Nearly three-quarters of the attacks that kill or wound American soldiers in Baghdad are carried out by Iranian-backed Shiite groups, the United States military said Wednesday.
Senior officers in the American division that secures the capital said that 73 percent of fatal and other harmful attacks on American troops in the past year were caused by roadside bombs planted by so-called “special groups.”
The American military uses that term to describe groups trained by Iran that fight alongside the Mahdi Army but do not obey the orders of the militia’s figurehead, the cleric Moktada al-Sadr, to observe a cease-fire. But Col. Allen Batschelet, the Baghdad division’s chief of staff, conceded that there was overlap between the groups.
“These two groups are so amorphous; they go back and forth between one another,” the colonel said at a briefing in Baghdad.
I bet those nefarious Iranian agents are in the east, west, south and north of Baghdad.
Wait, no they’re not. The string-pulling Persians are sitting in the Green Zone lunching comfortably with the Iraqi Prime Minister, whose Badr-allied security forces they control more than he does. After the Basra crackdown Iran sided decisively with Nouri al-Maliki and against Muqtada al-Sadr. It’s Sadr, the nationalist partisan of Iraq’s internal debate over Iranian influence vs. home rule, who has a wide lead in American casualties. Calling Sadr the Iranian stooge is like denouncing the Democratic party for supporting torture.
The weirdest thing is that a rookie reporter on the mideast beat knows all this, or can figure it out after five minutes of scanning through recent history. So where’s the context? Where is a single reference to the paper’s own reporting, or one independent expert? We’re already waist-deep in one loser of a war because the media got drunk on unsubstantiated warnings from the administration about links between a mideast bugbear and anti-American violence. Is it really too much to ask not to make the same mistake twice?
Yeah I know, SATSQ.
Whew. It’s been … weeks since the regular “Blame it on Iran, ignore the guys from Saudi Arabia,” dispatch from the front. But if it were me, I’d pick a term for the bad guys that didn’t make them sound like they rode the short bus.
More funny from the front:
Those dang irresponsible special groups. I’ve told them over n’ over to quit playing round with those RPGs and get offa my lawn.
It’s been a while but I’m pretty sure that we’re in Iraq because Bush got drunk and decided the war in Afghanistan was so much fun he’d have a bigger one somewhere else. Seriously man, if you think the media has so much control over this country’s policy that it can cause a war you may as well drop your pants, grab your ankles and wait for your media-controlled government overlords to come along and administer a tailpiping of epic proportions.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
It’s been a while but I’m pretty sure that we’re in Iraq because Bush got drunk and decided the war in Afghanistan was so much fun he’d have a bigger one somewhere else.
Come now, that’s not true.
It was the conclusively established links between Iraq and the Afghani terrorists killing US soldiers liberating Afghanistan that motivated the totally justified liberation of Iraq.
Look – Al Qaeda IN IRAQ! What more needs be said?
(Well, apart from “Al Qaeda IN IRAN!!!” of course)
The press release should have said “Iranian-backed Shiite groups not supported by the U.S.,as opposed to the Iranian-backed groups that also get our support”. The military continues to try to distract from the fact that Iran has influence with almost all the Shiite groups.
As for the Saudis, my understanding is they support Sunni groups (which we’ve temporarily bought off), except for the Saudis who support Al-Qaeda. But that’s OK,because the Saudis are our friends,right?
Oh noes. Where is Judy Miller now that the NYT needs her to gin up a new war. I mean, the writing in this piece sounds like they got some rather lazy students from the AP English class to phone it in. Not that Judy didn’t make shit up, but she’d slept around with enough people in enough places that they’d feed her a better story line.
Or maybe the Pentagon’s guys are just running out of imagination after five years of this crap. It’s just really getting stale.
Halley Luyah Korus
That damned drumbeat again.
gettin’ louder and louder.
Right on, jake. The media are the enablers of our military-industrial-security complex. Why anyone still expects the msm to do ANYTHING that would expose or criticize the war machine is beyond me, particularly given what we’ve seen since Rudy Giuliani Day, aka Sept 11.
The fifth estate as represented by “the media” has gone from being the watchdog of democracy to being the cheerleader for our corporate handlers.
As if the takeover weren’t complete, one of the presidential candidates has become the Nuke Iran candidate. Not the Republican candidate though, but one of “our” DEMOCRATIC candidates.
But, in all fairness, it is the “centrist” Democrat–not the raging liberal Democrat.
Somebody wake me from this bad, bad dream.
