Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Iraq News Roundup

The US has found increasing evidence of Iranian involvment in the conflict in Iraq. The US is holding Iranians who have links to the insurgency and attacks on US troops.
The American military said Tuesday that it had credible evidence linking Iranians and their Iraqi associates, detained here in raids last week, to criminal activities, including attacks against American forces. Evidence also emerged that some detainees had been involved in shipments of weapons to illegal armed groups in Iraq.

In its first official confirmation of last week’s raids, the military said it had confiscated maps, videos, photographs and documents in one of the raids on a site in Baghdad. The military confirmed the arrests of five Iranians, and said three of them had been released.

The Bush administration has described the two Iranians still being held Tuesday night as senior military officials. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell IV, the chief spokesman for the American command, said the military, in the raid, had “gathered specific intelligence from highly credible sources that linked individuals and locations with criminal activities against Iraqi civilians, security forces and coalition force personnel.”
Austin Bay shares his thoughts here. The Iranians are simply picking up where they left off with their conflict against the US that began during the Carter Administration when they invaded the US embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year. It continued with the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 with 243 Marines and sailors murdered, and continues to this day.

The Iranians are backing Hizbullah in its fight against Israel, and the use of proxy forces is a signature of Iranian diplomacy by other means. By 'diplomacy,' I mean terrorism, force, and intimidation to further Iranian ambitions. They're using subterfuge and backing the insurgency efforts to create mayhem in Iraq so as to force the US from the field of battle such that the Iranians can maximize their influence in the region. And this is the same country that the ISG and other pseudorealists think holds the answers to the situation in Iraq via diplomatic entreaties.

The future of the US efforts in Iraq is likely to be determined not on the streets of Baghdad in gun battles with insurgents, but rather the Halls of Congress. The perceptions of the situation in Iraq will shade and determine what Congress does in the upcoming session and political ambitions will further cloud matters. Senator Joe Biden is likely to use Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings to further his Presidential ambitions in the course of questioning Sec. State Rice on the American foreign policy on Iraq.

Will more troops make a difference? The issue of surging troops to Iraq is being debated.

The Ba'athists are threatening more mayhem if Saddam gets executed. As if that should be any different than the current situation? Saddam deserves to be executed and those Ba'athists who are threatening yet more violence have no interest in seeing a peaceful Iraq, but will do everything within their power to thwart a peaceful Iraq unless that violence brings them more power in the Iraqi government. Sister Toldjah notes that the usual suspects are opposed to Saddam's execution.

Yet, Iraq is not all in flames. There's a boom going on outside Baghdad.

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