Al Qaeda does not in fact mean that every person killed in those operations is Al Qaeda. The fact is that we don’t know — and neither does anyone else — who’s Al Qaeda and who’s just a plain ol’ Sunni insurgent.

And the absurd lie that every car bomb is set off by "Al Qaeda" is part of what we moonbats are complaining about; it’s a dodge to pretend that the violence in Iraq is mostly coming from outside forces (Al Qaeda) when a car bomb is likely as not set off by Iraqis who either want to fight the occupation or fight each other.

Apparently when we moonbats say that we don’t automatically believe government press releases that absurdly inflate the role of Al Qaeda or Iran, your response is that this is "assert[ing] that U.S. soldiers are lying, every day." Apparently your point is that Teh Troopz are Good People and Good People never lie about anything, at least if they work for The Party.

And anyway are extremes in between lying and truth: saying that a person we killed is "Al Qaeda" is neither a lie nor the truth, because the army doesn’t know any better than we do who’s a member of Al Qaeda. And saying that Iran is killing Americans in Iraq is neither a lie nor the truth; it’s just completely unproven as yet. So prove it.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
A great many of you, starting with McQ, evince a serious problem with reading comprehension. Allow me to help.
Actually it is much more likely we evince an understanding of the situation, something Mona and Greenwald don’t. And, as difficult as this may be to understand, we know the difference between ’government truth’ and plain old truth.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

In Greenwaldian calculations, if the government utters it, it must be false, even if it’s not. If facts show up which support the government position the rule of thumb is to ignore them.

But it is nice to see some things never change and Greenwald’s press secretary is out and about trying to convince others that he didn’t really write what he wrote by claiming they can’t read.

Actually bains nailed it:
Silly us, if only we already agreed with their basic premise, we’d have no problem understanding...
The basic premise is caca ... he knows it, she knows it and thus the McQ must not be a "libertarian" nonsense (when in doubt divert attention by assassinating someone’s character).

Rosie O’Donnell could take lessons from Mona.

Oh and this:
If by "support them," you mean uncritically accepting every press release they issue, you are right, I don’t. It’s a libertarian thing.
No its an obtuse thing, there’s nothing libertarian about it. In fact, you’d think someone who claimed to be a libertarian would at least research the claims before pretending they aren’t true.
But you don’t "support" the anti-Bush-idiocy dissenting generals, Jim Webb (a decorated combat hero whose son is in harm’s way in Iraq), vet Jack Murtha, and etc. You are highly selective as to the military you support— they must be pro-war and even ready to take on Iran via military force.
Yeah, we sort of limit our support on those actually on active duty and serving. You know, the one’s who are actually there and probably have a much better understanding of ground truth and the situation than a Webb or Murtha. The one’s who are actually doing the job vs those who haven’t a clue, such as Murtha, or have an agenda, such as Webb.

But hey, that’s just common sense and we wouldn’t want you to have to cop to that would we?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yeah, we sort of limit our support on those actually on active duty and serving. You know, the one’s who are actually there and probably have a much better understanding of ground truth and the situation than a Webb or Murtha.

Is this necessarily true? It’s hardly uncommon for active-duty soldiers to have a mistaken view of the situation: they are of necessity limited in what they see and what they’re told (soldiers need to keep their morale up, and they are not — and should not be — told things that could make them think their work is hopeless). As for the military brass, they have a vested interest in making the situation out to be better than in is, would you not agree?

Or do you really think that in every war, everywhere, the people who are serving always have the clearest view of what’s going on? Because it ain’t so. There have been plenty of wars where you could talk to people on active duty who said they were winning even after they’d lost. That’s why we have civilian control of the military: we decide when we need to pull out, not the military.

And of course we wouldn’t want to have someone like General Petraeus — who blatantly lied about the situation in Iraq in order to help Bush get re-elected in 2004 — decide whether we’re "winning"; that’s for us to decide. He’s our employee, but conservatives act like we work for him. Weird.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
Just because the government puts out a press release that says they’re doing operations against Al Qaeda does not in fact mean that every person killed in those operations is Al Qaeda. The fact is that we don’t know — and neither does anyone else — who’s Al Qaeda and who’s just a plain ol’ Sunni insurgent.

First off, they’re not "the government," they’re our troops. You obviously haven’t read the MNF releases or you would know they come from COMPANY LEVEL REPORTS, not Dick Cheney’s office or the RNC office.

Secondly, we DO know who AQ is, both because the residents tell us and because we have intel on them. Finally, many of the "plain ol’ Sunni insurgents" are turning against Al Qaeda and joining us, which is why the focus is increasingly on AQ.

