Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Evidence

On Sunday, on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials told reporters that they had evidence which showed that Iranian weapons were being smuggled into Iraq on the orders of the highest levels of the Iranian government.

On Wednesday, General Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said something entirely different. He agreed that weapons manufactured in Iran had been found in Iraq but went on to say that:
I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit.
Later on Wednesday, Bush attempted to tread a line between these two positions. He claimed that the Iranian Quds Force was the source for the weapons but that:
I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said to the Quds Force: 'Go do this'.
So that's all totally unambiguous then...

Here are a couple more things to bear in mind when considering the possibility of direct Iranian government involvement in weapons transfers.

During his short time as head of the CPA, Paul Bremer managed to lose several billion dollars of Iraq's money. It is almost certain that that some of this money found its way into the hands of insurgents who had infliltrated many of Iraq's ministries. It is highly likely that some of this money has been used to fund attacks on U.S soldiers. This does not, however, suggest that the U.S. government deliberately aided the insurgents; it suggests that Bremer was an idiot who had no real control or understanding of a very unstable situation.

Today in Iraq, "U.S. issued Glock and Walther 9-millimeter pistols, and pristine, unused Kalashnikovs" are readily available on the black market. These weapons have been distributed by the U.S. authorities to Iraq's security forces and are then sold on to the black market by members and ex-members of those forces. It is almost certain that some of these U.S. issued weapons have been bought by insurgents and used in attacks against U.S. soldiers. This does not, however, suggest that the U.S. government deliberately aided the insurgents; it suggests that in a chaotic place like Iraq, many things happen which are beyond the control of the world's only hyperpower.

If there are Iranian weapons being used against U.S. forces in Iraq, there are any number of possible explanations. Milo Minderbinder would understand that just as General Pace appears to.

Bush however, appears determined to fix the intelligence and facts around the policy he's already decided he wants to adopt. Again.

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