Sunday, April 13, 2008

Who's Who?

Despite the claims by American officials (from the school of all Arabs look alike), Iran has now acknowledged they backed Maliki against al Sadr:

Likewise, the ISG [Iraq Study Group, (Baker-Hamilton commission)] pointed out that the Badr Corps paramilitary was trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and is close to Tehran. (See below). It fought on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's side in the recent Basra fighting. In other words, the government side was the pro-Iranian side. The Mahdi Army and Sadr neighborhood militia forces they attacked were largely Iraqi nativists who bad-mouth Iran. Fiderer points out that the ISG report had already diagnosed this syndrome. The Bush team did propaganda, pointedly declining to name Badr as an Iranian client and blaming Iran for the Mahdi Army's violence. In fact, the violence came as a response to violations of the cease fire by the US and the Iraqi government, which took advantage of it to arrest Mahdi Army commanders (that's a ceasefire?)

Iran admitted on Saturday that it had negotiated a ceasefire by the Mahdi Army when approached by Iraqi parliamentarians (who were from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Da'wa Party, al-Maliki's backers). In other words, while Bushco blames Iran for Iraq's instability, in fact the Iranians have tried to and often succeeded in calming the situation down.
Juan Cole (link above) gives the full rundown. The short version is that the U.S. continues to support an Iraqi government that is essentially bound to Iran. And this same administration continues (either because they're stupid or mendacious or both) to publically push the idea that Iran is behind the "insurgents" and Mahdi army. Whether it's a part of a campaign to gin up a war with Iran, or simply idiocy I don't know. Both are highly possible. Ironically, Iran claims that the U.S. is responsible for the instability in Iraq. What do you think?

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