So again, you are calling the troops liars. I’m sure you’d like to pretend you’re "questioning the government" or whatever will create a smokescreen to hide the fact you are saying despicable things about the bravest Americans.

You ought to be ashamed.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
"Or, McQ’s reaction is nothing at all like Greenwalds because it uses facts..."

By "facts," Scott Jacobs means "things our government has reported." Like the "fact" that Hussein’s nuclear program was back in full swing in 2003.
 
Written By: Nick Danger
URL: http://gene-callahan.org/blog/
TallDave, do "our troops" work for the government or do they not? And do you think that a soldier is (or should be) free to say just anything? You have to follow official policy in sending out these press releases, and official policy at the moment is that anyone we blow up (or who blows up something else) is to be designated as "Al-Qaeda," even though most of these people are just Iraqis.

Again, you give an absurd amount of absolute trust to what are basically government press releases. I am sure you will be happy to put the same amount of faith in any press release from the Department of Agriculture explaining why we need more farm subsidies: "But that’s not Bush or Cheney writing this! That’s our bureaucrats! Who are you to hate on our government employees?"

Again, you can’t prove that a person who sets off a car bomb is automatically "Al Qaeda", so you change the subject to how much I hate the troops. Al Qaeda is a minor factor in Iraq (there are a handful of foreign terrorists there, and the organization calling itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" has a very dubious connection to the real Al Qaeda; it’s more of a Sunni insurgent group), and your only source to argue otherwise is unproveable claims that some dead Iraqi was really "Al Qaeda." The fact that The Troops put out a speculative press release doesn’t change that.
 
Written By: M.A.
URL: http://
If by "support them," you mean uncritically accepting every press release they issue, you are right, I don’t.

I’d settle for not constantly undermining their mission, declaring they’ve lost the war, and claiming they’re issuing lying press releases every day.

But again, it’s refreshing that you’ve stopped pretending.

It’s hardly uncommon for active-duty soldiers to have a mistaken view of the situation:

It’s a lot more common for people who claim the troops don’t know what’s going on to have a mistaken view of what’s going on.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
You have to follow official policy in sending out these press releases, and official policy at the moment is that anyone we blow up (or who blows up something else) is to be designated as "Al-Qaeda,"

You can’t possibly be stupid enough to think an order like that could go through the chain of command. Or maybe you can. But, thankfully, our troops aren’t.

the organization calling itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" has a very dubious connection to the real Al Qaeda

So even when they CALL THEMSELEVES Al Qaeda, and Osama blesses them, you still don’t accept that they’re Al Qaeda. That is mind-bogglingly stupid.

The fact that The Troops put out a speculative press release doesn’t change that.

Speculative??? They find torture manuals with Al Qaeda’s NAME on them! They interview locals.

Guys, I think we’ve found the Iraq War Loose Changers.

 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
Actually, that analogy fits perfectly: they claim there’s a giant conspiracy among our soldiers to falsely pin the war on Al Qaeda.

No doubt they’ll get an affidavit from Jesse MacBeth to that effect.

Then we’ll hear how explosives don’t break metal, so it must be the military setting off those car bombs. No doubt Halliburton will make a prominent appearance somewhere in their thesis.

Oh well, enough feeding the trolls for one day. They’ve proven themselves impervious to logic or evidence.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
Oh, I get it. This thread is like an Oscar retrospective by noted actors (we even have a cameo from Mona) summarizing their usual performances style in a few brief words, making a predictable response to the issue of the day.

OK, here’s mine:

The stupid liberal M. A., who is a captive of the LN, foolishly states that:
"…the government’s attempts to pretend …the government has an interest in pretending that minor factors in Iraq (like Al Qaeda and Iran) are major factors …the difference between normal people and pro-Bush outlets…Normal people want actual proof that Iran … is making war against the states…conservatives … don’t question anything the government says."
Followed by a guest shot by Mr. Greenwalds’s stalwart protector and apologist Mona:
"A great many of you… evince a serious problem with reading comprehension…"
As a rule, I never refer to a commenter without reading their links. There are exceptions …
"… are now totally handpicked to do just that. "
Offers her typical attempt to further the LN, followed by one of her typically vacuous assertions:
"It’s a libertarian thing."
Followed by one more stupid liberal demonstrating his enthrallment with the LN:
" By "facts," Scott Jacobs means "things our government has reported."
"
Still, this comment could be excused for its ignorance since a visit to the blog given as the source of wisdom by Nick Danger revealed not one political post among the current page entries which otherwise contains references to such esoteric subjects as bat species.