Davis X. Machina
They don’t have a very discerning audience — present company excluded, of course — which makes their jobs a lot easier.
Exactly! I really don’t get this. The people writing these stories are reasonably intelligent individuals. It is impossible for them not to see that they are putting out misleading tripe. Do they simply have no shame?
I wonder if Judith Miller’s published her complete works yet. Or maybe she’s giving classes to these up-and-comers.
Halley Luyah Korus
empty, the answer is no, they have absolutely no frickin shame whatsoever.
They have money, prestige, credentials and their mugs on the tube. They are hailed as famous experts. Therefore they will say and do whatever their paymasters demand of them; otherwise, they would jeopardize their position in the elite pantheon of our Merkin television news world.
They will not reform, relent or repent. They will only parrot the party line. Forever and ever, amen.
That’s really the LAST last straw for me. I already was pretty hostile to the idea of even hypothetically voting for Hillary even if she somehow stole the nom. I don’t like the dirty politicking.
But to tacitly go ‘here’s a vote, go ahead and assume you got it BECAUSE you promised to obliterate Iran’- how the hell could I give this woman a vote if she believes that is what would sway me? That is a hell of a lot of pander-ground to cover- at least McCain believes his own bullshit and might be convinced otherwise. Hil does not believe this bullshit so she cannot possibly be convinced out of it, and that’s far more threatening.
I’m going to be voting for Obama in the general election even if I have to write the fucker in. And I’ll take pains to push for other Dems all over the ballot just because that’s the only option I’m given. But seriously- I expect adult behavior from my Dems even if they backbite and infight a lot. I expect more of them to start acting like Obama and less to act like Hillary, even if it’s only for the money.
We’ve got to head this off short of revolution, the last thing we need is to continue as a totally rogue country pursuing more doomed madness regardless of which party claims to be leading.
You guys have noted who is now in charge of CentCom? And who took his place in Iraq? They have every intention of attacking Iran soon. They don’t give a crap if anyone believes their bs or not. They don’t care if it’s a good idea. They don’t care what may happen to our troops in Iraq. They just don’t care.
Hey Michelle and friends,
This is supporting the troops? Sorry you lemmings, but if we stay in Iraq YOU are allowing Osama to win.
When he attacked us (using Afghanistan as a proxy state in which he could operate) he stated it was his aim to mire us in long term guerilla wars AND bankrupt us. Well guess what, losers? We are being bled dry. We are losing political and human capital AND suffering economically.
This nonsense has to end.
And the change at CentCom means Iran is now next, unfortunately. Why and how we do this is beyond me as we are overextended militarily and I see a depression coming if oil moves to $10/gallon because the markets panic over any attacks.
Republicanism can’t fail. It can only be failed.
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, January 24, 2006; Page A13
BAGHDAD, Jan. 23 — An Iraqi Muslim cleric who leads a major Shiite militia pledged to come to the defense of neighboring Iran if it were attacked, aides to the cleric, Moqtada Sadr, said Monday link
(CNN) — The fighting among Shiite militias and government troops in Basra is a glimpse of Iraq’s future, and pivotal cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in deep trouble, according to two CNN correspondents and a CNN military analyst.
“Al-Sadr is involved in a very complicated relationship with the Iranians,” said CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware. “The Iranians do provide funding and support for his militia, yet at the same time they’re trying to rein him in and get him to adopt a certain political agenda, which from time to time he resists.”
Ware said Iran wants to use al-Sadr’s populist base to advance its agenda in Iraq. “However, they don’t want to see him get too big for his boots or to rise to a position where they can no longer have sway over him.” link
It smells like a stooge to me.
Speaking of Stooges…
Remember women, in McCain’s America, your rightful position is on your backs.
Something smells, alright.
Take that dead fish out of your pocket, MJ.
Also, the Sandinista government of tiny Nicaragua is a huge threat to our safety and it is a Soviet beachhead and they are only a day’s drive from Harlingen, Texas, and the elections they held really displease our sense of how elections ought be run (i.e., our friends the allies of their former tyrant did not win).
Also, if we fail to back our French allies in keeping their colony Vietnam from gaining independent, a huge domino effect will spread throughout Asia, and those ChiCom subversives are the source of all bad things in the Pacific, so we gotta get ’em.
So, the word “twice” above all depends upon how you define it.
Nothing indicate the death of the American Left more than the country’s ongoing efforts in this criminal war. As if for one moment anyone in this administration, or Clinton’s should it happen, could ever recognize the national political aspirations of Arabs, this war’s gook. It must be Iran, just like it had to be Red China and the Russians.
