T Nation

Iraq: The Iranian Factor

New article in the upcoming issue of U.S. News & World Report details some very interesting facts about how Iran is working to destabilize Iraq. No doubt the theocratic mullahs do not wish to have the example of a stable arab democracy at their doorstep…

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041122/usnews/22iran.htm

It’s 10 linked pages long, so I’m not going to paste the whole thing, but I highly suggest reading it.

Here’s a money paragraph from the beginning (note the good magazine form of putting important conclusions in the beginning…):

“With the Pentagon’s stepped-up efforts to break the back of the insurgency before Iraq’s scheduled elections in late January, Iran’s efforts to destabilize Iraq have received little public attention. But a review of thousands of pages of intelligence reports by U.S. News reveals the critical role Iran has played in aiding some elements of the anti-American insurgency after Baghdad fell–and raises important questions about whether Iran will continue to try to destabilize Iraq after elections are held. The classified intelligence reports, covering the period July 2003 through early 2004, were prepared by the CIA; the Defense Intelligence Agency; the Iraq Survey Group, the 1,400-person outfit President Bush sent to Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction; the Coalition Provisional Authority; and various military commands and units in the field, including the V Corps and the Pentagon’s Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. The reports are based on information gathered from Iraqis, Iranian dissidents, and other sources inside Iraq. U.S. News also reviewed British intelligence assessments of the postwar phase in Iraq.”

Show me one Iranian militant captured in Iraq?

Show me how Persian and Shiite Iran is funding and supporting the Arab and Sunni fighters in the Sunni triangle (the main source of trouble in Iraq)?

Fact: Iran wants a democracy in Iraq. The Shiite are the vast majority of the population should a true democracy (i.e. not rigged) be put in place Shiite Iran would be the de-facto ruler of Iraq.

“Iraq: The Iranian Factor”

What is it that you want an invasion of Iran?

[quote]bluey wrote:
Show me one Iranian militant captured in Iraq?

Show me how Persian and Shiite Iran is funding and supporting the Arab and Sunni fighters in the Sunni triangle (the main source of trouble in Iraq)?

Fact: Iran wants a democracy in Iraq. The Shiite are the vast majority of the population should a true democracy (i.e. not rigged) be put in place Shiite Iran would be the de-facto ruler of Iraq.

[/quote]

I couldn’t give you an example of an Iraqi militant found in Iraq – I wouldn’t know where to find such details.

However, here are a few facts from the article:

"The intelligence reports reviewed by U.S. News appear to support those assessments. Examples:

Iran set up a massive intelligence network in Iraq, flooding the country with agents in the months after the U.S.-led coalition toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. Sources told American intelligence analysts that Iranian agents were tasked with finding information on U.S. military plans and identifying Iraqis who would be willing to conduct attacks on U.S. forces that would not be linked to Iran.

Iranian intelligence agents were said to have planned attacks against the U.S.-led forces and supported terrorist groups with weapons. Iranian agents smuggled weapons and ammunition across the border into Iraq and distributed them “to individuals who wanted to attack coalition forces,” according to one report, citing “a source with good access.” Separately, an Iraq Survey Group report said that Iranian agents “placed a bounty” of $500 for each American soldier killed by insurgents and more for destruction of tanks and heavy weaponry.

Iran trained terrorists and provided them with safe havens and passage across the border into Iraq, several of the reports say. The Iranian-supported Ansar al-Islam began carrying out bombings and other attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens in the summer of 2003. One report, describing an interview with a source, said: “There were approximately 320 Ansar al-Islam terrorists being trained in Iran . . . for various attack scenarios including suicide bombings, assassinations, and general subversion against U.S. forces in Iraq.” The reports linked Ansar al-Islam to al Qaeda and to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq. “Among the more capable terrorist groups operating in Iraq,” an analyst wrote in another report, “are al Qaeda, the al Zarqawi network, as well as Ansar al-Islam.”

Iran has been a principal supporter of Moqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shiite cleric whose black-clad Mahdi Army fighters have clashed often with U.S.-led forces. Months before the worst of the insurgency in southern Iraq began last April, U.S. intelligence officials tracked reported movements of Iranian money and arms to forces loyal to Sadr. According to a V Corps report written in September 2003, “There has been an increase of Iranian intelligence officers entering” Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Basra, and Amarah. Sadr’s fighters later engaged in fierce battles with coalition forces in each of those cities."

I very much enjoy this type of political commentary, lest you think this goes unappreciated.

DI

Bluey

Whatmakes you think that the Iranians want a democracy in Iraq when they have a totalitarian Facist Regime based on Fundematalist Islam in their own nation.

Even the fricking French admit that the Iranians support terrorism. That is “state sponsored terrorism”.