Followed by a reprise of stupid liberal M.A.’s parroting of the LN:
"…official policy in sending out these press releases, and official policy at the moment is that anyone we blow up (or who blows up something else) is to be designated as "Al-Qaeda."
In sum, I suppose that we should be thankful for the smart liberals who at least offer here a more sophisticated commentary than a mindless regurgitation of the LN.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Is this necessarily true? It’s hardly uncommon for active-duty soldiers to have a mistaken view of the situation: they are of necessity limited in what they see and what they’re told...
As opposed to kneejerk critic who only accepts "news" that comports to pre-existing prejudice?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
I suppose it has passed some peoples notice that, at the time of the raid, the theory was that the Qods force was behind it. Either in providing training, or actually executing it.

And seeing as how there has been plenty of evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq, it isn’t that much of a stretch.

http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10136337.html
A top Hezbollah officer who played a key role in an attack on US soldiers in January has been captured in Iraq, CNN reported on Monday.

Ali Mussa Daqduq was captured in Basra where he was helping train Shiite militias to fight coalition troops, CNN quoted US intelligence officials as saying. A Hezbollah spokesman in Lebanon refused to confirm the allegation.

The bomb expert pretended to be deaf and mute when he was captured in March, officials said.

Militants had reportedly planned to take hostages who could be traded for five jailed Iranians during the January 20 Karbala attack. But the plan went awry, resulting in the deaths of five Americans.

Following the attack, coalition troops conducted raids aimed at capturing a Shiite militant leader suspected of involvement in the attack.

Troops found computer documents detailing the planning, training and conduct of the failed kidnapping. They also found Daqduq, whom intelligence officials said has admitted working on behalf of Iran.
Greenvaldian apologists need not apply.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Besides QandO there was this analysis...

http://analysis.threatswatch.org/2007/01/qods-force-karbala-and-the-lan/
There are strong indications and surrounding circumstances that point to the January 20 attack on soldiers from an American Civil Affairs Unit in Karbala, Iraq, was an operation planned and carried out by members of the Iranian Qods Force extraterritorial unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Four captured US soldiers were later executed by the attackers. If Iranian Qods Force operators carried out the attack and executions, the US response can be seen as a barometer indicating how the US will deal with the state sponsor of terrorism on the Iraqi battlefields and elsewhere in the world.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
By "facts," Scott Jacobs means "things our government has reported."
No, he means facts, you know those inconvenient things which either support or don’t support what the government has reported.

However, in order to be able to identify facts that do either, you have to be aware of the situation to the point that you can identify them. Greenwald doesn’t fit that description as is obvious by what he incorrectly claimed.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
OMG I just realized, if everyone in the military is lying about Al Qaeda in Iraq under orders from Bush, maybe they’re lying about Afghanistan too! Maybe there is no Al Qaeda.

Maybe... there never was.

(cue ominous music)
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
And do you think that a soldier is (or should be) free to say just anything?
I would pay serious money to let the troops, for just one day, speak freely about members of congress...

They will teach you new words when reffering to Murtha and Reid and their ilk...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
And do you think that a soldier is (or should be) free to say just anything?
Immaterial...

Whether one is free to do something, doesn’t mean it is a good idea to do something.

I think if people were more cognizant of what the results of their words were, they might be a little less loose with their language and rhetoric.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Notherbob, I’m used to your cute way of trying to avoid real discussion by simply playing rhetoric games, with truth and evidence secondary to your conspiracy theory about a liberal narrative. But you also claim the liberal narrative comes from the New York Times. But in this case, the person you accuse of following the liberal narrative is sharply critical of the New York Times.

Oh no! A contradiction in your post-modern ’rhetoric trumps truth’ conspiracy theory. It is crashing around. "All units relate, all units relate, Norman coordinate..." (smoke coming out of Notherbob’s ears)

Of course, the entire thread is a bit surreal in that there is little discussion about how to deal with Iran’s masterful manipulation of the situation and a lot of talk about some guy named Greenwald, who I’ve never heard of except at times being referenced in Q&O. McQ, as is his wont, gets distracted from real issues to focus on personal grudges, whether against someone named Mona, or the politicians he loves to hate, like Murtha and Webb.

Perhaps a thread will come up down the line that will involve discussing how to handle Iran’s capacity to mess virtually any strategy we put in place.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Perhaps a thread will come up down the line that will involve discussing how to handle Iran’s capacity to mess virtually any strategy we put in place.
You mean besides bombing their nuclear, military, and terrorist infrastructure, and tell them, now don’t do that again... :)

Russia and China first have to get on board and agree that Iran is a problem. Then the US, EU, China, and Russia can talk either separately or as part of the SC, about what exactly to do about it.

