Petraeus points an accusing finger at Iran

posted at 10:02 am on June 22, 2007 by Bryan

Interviewed in the UK’s Times.

Who was behind the kidnapping of five Britons in Baghdad last month and what is being done to free them?

“We think that it is the same network that killed our soldiers in Kerbala in an operation back in January. We killed the head of that network less than a week before the operation that detained those British civilians. It was already planned and carried out by his followers. It is a secret cell of Jaish al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) not all of which are under control of Moqtadr al-Sadr. That is the assessment at this point.”

“They are not rank and file Jaish al-Mahdi. They are trained in Iran, equipped with Iranian (weapons), and advised by Iran. The Iranian involvement here we have found to be much, much more significant that we thought before. They have since about the summer of 2004 played a very, very important role in training in Iran, funding, arming.”

“This is lethal stuff, like EFPs (explosively-formed penetrators), mortars, and rockets that are used against Basra Palace (the main British base in Basra). There is also a degree of direction, not in a strategic way but in tactical operations. We captured a wealth of documentation which showed how they account for what they have done, we assume so they can get paid for it, and get additional funding.”

Says Michael Ledeen:

I think this is now on the verge of becoming the conventional wisdom, after years of denial from top Bush-administration officials, including, sad to say, Petraeus’s predecessors. There has long been a desperate attempt to deny Iran’s role in Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter), primarily because it was clear to the military that the policy makers back home didn’t want to take the decisive action that the information so clearly demanded. And demands.

Secretary of State Rice seems to have been extremely tenacious in insisting that we must stick to a diplomatic track with the mullahs, even going so far as to recommend the release of the “Irbil 5,” the Revolutionary Guards officers captured in Irbil. I suspect—no inside information mind you—that at least some of what Petraeus has learned came from those Iranian killers, and he has bluntly said that he intends to keep them as long as they can talk, as long as we have food for them.

Ledeen finishes with a paragraph that describes Washington to a tee while netting nearly the entire Democrat party and its supporters as well: The desire not to know trumps all.

The desire not to know doesn’t describe the troops in Iraq at all. In our short time in Baghdad, we must have heard variations on the same question from troops a dozen times: Why doesn’t X (X being the Bush administration, or the press, or the Washington establishment, etc) report the fact that Iran is fueling the violence in Iraq? I think Ledeen has hit on the answer. Knowing and acknowledging that Iran is behind a great deal of the violence forces action. The left would have to acknowledge, as it did briefly after 9-11, that the world is dangerous quite outside the actions of the US. Washington would have to acknowledge that the war in Iraq isn’t a civil war, it’s a regional war being fought inside one country, with smaller but no less important side theaters being fought in Gaza, in Lebanon and in northern Israel. Acknowledging that fact forces some very tough and dangerous decisions. So rather than make those tough and dangerous decisions, it’s easier and more comforting to just feign or enforce ignorance.

Downside: It gives Iran a free hand to drive us out of Iraq.


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Absolutely the Administration’s biggest mistake of the past four years.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 22, 2007 at 10:10 AM

Hmm, something about truer words and never having been spoken (or printed)…

doriangrey on June 22, 2007 at 10:12 AM

Its not like we didn’t know, so what do we do? Do we do airstrikes on Quds operation centers in Iran? Do we try and break them economically with a blockade/sanctions? Undermine with resistance groups and internal unrest? What’s the answer? We can’t continue with the status quo.

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Great post Bryan

Theworldisnotenough on June 22, 2007 at 10:18 AM

I agree with Ledeen’s assessment that a lot of this is driven by the left and the media’s refusal to acknowledge that the world is a dangerous place, and the Iranian regime in particular.

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 10:19 AM

Announce the Iran/Iraq border is sealed, and is a free fire zone except for designated crossing points…

Do the same for the Syria/Iraq border….

Patrol with small patrols, UAVs, and Gunships… kill anything which crosses the border…

NO insurgency can last unless it has a safe base of ops outside of the combat arena… N. Viet Nam came to the table once we BOMBED the heck out of em in Linebacker II… taking away that safe haven….

