Iran Engages in Act of War . . . What Now? (UPDATED)
Via Dafydd ab Hugh and Power Line comes a link to this ABC story about shipments of deadly bombs coming into Iraq from Iran.
Skeptical? I was cautiously skeptical myself. But even Richard Clarke is convinced:
“I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there,” says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. “I think it’s very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops.”
The phrase “Richard Clarke, Bush Administration shill” doesn’t have the ring of truth . . . which strongly suggests there is something to this.
It feels like an act of war to me.
The obvious question becomes: what, if anything, are we going to do about it?
UPDATE: In comments below, m.croche posts a link to a lefty who says the story is bogus.
UPDATE x2: See also this m.croche comment and the link therein. Croche seems to think it proves Bush a liar, which it doesn’t. It does indicate a lack of evidence as to whether the Iranian government is behind it.
What are we going to do about it? The MSM, Democrat party, Hollywood and University elites are preparing to surrender to and to live under Islamic domination and sell Israel down the river to boot- that’s what.perfectsense (024110) — 3/7/2006 @ 1:25 am
On the other hand….
“Here’s what seems to have really happened: having tried this half-assed story in the UK and had it fall flat, the Pentagon waited a few months then gave it to Ross as a briefing from the usual “anonymous sources” and Ross duly regurgitated it whole without doing a single fact-check or further research.”
http://cernigsnewshog.blogspot.com/2006/03/abc-and-ieds-from-iran-that-were-made.htmlm.croche (85f703) — 3/7/2006 @ 5:19 am
[…] Bombs going into Iraq may be coming from Iran. Now looky here, Iran. We’re already close and you may way want to knock that crap off. It’s clear our relationship with you is strained and you don’t much care for us. You may want to reconsider this course of action because, sure we’re busy in other parts of the region, but you’re right next door. Just sayin’. […]SayUncle » Iran is acting like it wants to be next (9b413a) — 3/7/2006 @ 6:00 am
I believe “If you do what you always do, you get what you always get.”paul (3370f7) — 3/7/2006 @ 6:52 am
Let’s turn this over to the MSM, liberals and the Cindy Sheehans of the world and see what happens.
Let us sit back and see what comes of their policies etc.
[…] So now comes some half-baked report that IEDs coming over the Iraq border. Does this serve as proof that the “flypaper” theory is working? I would think so, but no. Evidently, instead, it means that Iran is responsible, and now we have to invade them. Sweet!! More war!! […]My Quiet Life » fly paper (328205) — 3/7/2006 @ 7:15 am
I’m not at all certain that Richard Clarke’s endorsement adds credibility. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. I’d be all too willing to believe the report, but the fact that Richard Clarke is convinced gives me pause.Voice of Reason (d427f3) — 3/7/2006 @ 7:20 am
Of course the Iranians could be shipping roadside bombs into Iraq, but it takes more than spotting manufacturing signatures to reach this conclusion – even if Richard Clarke thinks it’s an inescapable conclusion. You have to ask, why? What would they hope to accomplish?
If the insurgency started winding down, coalition troops started withdrawing and a Shia-dominated government started to consolidate power, Iran’s influence in Iraq, far from diminishing, would only increase. So why impede a political process that’s already working in Iran’s favor by shipping bombs into Iraq? (And, for that matter, why arm Sunni insurgents who detest Iranians!?)
On the other hand, the US clearly has a motive for portraying Iran as a belligerent right now. Domestic and international opinion is being primed on the necessity to get tough and put a stop to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Perceptions of the threat that Iran poses will obviously be hardened if there is evidence that they are arming Iraqi insurgents. (more…)Paul Woodward (b5efd3) — 3/7/2006 @ 7:27 am
iranian involvement in the manufacture and export of IED’s to iraq was first reported by the nytimes in august of 2005. i posted on it at that time.
the current story has more proof then the old story did.
as i suggested in my 2005 post, bush should dispatch bolton to the unsc with proof – as jfk did w/adlai stevenson in the cuban missile crisis.
then, we should get the unsc to pass a resolution on this which is essentially an ultimatum: if this happens again, then “serious consequences will result.”
then, bush should ask for authorization from congress to attack iran if it happens again.reliapundit (9ef8a2) — 3/7/2006 @ 8:44 am
In the original story (6/10/06) it was Tony Blair and an anonymous UK official who said, “…the bomb technology had come from the Tehran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, via Iran.”
Both the Iranian foreign ministry and Hezbollah denounced Blair’s claims, and Iraqi politicians also expressed reservations. But the improved IED’s continued to kill and maim nevertheless. And, from Ross we get, “U.S. military and intelligence officials tell ABC News that they have caught shipments of deadly new bombs at the Iran-Iraq border.”
