Monday, March 20, 2006

IED claims lack common sense

The claims that have been made by the Bush administration that the Iranian government has been supplying bomb making technology, if not outright building IEDs, has been shown to be at best an unsubstantiated accusation. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Pace stated quite clearly that there was "no proof" of this, which did nothing but give credence to the belief that Rumsfeld and Bush are simply talking out of their asses. So, nothing new there.

Cernig has been sedulously following developments in this story and now points out that Congress is about to look into these claims and investigate the actual provenance of these devices since it was recently revealed that the FBI, in conjunction with MI5, worked to hand over bomb technology to the IRA, which then spread it to many like-minded militant organisations.

But one feature of the White House claim that Iran was behind the dispersion of IEDs in Iraq that never seemed to be examined was the fact that such behaviour on the part of the Iranians made absolutely no sense. Iran had no motive whatsoever to foment Iraq to the point of civil war. This is something that the US Commander in Iraq, General Casey, has also pointed out:
They're playing, I think, a very delicate balancing act. On the one hand, they want a stable neighbor. On the other hand I don't believe they want to see us succeed here.
Casey, unfortunately, has a rather myopic view of just what would constitute success for the US in the eyes of Iran. Frankly, I doubt that Iran cares much at all whether the US views its own efforts as successful or not. What Iran would like is success for Iran and that means getting the US out of Iraq as soon as possible. This desire for stability in Iraq is also confirmed by Mahmoudreza Golshanpazhooh of the Tehran International Studies & Research Institute:
Iran wants and needs a stable Iraq, a stable Afghanistan and a stable region. Most of the damage to Iran's territory and interests have been the result of instability inside neighbouring states.
Iran's connections to the Iraqi government would be a boon to Tehran. And they had those in spades with Dawa party member Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, who spent ten years in Iran in exile during Hussein's reign.

As Juan Cole notes:
Jaafari is an old-time Muslim fundamentalist. He will want as much Islamic law to be implemented in Iraq as possible. The Dawa tends to view civil law in Iraq as a British colonial heritage so they want to get rid of it. And he was part of a group that attempted to implement Islamic law, even when there was an American administration. So, they would like, you know, personal status, marriage, divorce, alimony, inheritance, all those things to be governed by Islamic law.
This is exactly what Iran wants and Jafari was the instrument by which this would happen -- was happening. Sharia law was one of the things the Sunnis and secularists like Allawi were resisting in the constitutional process, which was only partly successful. From Iran's perspective, Iraq was developing just the way they would like it: another fundamentalist Islamic state and right next door. And it would benefit them not at all to foment violence across Iraq, which would no doubt cause US forces to remain in the country.

The question now becomes, why on earth would Iran back the destabilization of Iraq by suppling weapons to an insurgency that was undermining Jaafari's government? As has been seen lately, Iraqi's are now very unhappy with Jaafari and his inability to stabilize the country and are calling for him to step down. Ironically, Jarafari was probably partly responsible for this situation himself when his government started to employ death squads in an attempt to shut down the insurgency, which has clearly backfired, as such draconian measures usually do. The insurgency is creating a situation that Iran assuredly does not want in Iraq.

The claims by the Bush administration that Iran is supplying arms to fuel the insurgency is not just technically unsupported but is also clearly at odds with common sense. Which, as usual, is nothing new for this White House.


Blogger Balaji said...

Hey Ken, you might be interested in these articles on US leading the dangerous course in Iran:

11:43 PM  

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