Fyi-state sponsored terrorism, in the day and age of Bush, is a dangerous thing. If you have an address the “Great Satan” will bomb you till you see Allah!

Of course they want to destabilize Iraq. As a sovereign nation opposed to U.S. policy, it benefits them for Iraq to be weak and for the U.S. mission to fail.

[quote]bluey wrote:
“Iraq: The Iranian Factor”

What is it that you want an invasion of Iran?[/quote]

I want the Iranians to cease and desist with operations aimed at destabilizing Iraq, and I want Iran to cease and desist with activities related to advancement of their nuclear weapons program.

Also, I wouldn’t mind a nice home-front revolution against the mullahs’ theocracy, but that would be the icing on the cake.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
bluey wrote:
“Iraq: The Iranian Factor”

What is it that you want an invasion of Iran?

I want the Iranians to cease and desist with operations aimed at destabilizing Iraq, and I want Iran to cease and desist with activities related to advancement of their nuclear weapons program.

Also, I wouldn’t mind a nice home-front revolution against the mullahs’ theocracy, but that would be the icing on the cake.[/quote]

And would you support an invasion to do this?

And would you be there on the front lines?

So the invasion of Iraq is not going well (destabilizing) and has not made the Middle East or the world a safer place (activities related to advancement of their nuclear weapons program) but the solution is another invasion?

What if this invasion does not go well and causes more of the same problems? Invade another country to solve this problem? Maybe Syria, Maybe Saudi Arabia? There is a fair tail about a lady eating a fly, and then eating a spider to catch the fly, then eating a mouse to catch the spider etc.

Where is it going to stop? I don?t think too many people liked Trotsky?s permanent revolutions to install communist regimes. I doubt too many people are going to like permeant revolutions needed to remove theocracies in the Middle East?

[quote]bluey wrote:
So the invasion of Iraq is not going well (destabilizing) and has not made the Middle East or the world a safer place (activities related to advancement of their nuclear weapons program) but the solution is another invasion?
[/quote]

The last time I checked, the Iraq invasion was going quite well… in fact, wasn’t the invasion of Iraq ranked the “most successful military engagement ever” in the history of warfare?

No more Saddam = better Middle East

Do you disagree? How about this one:

Democracy in Iraq = better Middle East

The theocrats in power in Iran do NOT, absolutely not, want an example of a free and democratic society to be set next to their borders. What if their women suddenly want to learn how to read? They do over in Iraq, why not here? What’s going to happen to their absolute authority when their people let go of their ignorance and start to question them? This is a disaster for the Iranian power elite, and I’m not the least bit surprised that they have been trying to help the Iraqi insurgents.

What ever will be will be regard less of the T-Nation forum.

Its nothing personal I just think war is shit.

It really does not matter if you win or lose, think you have the moral high ground its still shit. People are killed, raped, and maned regardless.

As such I don’t understand why people would agitate for more war?

BB how many times have you been here demanding that something (i.e. kill a lot of them) is done about Iran? At least a half dozen times. I just don’t get it.

Before someone says, “well they started it” that?s a child?s answer to a very adult problem.

Also the other thing that I don’t understand is people willingness to accept very flimsy reasons for war. Most of the time the reasons are a cobbled together of half-truths and emotive associations. Middle east politics is about three things: oil, Islam, and Israel but they are never discussed. Instead people focus on relative (and I stress relative to the former) issue like freedom, so light on substance that it can’t even be defined.

Anyway I did not mean to offend anyone its just that I don’t like warmongering or being mislead. Anyway I will leave it alone and not say another thing.

On a totally different note, it is going to take a long time to determine if the installation of democracy in Iraq is effective.

While the elections, assuming they are held, will be widely hailed, as those in Afghanistan, be aware that they simply represent a step in the right direction.

For example, there are still a lot of problems in Afghanistan, regardless of the fact that they have held elections. There are still warlords, tons of drugs, mistreatment of women and so forth.

In Afghanistan, and hopefully soon Iraq, the installation of democracy is only going to be safe once one or two generations of citizens are born into it and demand it. Until then, democracy is simply a cloak over the feelings and history populace. They may or may not continue to wear it.

Anyway, this post isn’t “against” anything, just pointing out it will take a lot of time and effort to keep things in place as the region adjusts. This isn’t simply about a military incursion – there is an awful lot that has to follow.

I really can’t tell if the follow up will be there or not…

“I just think war is shit”

What is your point here, do you think any of us would prefer the war over a peaceful solution? The fact is many of us have come to realize we have no other options at this point. You are technically right, war is shit. Doesn’t mean we don’t have to fight them on occasion. Was the war in afganistan a bad thing? Sure the country is far from perfect, but it is heaven and hell compared to women being shot in soccer stadiums for showing a hand in public.