Its outside support that is driving much of the violence we see in Iraq today. We need to confront Iran on this, by SHOWING the world our evidence….

Romeo13 on June 22, 2007 at 10:22 AM

Disgusting… I was 12 miles from the Iranian boarder for a year… hearing every mission about X Iranian threat or Y Iranian threat… all the time thinking “Why the hell aren’t we doing something about it?” Then they shot down a Marine and then a British helicopter so I thought “Now that’ll make them notice”… nada. Then the Steyr .50 cal sniper rifle story broke… still nothing. Karbala raid?… nope. UK Royal Marine Hostages… cricket, cricket?

What the hell is wrong with our government?

BadBrad on June 22, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Two warning shots….

1. We collect on our 1979 receipt and MOAB the former US Embassy in Teheran.

2. We take seize their sole fuel refinery, as outlined by Speaker Newt.

After 7 days, if the regime insists on belligerence, we:

3. Blockade the Iranian side of the Gulf

4. And take out their nuke installations.

Hopefully, the Iranian populace would revolt and take the mullocracy out before things get too hot.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 22, 2007 at 10:30 AM

The Administration’s refusal to fight the war in the media as well as on the ground and refusal to acknowledge Iran’s knee deep involvement and sponsership of the terrorists acts (I refuse to call it an insurgency anymore) are two of the greatest failings of the conduct of the war.

Sanctions won’t work – the mullahs will make sure they (and the military) get what comes through – including UN ‘humanitarian’ support – and to hell with the people (see North Korea). Talks won’t worked because time and time again our leadership (Bush, Congress – not the troops on the ground) have shown themselves to be the paper tigers our enemies have always claimed they were. And the years of talks with the Europeans (also paper tigers) haven’t yielded anything.

The same goes for Pakistan.

CrazyFool on June 22, 2007 at 10:30 AM

The only thing standing in the way of Americans doing the right thing is the withholding of critical information and it’s dissemination. We don’t know the depth of the charaters and activities involved in this New World Order playing out before us.

Who or what is in our way and how do we correct this?

Egfrow on June 22, 2007 at 10:39 AM

Truthers need not apply and liberals need not apply to answer this? Your critical thinking skills are in deep question.

Egfrow on June 22, 2007 at 10:40 AM

We don’t want to get the Muslim world mad seems to be the underlying strategy.

As if anything infidel dogs do wouldn’t enrage a serious percentage.

We are pre-condemned by refusing to submit to Allah.

Nothing blaspheming kaffirs try will be seen as anything but machiavellian machinations, from building hospitals and schools, to giving tsunami aid to millions, to being blown up in Iraq and Afghanistan and not retaliating against the suppliers of the shaped IED’s.

Be nice. To Fatah. To Assad.

When we need to be nice like Patton.

profitsbeard on June 22, 2007 at 10:42 AM

It is this mindset, failure to acknowledge what is as obvious as the nose on your face, that has plagued our administrations since the days of Carter and to no less extent the countries of Europe. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away. This radical islamic movement is a cancer. It has been allowed to grow and to masticize (sp)to the point where a less aggresive treatment program is no longer a viable option. I honestly don’t know what it will take for the western world, not just pockets of resistance dismissed as irrational islamophobes, to break out of this misguided belief that somehow this “problem” can be negoiated away or reasoned with. They kill everywhere they go. Period.
The islamic nutjob psychos have ongoing operations in Asia, Africa, and in parts of Old Europe, which in looking at my history books is the same parts of the world engulfed in war by something now called WWII.
Something else that is starting to become a pet peeve of mine is the insane need for us in the west to label all these terrorists gangs with a name. There is only 2 descriptions that should be used. They are either Sunni radical or Shiite radicals. All other names only serves to fuel the Middle Eastern mindset of belonging to a tribe. You lump them together and they loose their identity and it sure eliminates the need to keep a scorecard.
Maybe if we broke down into the 2 sides the average ADD suffering American can grasp what is going on. But I doubt it.

