McClatchy: Most powerful man in Iraq is … leader of Iran’s Quds Force

posted at 5:09 pm on April 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

I mentioned this in the update to the McCain/flip-flop post this morning but it’s too important, and too gripping a read, to bury there. Most of its currency at Memeorandum was from lefty blogs pushing it as evidence that Bush’s neocon rodeo has birthed a new Iranian client state in the heart of the Middle East — an eminently fair point, but rather highly nuanced even by nutroots standards in light of the left’s usual insistence that Iran’s influence inside the country has been overstated to justify another round of adventurism. Read the piece. If anything, it’s been understated.

According to Iraqi and American officials, Suleimani has ensured the elections of pro-Iranian politicians, met frequently with senior Iraqi leaders and backed Shiite elements in the Iraqi security forces that are accused of torturing and killing minority Sunni Muslims…

Iraqi and U.S. officials told McClatchy that Suleimani also has … [t]rained and directed Shiite Muslim militias and given them cash and arms, including mortars and rockets fired at the U.S. Embassy and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, the sophisticated roadside bombs that have caused hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi casualties…

U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because intelligence information is classified, said that Suleimani’s Quds Force has provided arms to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan and has supported Islamist militant groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are Sunni, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is Shiite…

U.S. military officials also charge that Suleimani has brought in Hezbollah fighters to train Iraqi Shiite cells, which the Americans call “special groups,” that specialize in attacking American forces.

The Taliban and Hamas are, of course, Sunni jihadists, whom the left assures us Iran would never collaborate with no matter what crazy John McCain might tell you. Any more to the story than this? Not much, except for the time Suleimani snuck into the Green Zone in 2006 to help negotiate Maliki’s ascent to the premiership. (McClatchy’s source for that tidbit: Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi.) Oh, and the fact that, according to multiple sources, Jalal Talabani traveled to the Iranian border last month to ask Suleimani in person to have Sadr make the Mahdi Army stand down. Quote:

Suleimani “immediately sent messages” and “the fighting stopped the next day,” said the Iraqi official, who also requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the meeting.

Two other senior Iraqi officials confirmed the meeting; Talabani couldn’t be reached for comment.

Healthy skepticism towards possible sectarian motives by unnamed Iraqi sources is always warranted but there are multiple unnamed U.S. sources cited in the piece that corroborate the fact of Suleimani’s influence as well. File it away now, for eventual citation when the Democrats revert to their normal posture of claiming Iran’s just the latest Republican Zionist patsy pretext for war. As for the allegation that Hezbollah is training Shiite militias, it’s old news to Hot Air readers but a nice segue for this clip of CBS’s interview with reporter Richard Butler, who was held hostage for two months in Basra. Click the image and fast forward to 5:45 in to hear his own eyewitness account (or just read this if you can’t be bothered). Were his captors Hezbollah admirers, trainees, or the real deal?

butler.jpg


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Give Iran a few Sunni Triangles of their own.

RobCon on April 29, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Is that guy on the front page George Clooney?

txsurveyor on April 29, 2008 at 5:23 PM

Interesting because on CNN right now is a story of US Interrogators and Iranian Prisoners who refuse to talk

William Amos on April 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM

part of the Clinton “strong on defense” strategy?

If she somehow gets nomination, she may be positioned to the Right of Mccain on the war/terror stuff.

jp on April 29, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I mean this has been pretty obvious for years now, yet the media kept playing it like all our problems in Iraq were by Iraqi’s who hate us and want Saddam back.

jp on April 29, 2008 at 5:33 PM

There’s no way Iran would do that. They’ve been good neighbors up to this point…let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
.
Either that or we should apply the Hama Model. One or the other…

blankminde on April 29, 2008 at 5:34 PM

Is that guy on the front page George Clooney?
txsurveyor on April 29, 2008 at 5:23 PM

William Petersen (Gil Grissom from CSI )

eeyore on April 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

William Petersen (Gil Grissom from CSI )

eeyore on April 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Spot on. You nailed it. I flubbed up.

txsurveyor on April 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM

So Suleimani is the man Pres Obama needs to Rolodex. It can’t hurt to get on good terms with him now, Barry.

leftnomore on April 29, 2008 at 5:48 PM

Quote of the Day?

In separate interviews, Hakim and Iraqi Vice President Abdul Mahdi likened the Iraqi government’s position to being “caught between the Great Satan and the Axis of Evil.”

aengus on April 29, 2008 at 5:53 PM

This man must die.

pseudonominus on April 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Idiot alert:

“Butler said he felt it was better to be kidnapped in Iraq then taken into custody by Americans in Afghanistan.

“I was pleased I wasn’t being mortarboarded in Guantanamo or being held for six and a half years like an Al-Jazeera cameraman, for instance,” he said.”

Yup. Them American GIs are such b@st@rds.

locomotivebreath1901 on April 29, 2008 at 6:05 PM

From Richard Butler:

Butler said he felt it was better to be kidnapped in Iraq then taken into custody by Americans in Afghanistan.

“I was pleased I wasn’t being mortarboarded in Guantanamo or being held for six and a half years like an Al-Jazeera cameraman, for instance,” he said.

Where the hell did that come from?? This guy is lucky they didn’t cut his head off.

Rick on April 29, 2008 at 6:07 PM

locomotivebreath1901 on April 29, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Yep, idiot alert indeed.

Rick on April 29, 2008 at 6:08 PM

“Most powerful man” …

Oh really? Most powerful? How many tanks under his command? I would most likely say most powerful pain in the rear end, but not most powerful man in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Sistani could do more with one sentance of speech than this Iranian General could hope to do in his entire life. It is another moronic news story from a moronic press.

crosspatch on April 29, 2008 at 6:36 PM

We have got the Irainians right where they want us.

MB4 on April 29, 2008 at 7:03 PM

This man must die.

pseudonominus on April 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Yes, Suleimani must die. Soon.

Zorro on April 29, 2008 at 7:28 PM

What the h3ll is Mortarboarded? Is this guy in the same universe as the rest of us?

Proudvet on April 29, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Bush’s neocon rodeo has birthed a new Iranian client state in the heart of the Middle East — an eminently fair point

In that had Saddam continued to run Iraq the Iranians would have developed a nuclear capability sooner? Happy happy, joy joy!

dmann on April 29, 2008 at 8:19 PM

What the h3ll is Mortarboarded?
Proudvet on April 29, 2008 at 8:05 PM

It’s a form of torture. You have to wear a stupid hat and listen to Barack Obama speeches on a continuous loop until you break down.

Ares on April 30, 2008 at 3:35 AM