It’s the Vietnamization of Baghdad. The Left (a debatable construct in its own right – pun intended) has been replaced by Liebermanism – we’ll let you have reproductive rights if you let us occupy a brown skinned country for the next 100 years.
I don’t believe a word that comes from the Pentagon, or military analysts. You can understand what’s going on in Iraq by reading the astute comments of people who actually know what they’re talking about – Marc Lynch, Pat Lang et al. Stop listening to and reading the nonsense of Administration mouthpieces.
We’ve reached the point (actually passed it a while back) where they really don’t give a shit if we know they’re lying. Because they know we’re not going to do anything about it.
I speak of stooge and one crawls out from under a rock. Next he’ll tell us how the CNN correspondents and a CNN military analyst are all part of the vast right wing conspiracy.
I speak of stooge and one crawls out from under a rock. Next he’ll tell us how the CNN correspondents and a CNN military analyst are all part of the vast right wing conspiracy.
Is it really too much to ask not to make the same mistake twice?
Why do people keep believing all this is a mistake?
Don’t forget, Saddam tried to kill his Dad.
Why are we in Iraq, though? Bush’s incompetent reliance on starry-eyed neocon loons and oil-hungry business interests? Vengeance for 1991? Why? I’ve never been able to figure it out completely.
MJ you moron, your first link implies that Sadr is an Iranian stooge in the same way that America is a stooge of France, and your second link argues against your point. If Sadr was “in Iran’s pocket” then Iran would not continually worry, correctly, that Sadr would do what he wants and their direction be damned.
I had to look SATSQ up on the Intertubes. The things you learn at BJ.
Shite, Sunni, Sadr, Badr, Martyr. The inherent absurdity and madness of “US” having to deal with such intractible and bizarre factions makes my head spin and brains hurt.
Tell me again why Bush & Co. invaded Iraq? Why are we wasting American lives and treasure in this sandpit? So the price of oil can shoot to $126 a barrel?
Quite honestly, I see no downside to a staggered and inflexible (except for acceleration) withdrawal schedule for our forces starting January 2009. I doubt that a bullethead like Ray Odierno will have any greater success in Iraq than suddenly famous General Petraeus, despite the latter’s success as a political general and presidential water-carrier.
The mess Bush and Cheney have gotten this Nation into is simply sickening. This conflict isn’t worth a single further American life, not to mention what’s already been wasted.
Tim what don’t you understand about this sentence from the CNN story I linked to:
Lets see they are funding and supporting him. They are using him to advance their agenda. That doesn’t sound like a stooge to you?
Just because they play both sides and unlike you they know al-Sadr’s is in trouble and are hedging their bets. You’ve been duped by the Iranian propaganda and you have the nerve to call me a moron.
Tim your talking points are in and the Mullahs thank you for your effort.
That’s pretty close to my theory on how the Russians got into Afghanistan in the 80’s actually. Andropov wanted it bad and had everything ready to go, he went to a Christmas party with Kosygin (it was still Kosygin, right?), got the guy good and liquored up, and then got the go-ahead order from him while Kosygin was drunk off his ass. After that, everybody stayed in because national pride was at stake.
Sounds like the Afghani Mujahadeen in the ’80s. They totally pulled the American line after the Soviets withdrew.
So do something about it
And you have impressive cheek to talk about swallowing propaganda. From the conclusions of an analytical arm of our own government:
I’m dying to know how a non-moron like you interprets Iran eagerly supporting Maliki against the militia that they supposedly control. Tough love?
The war-crazy fruitcakes in Cheney’s office sincerely appreciate your hard work.
This bad news for Democrats, and great new for the Bush administration, and possibly for Hillary as well.
The latte/malt liquor drinking Obamabots don’t war with Iran, but out here where real people live, they know bombing the Mullahs is the right thing to do.
And Obama better have that flag pin in his lapel when those bombs start dropping.
Now that we’ve created the Shiite Crescent, is there any chance we can get THEM to go after al Qaeda?
That would be nice.
That was the plan all along. And it’s working like a charm, just the way Rumsfeld envisioned. Too bad the moonbats can’t admit that.
LOL.. You’re reading Juan Cole, no wonder you’re confused.
Tim they are plays both sides and Iran is interested in causing as much havoc in Iraq as they can. They have a history of doing this. If you’re not on their pay roll do the Mullahw at least send you a card on your birthday?