’Course Kissinger has a solution, or rather a murky plan that might lead to a solution...

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/02/opinion/edkiss.php
What America and the world need is not unilateral withdrawal but a vision by the administration of a sustainable political end to the conflict. Withdrawals must grow out of a political solution, not the other way around.

None of Iraq’s neighbors, not even Iran, is in a position to dominate the situation against the opposition of all the other interested parties. Is it possible to build a sustainable outcome on such considerations?

The answer must be sought on three levels: the internal, the regional and the international.

...

To be sure, Iranian leaders may believe that the wind is at their backs, that the moment is uniquely favorable to realize millennial visions of a reincarnated Persian empire or a reversal of the Shiite-Sunni split under Shiite domination. On the other hand, if prudent leaders exist - which remains to be determined - they might come to the conclusion that they had better treat these advantages as a bargaining chip in a negotiation rather than risk them in a contest over domination of the region.

No American president will, in the end, acquiesce once the full consequences of Iranian domination of the region become apparent. Russia will have its own reasons, principally the fear of the radicalization of its own Islamic minority, to begin resisting Iranian and radical Islamist domination of the Gulf. Combined with the international controversy over its nuclear weapons program, Iran’s challenge could come to be perceived by its leaders to pose excessive risks.

Whether or whenever Iran reaches these conclusions, two conditions will have to be met: First, no serious diplomacy can be based on the premise that the United States is the supplicant. America and its allies must demonstrate a determination to vindicate their vital interests that Iran will find credible. Second, the United States will need to put forward a diplomatic position that acknowledges the legitimate security interests of Iran.
Of course, McQ did start this thread about the reaction some quarters are having to the news that Iran is involved in a bad way in Iraq, and against US interests. And look at the reaction. How can a serious discussion take place, when some people are, at best, in denial about the situation???

Whether they were directly involved in the raid in January, there is sufficient evidence that they are involved in Iraq, and through proxies, in Lebanon, and Palestine.
 
Written By: keith_indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Kissinger’s ideas are interesting.

One reason I was against attacking Iraq was because I didn’t want a repeat of 1991 when Iran essentially came out on top. Iraq was always too small and divided to be a true threat to the region. Iran can disrupt the entire region. I think Kissinger’s point about prudent leaders is important. It’s easy to dismiss Iranian leaders as extremists by quoting Ahmadinejad, but the track record of the Guardian Council’s foreign policy is one of shrewd, even brilliant diplomacy, alongside a ruthless willingness to do whatever it can get away with. The part in bold is essential — I think we can deal with Iran, but only if they think we mean business. Right now we’re playing on their turf. They know the Iraqi political and cultural scene better than we do, they can operate clandestinely and through agents in ways we can’t truly track or alter. They understand American public opinion and believe they are justified in countering us given the existential threats we’ve made to their regime (axis of evil, efforts to fund the opposition, special operations in Iran, etc.)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
They understand American public opinion and believe they are justified in countering us given the existential threats we’ve made to their regime (axis of evil, efforts to fund the opposition, special operations in Iran, etc.)
’Course, that get us into the chicken or the egg paradox.

In effect they are saying "We’ll show you we’re not evil, by terrorizing and destabilizing our neighbor, mostly because it will weaken you."

How do you deal in good faith with people who’ve been at war with us since ’79, and like you said, will do whatever they can get away with. They are one of the biggest reasons now for the instability and continuing problems in the Middle East, and have been for since ’79.

Meanwhile it’s their own people who’ve suffered the most from their actions. That’s why I firmly believe they are on the way to regime change from within. We might be nudging things in the background, but their own actions are causing the most friction internally.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I’m not justifying their position, just stating it clearly: they see us in much the same light we see them. That’s why Kissinger notes we have to take their security interests into account. As with communism, they will change. We have to do like Nixon and Kissinger did and buy time by creating a status quo in which change can be possible. Then we have to be ready to do like Reagan did (I know I’m stretching the analogy, forgive me) and be both adament in our willingness to oppose them (though not by direct warfare) and ready to engage when a leader comes along who recognizes the nature of the crisis and wants to change. I’m thoroughly convinced Iran can be contained. In Iraq they see a cheap low-risk way to weaken us. Perhaps we can increase the risk (though that’s risky for us), but we need to get the rest of the world on our side. I assume that on a beautiful Maine weekend a few days ago Bush and Putin talked a lot about Iran at Kennebunkport.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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