Yet, the conclusion in today’s linked article proclaims that it was all some bogus Pentagon scheme which didn’t fly back in October, but has now been resurrected and passed off on a lazy and unsuspecting Brian Ross.
There is no evidence presented to show Pentagon involvement in the initial story, other than the writer’s preconceived assumptions, and no evidence to show where the explosives are coming from, if not from Iran.
So, you decide. Is it more likely the Pentagon made up the whole story to blame Iran and lay the groundwork for eventual armed conflict, or that the Iranians are supplying Iraqi dissidents with advanced IED technology?Black Jack (d8da01) — 3/7/2006 @ 8:47 am
“You have to ask, why? What would they hope to accomplish?”
How many governments would be more than happy to have field test data on the vulnerabilities of US Armor vs various explosive packages?Soldier's Dad (ae8880) — 3/7/2006 @ 1:44 pm
Haven’t Bush and the neo-cons done enough damage? Iraq is lost, Mubarak and Pakistan are next, and it won’t be possible to stay in Afghanistan without Pakistan.
If Israel is worried about Iran, they can bomb them to kingdom come when a threat is directly evident.RJN (c3a4a3) — 3/7/2006 @ 4:11 pm
“It feels like an act of war to me.
The obvious question becomes: what, if anything, are we going to do about it?”
If true, I imagine the US will do the same thing the Russians did when the US was giving Stinger missiles to the insurgents/freedom-fighters/mujahideen/whatever in Afghanistan to shoot down Russian helicopters: complain.
P.S. I don’t think providing arms qualifies as “an act of war” under US or international law.Lynxx Pherrett (3ed0c2) — 3/8/2006 @ 11:53 am
As someone who reads no newspapers except the New York Times, reads no magazines except the NEW YORKER and THE NATION, watches no television news except CBS, NBC, and ABC, listens to no radio except NPR, and went to a blue-state university where I absorbed progressive ideas taught by the most advanced minds in academia, I say: Surrender Now!Bilwick (bd15da) — 3/10/2006 @ 6:13 am
Iraq is lost
Oh, really?Harry Arthur (40c0a6) — 3/10/2006 @ 8:01 am
The Kurds are active, organized, and will not be denied a Kurdistan. Why then should they want a strong and united Iraq?
The Shia, and the Sunni have no center; Islam is not enough for them. We don’t have the political or material resources to keep them fused as they were under the old regime.
The big play was always Iran. We just don’t have the resources to do what the neo-consters want us to do in Iran and, at the same time, hold together Iraq.RJN (c3a4a3) — 3/11/2006 @ 4:56 pm
Yes, the story is bogus:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran’s government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.
President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.
Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran’s government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, “I do not, sir.”
So were Bush and Cheney lying? Sounds as though they have some explaining to do.m.croche (85f703) — 3/14/2006 @ 7:04 pm
Thanks m.croche. At least “The top U.S. military officer” had the brass to correct the President’s knee-jerk.
“Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.”Psyberian (9eb2a7) — 3/14/2006 @ 7:28 pm
Patterico on 3/4/06: Good for them! It goes without saying that I think this idea of printing a significant correction on the front page is an excellent idea.
Patterico Headline on 3/6/06: IRAN ENGAGES IN ACT OF WAR … WHAT NOW?
I guess Patterico doesn’t have to follow the corrections policy he demands of others.m.croche (85f703) — 3/18/2006 @ 9:22 am
Yep, as I thought: still no acknowledgement from Patterico that:
“Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran’s government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, “I do not, sir.”
It still is the case that Patterico’s corrections policy only applies to people besides himself. If he made the same demands of himself that he makes of the times, he’d give first-page treatment to Gen. Pace’s testimony.m.croche (85f703) — 3/19/2006 @ 8:18 am
As is always the case with each of these concerns I guess we’ll see what we’ll see.
To loosely quote Mark Twain, “the reports of the demise of the nation of Iraq may have been slightly exagerated”. My bet is they’ll figure it out. To say that “Iraq is lost” is not at this point justified. Maybe, maybe not. I would argue that of all the people in the region, the Iraqis are most capable of making it happen. It has been, and probably will continue to be, somewhat messy. These things usually are.
As for evidence of the involvement of Iran either directly or through surrogates, “I guess we’ll see what we’ll see” won’t we? Syria also.
As for Patterico, same goes. I’m comfortable that he will expand the analysis of the subject in good time as appropriate. In the meantime you might want to read his comments above again in the context they were intended. And of course, he clearly acknowledges m.c’s link above with the indication that there is at lease some level of argument that “…the story is bogus,” so we have been updated with at least some level of doubt. I’d say that’s pretty fair so far.Harry Arthur (b318a5) — 3/19/2006 @ 9:30 am