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What do we Know and When do we Know it?

November 30th, 2006 - 4:39 pm

Many thanks to the Pajamasmasters for inviting me to blog here. I hope you find it worthwhile. One of the great things about blogging is that there is no template, and so I will feel free to post very short and very long blogs if that’s the way it comes out.

This one takes off from one of the Big Stories on Thursday, with ABC News telling us that “Iranian Weapons Arm Iraqi Militia.” It says that American officials in Iraq now have “smoking gun” evidence that our troops are being targeted with Iranian-made weapons, which have been provided by the Iranian Government to Shi’ite killers, notably the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr.

That’s big news: a breakthrough, in fact. Up until this article, so far as I know, no American official was willing to blame the Iranian regime for the lethal equipment. They acknowledged that Iranian-made stuff was in Iraq, but they always gave the regime some wiggle room.

No more. They’ve now blamed the regime…for an act of war against the United States.

What’s new is not that we suddenly discovered the connection; we’ve known that for quite some time, as Bob Woodward repeatedly noted in his latest opus. Each time, some high-ranking government official is quoted as saying or thinking, “this is an act of war,” and then, immediately thereafter, “omigod, if the president sees this he may do something violent.”

In the battles in Fallujah and Hilla a couple of years ago, the Marines and Special Forces units discovered abundant evidence of the Iranian role, including photographs–taken in Syria–showing Iraq terrorists alongside Syrian and Iranian spooks, notably from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. They also found phone lists, computer files, and handwritten materials of Iranian provenance. How do I know this? I spent time with one of the interpreters who personally translated the stuff. And then I confirmed it with some military people.

What’s new is that our military guys are finally going public with their knowledge. I guess–it’s only a guess–that somebody at a high level of the military decided it was unconscionable to permit our soldiers to get blown up by Iran, and so he went public in the usual way: tell the journalists. The same thing has happened in Britain, by the way; every now and then the Telegraph or the Times would carry stories about evidence of the Iranian hand.

This may also mark a defeat for the old-line CIA crowd, which has done its very best to stigmatize anyone who argued in favor of supporting pro-democracy forces in Iran. General Hayden, the current head of CIA, has shown a refreshing ability to think things through, and he may have played a role in the latest revelations. There should be a lot more such information, if anyone is interested, but there’s a lot of political opposition to it, both inside and outside the government, since it is seen as good for Bushitler, and hence taboo. We’ll see.

You’d think that this would put an end to the jolly talk about “negotiating” with the mullahs and their Syrian pals. And you’d also think this would compel our leaders to look for ways to make life difficult for Tehran and Damascus. But then, you’d have thought that quite a while ago, wouldn’t you? I certainly did.

Faster, please. Every day lost produces more victims at the hands of the mullahs.

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