Perspective

[quote]bluey wrote:
What ever will be will be regard less of the T-Nation forum.

Its nothing personal I just think war is shit.[/quote]

I don’t think anyone likes it, but it needs to be kept on the table as an option – especially if the Iranians are going to be intransigent and play fast and loose with the truth in negotiations.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

[quote] It really does not matter if you win or lose, think you have the moral high ground its still shit. People are killed, raped, and maned regardless.

As such I don’t understand why people would agitate for more war?[/quote]

No one is agitating for more war, but it has to be an option if the objective is important enough and it is unobtainable through lesser means. It also has to be on the table as a negotiating tool.

I explained what I think are the objectives: Getting Iran to stop making military efforts to destabilize Iraq, and getting Iran to cease and desist from its nuclear development programs. I should add ceasing the sponsorship of international terrorism to that list.

No where in that list is “war with Iran.” It would be entirely within their power to avoid any military confrontations whatsoever.

No one has or is saying that, but it’s a nice straw man.

[quote] Also the other thing that I don’t understand is people willingness to accept very flimsy reasons for war. Most of the time the reasons are a cobbled together of half-truths and emotive associations. Middle east politics is about three things: oil, Islam, and Israel but they are never discussed. Instead people focus on relative (and I stress relative to the former) issue like freedom, so light on substance that it can’t even be defined.

Anyway I did not mean to offend anyone its just that I don’t like warmongering or being mislead. Anyway I will leave it alone and not say another thing.
[/quote]

Stopping attacks on our military and on the Iraqis, as well as stopping a country that sponsors international terrorism from attaining nuclear weapons, are hardly “flimsy” reasons for anything – and certainly not for starting some hard-line negotiations in which the military option is kept conspicuously on the table. The way our forces are now deployed, Iran knows it would not take much in terms of reconfigurement to make good on a military threat, and those are the only kind of threats that work: those that can be backed up.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
bluey wrote:
So the invasion of Iraq is not going well (destabilizing) and has not made the Middle East or the world a safer place (activities related to advancement of their nuclear weapons program) but the solution is another invasion?

The last time I checked, the Iraq invasion was going quite well… in fact, wasn’t the invasion of Iraq ranked the “most successful military engagement ever” in the history of warfare?

No more Saddam = better Middle East

Do you disagree? How about this one:

Democracy in Iraq = better Middle East

The theocrats in power in Iran do NOT, absolutely not, want an example of a free and democratic society to be set next to their borders. What if their women suddenly want to learn how to read? They do over in Iraq, why not here? What’s going to happen to their absolute authority when their people let go of their ignorance and start to question them? This is a disaster for the Iranian power elite, and I’m not the least bit surprised that they have been trying to help the Iraqi insurgents.[/quote]

No Saddam= better mid east. Depends. At what cost?

Real democracy I believe would equal a beter mid east but not forced democracy!

You make a good point in reference to Iran not wanting a democracy. The same could be said of the U.S. not wanting a socialist country to succeed. The power elite of this country don’t want any examples of how a nations people ought to have a stake in their country’s resources instead of the few. Think Latin and South America and southeast Asia.

The war in iraq is not going well at all. The insurgency has grown significantly in the past year. Whereas we initially had occasional roadside bombs and ambushes of military convoys, there are now car bombs and large scale attacks going on all over the country. Most of the country is only nominally under our control, and is rather ruled by complete disorder. The total lack of security has resulted in less than 5% of reconstruction money actually being spent on reconstruction. This was to be expected with the half-assed war we’re fighting.
My answer to an invasion of iran is where exactly are the troops going to come from? We’re already about a half-million troops short in two other half-assed wars to have any hope of long term victory. If the civilian dipshit dreamers i washington had listened to the experienced military minds on ths matter, maybe they’d have figured that out.

Hey bluey,

Thanks for the rant.

Too bad the “truthful one” Kerry lost.

Would love to hear your enlightened alternative approach to Iraq circa January 2003.

This election should have demonstrated quite clearly that it is not enough to complain and whine. You must have a realistic alternative plan.

I’ll bet you do not.

JeffR

Zep,

Think about the cost of letting a Saddam controlled Iraq who skimmed(hoarded) an estimated 21 billion dollars from the U.N. oil for “food” program. Of course you know that he was in the process of reconstituting his weapons programs. See the recent Duefler report.

Have a wonderful Kerry-free day!!!

JeffR

The Red Monk,

Please watch the news.

Please read some papers.

Speak to soldiers on the ground.

Then come back and try a new post.

Thanks,

JeffR

P.S. Have a Kerry-free day!!!

The Duelfer report key findings.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/Comp_Report_Key_Findings.pdf