LakeRuins on June 22, 2007 at 10:48 AM

So rather than make those tough and dangerous decisions, it’s easier and more comforting to just feign or enforce ignorance.

Kind of like,
Maybe if we just TALK to Iran, they may realize that they have been being brain washed for centuries and we can all have a love fest. In San Francisco no doubt, and Pelosi can bring the party favors.

abinitioadinfinitum on June 22, 2007 at 10:49 AM

profitsbeard on June 22, 2007 at 10:42 AM

We don’t want to get the Muslim world mad

Those retards need a serious reality check, the Muslim world is already mad at us. So mad that they are trying to kill us. The retards pushing that position are the same retards that you used to see in high school who when the school bully hit them they fell on the ground and curled up in fetal position and cried please don’t hurt me. It didn’t work for them in high school against the bullies who just beat the living cr@p out of them and laughed about it, and it still isn’t working.

doriangrey on June 22, 2007 at 10:49 AM

profitsbeard on June 22, 2007 at 10:42 AM

Profitsbeard in 08

abinitioadinfinitum on June 22, 2007 at 10:51 AM

Petraeus points an accusing finger at Iran

Good. Now point an accusing bomber group in that direction.

reaganaut on June 22, 2007 at 10:54 AM

reaganaut on June 22, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Good. Now point an accusing bomber group in that direction.

Just thought that needed repeating…

doriangrey on June 22, 2007 at 10:57 AM

and Pelosi can bring the party favors.

and the safe word “Palomino”

abinitioadinfinitum on June 22, 2007 at 11:35 AM

Brainwashing. World and American opinion has been scrubbed of any common sense by the left and their tools in the media. All war is bad. All Republican’s are bad. All terrorists are somebodys sons. All need a hug and a kiss. A little pork here, and a little pork there, and everyone will be happy again.

If GW ever does decided to bomb, it is going to be one of those aspirin factory strikes made so popular by the Clintonistas.

Limerick on June 22, 2007 at 11:46 AM

Limerick-

Maybe he doesn’t want to hurt any future illegal immigrants.

profitsbeard on June 22, 2007 at 12:32 PM

The desire not to know trumps all.

No – to know and not do what needs to be done because the “world wouldn’t like us” is what trumps all.

As is, the world loves us!

Entelechy on June 22, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Good article by Krauthammer written last year called

The Tehran Calculus
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, September 15, 2006; Page A19 — google it if you like.

Having just left the military I can still recall being in an intelligence unit and having to check myself before commenting on news or “non-news” so that I didn’t blurt out a classified fact.
Iran has definitely been under scrutiny. Gen P’s predecessors had good reason not to elaborate or to even allow news to be spun.

run a search for “2006 Bush attack Iran editorials” and there is plenty of past articles that show they know what is going on.

Bradky on June 22, 2007 at 2:30 PM

And so, here we sit untill the next President.

oakpack on June 22, 2007 at 3:55 PM

And so, here we sit untill the next President.

oakpack on June 22, 2007 at 3:55 PM

By then they’ll have Nukes and probably given it to Hezzie in Lebanon…

As usual, the problem is Islam….

Tim Burton on June 22, 2007 at 6:15 PM

so what do we do? Do we do airstrikes on Quds operation centers in Iran? Do we try and break them economically with a blockade/sanctions? Undermine with resistance groups and internal unrest?

Not exactly, yes in a way, and yes.

Not airstrikes, black ops ground strikes that won’t seem to be American-run

Sanctions harm the populace more than the attitude of the mullahcracy, but there are economic ways if we’d have the nerve to employ them.

Internal unrest has some potential traction on the street. Ahminadinnerjacket isn’t as popular with his own people as the media would suggest. When he says he’d gladly sacrifice half his populace to destroy the West, I’ll bet the populace would want to have a vote on that. Maybe a few of them will vote with an insurgent uprising, if they had a little push.

Freelancer on June 22, 2007 at 9:34 PM