Tuesday, April 08, 2008

General Petraeus on Iranian Acts of War in Iraq

"Acts of war" is my description but how else should one interpret what Iran is doing. From Gen Petraeus opening remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing (all emphasis below added):
...Recently, of course, some militia elements became active again. Though a Sadr stand-down resolved the situation to a degree, the flare-up also highlighted the destructive role Iran has played in funding, training, arming and directing the so-called special groups, and generated renewed concern about Iran in the minds of many Iraqi leaders. Unchecked, the special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.
Actions by neighboring states compound Iraq's challenges. Syria has taken some steps to reduce the flow of foreign fighters through its territory, but not enough to shut down the key network that supports Al Qaida-Iraq. And Iran has fueled the violence, as I noted, in a particularly damaging way through its lethal support to the special groups.
Together with the Iraqi security forces we have also focused on the special groups. These elements are funded, trained, armed and directed by Iran's Quds Force with help from Lebanese Hezbollah. It was these groups that launched Iranian rockets and mortar rounds at Iraq's seat of government two weeks ago, causing loss of innocent life and fear in the capital, and requiring Iraqi and coalition actions in response.


Burgess Laughlin said...

If Gen. Petraeus's testimony is accurate, Iran is killing Americans and Iraqis. The Bush administration does nothing, choosing instead to have faith in the theocracy that shakily rules Iraq.

Despite all the emotionalist denials from conservatives, the parallels to the Vietnam War are striking. The Iraq War is a War of Sacrifice, a war in which the enemy rests comfortably in a sanctuary beyond arbitrarily drawn lines.

Further, there is no identification of the premises of the enemy. The Bush administration and their conservative supporters don't dare identify the enemy's premises as targets--because those premises are the Bush administration's premises as well: God is Great and those who follow God's word have a right to impose God's word on others.

Gideon said...

Yes, exactly. And it was like that from the beginning with the pretense at the "religion of peace" and the continuing refusal to identify Iran as the source of all these problems or to recognize that we ought to have responded to Iran's numerous acts of war over the last 29 years with acts of war of our own.

Before the Iraq war, the reasons given for why we're fighting were at least a mixture of self-interest (in light of 9/11 we must stop Saddam who has WMD and may give them to the terrorists he sponsors) and altruism (we need to liberate the Iraqi people from oppression and establish and democratic example for the Middle East).

But an ominous sign of the priorities was the fact that the war operation was termed "Operation Iraqi Freedom," obviously a reference to the altruistic, rather than the more selfish goals. Then, when WMD were not really found, virtually all pretense of self-interest was dropped and we became committed to working for the Iraqis rather than for our own security.

This is why I will never vote for McCain. He is, despite being seemingly less religious, even more committed to sacrifice than Bush is. I really can't see how the Democrats will do worse. Despite much rhetoric to the contrary, I expect Obama to do much the same. At least now we could expect the right to attack him for not doing enough. We had to wait for a Congressional defeat for Bush even to fire Rumsfeld and slightly improve his absurd tactics in Iraq, although the long run effects of such tactics, in light of the continuing disregard of Iran as the main enemy remain dubious.