Regardless of your political delusions I hope you’re having a good Pesach.
peach flavored shampoo
I can think of 15 or so who didn’t like us very much….
We’re going to bomb Iran. Period. Otherwise, there’s no reason to can Fallon and install Patraeus with less than a year to go.
By July, the cost of Persian rugs will skyrocket.
If by this you mean that Iran supports all of the Shiite factions then you get a token. But you don’t get a stuffed giraffe until you think in a little more detail. Sadr gets funding, frequently tells Iran to piss off and the Mullahs support the other side when it comes to blows.
By comparison Nouri al-Maliki’s current armed support comes from the Badr brigades, a militia personally recruited and trained by Iran, whose leadership answers directly to Tehran. They even draw pensions from the Iranian security branch that America has labeled terrorist. If one wanted to reduce the region to a child’s cartoon and label one of the factions ‘stooge,’ which faction do you think a non-moron would pick?
You missed an if-then statement somewhere. You assume that Iran wants chaos on its border because…Iran is evil and crazy? Or maybe they just want to keep the heat on American troops because they believe, rightly and with ample evidence, that America will use its weapons against Iran the moment we are not tied down in Iraq. Try to understand how hard it can be to take people seriously who insist on viewing important issues like a sunday morning cartoon.
Pesach, feh. The Haggadahs that reform temples sell these days might as well be written by the Blue’s Clues staff. Around when I was asked to wave a fuzzy finger puppet representing boils I started musing about tradition and the death of faith.
Also, next year no one’s buying the kosher wine but me.
The funny thing is that whenever anyone calls the Pentagon shills on this, they immediately back down.
Dennis - SGMM
Al-Maliki was elected Iraqi PM by both the Sadrist and the then-SCIRI (Now ISCI) factions in the Iraqi parliament. He lost al-Sadr’s support because he refused to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops and because of his desire to set up a Shiite super province in southern Iraq. Al-maliki’s main support is now ISCI whose Badr corps militia was trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Al-Maliki’s own Dawa party party has no militia, thus his dependence on Badr corps muscle. The Badr corps has been integrating itself into the Iraqi army and the police force which allows them to continue to carry out their power grab under the color of acting on behalf of the Iraqi government. Because al-Sadr is an Iraqi nationalist, he opposes the super province idea (Something the Iranians dearly wish for) so he’s temporarily not favored by Iran as much as al-Maliki. Iran’s desire is to have a de facto client state in southern Iraq, something that al-Maliki will go along with as long as he’s the head of it. Cue typical ME hijinks a la Egypt where the head of state invokes various emergencies, plots against the government, etc. to invalidate and suppress any efforts to remove him from power. We are in the process of aiding and abetting the creation of a pint-sized Saddam only this Saddam is beholden to Iran.
The shaky legitimacy of the al-Maliki government in the eyes of its neighbors is demonstrated by the fact that it has yet to be voted diplomatic status in the Arab League. No Arab country bordering Iraq has even established an embassy there nor have they announced plans to do so.
Tim, you’re making my head hurt.
>>The Haggadahs that reform temples sell these days might as well be written by the Blue’s Clues staff.
Maxwell House Haggadoth > *
Quote 1 meets him halfway. If we’re going to talk in cartoonish generalities then he has his cartoons wrong. Quote 2 expresses my frustration that this is necessary.
I can’t win an “arguement” with my seven year old nephew who has discovered the efficacy of determined denial and constant blaming … and I don’t think there is a way to win an “arguement” with a Right-wing Republican Con.
Nevertheless, dissecting a winger is a chance to (a) remind ourselves that, yes, there are truly benighted false people in the world and (b) dismantle for the REST of the audience these incipid but self(ishly)-sustaining right wing talking points.
Or maybe they just want to keep the heat on American troops because they believe,
rightly and with ample evidence, that America will use its weapons against Iran the moment we are not tied down in Iraq.the next President will want to get the hell out of there ASAP and give them a free hand in the Gulf. fixed
Sounds like you were drinking Manischewitz wine. I suggest Herzog Wine.
Yepper. I brought the Baron Herzog cab and practically saved the night, even if it didn’t make like a bottle of holy oil and serve a dozen people for five hours. The hosts served a Shiraz that I wouldn’t cook with.
And I think “special groups,” like “enhanced interrogation methods,” sounds better in the original German.
Historians will spend the next century trying to figure it out and the answer will never be more or less than Because they could.
Scary, ain’t it?
Shorter MJ: I learned nothing from the media’s love affair with the military in 2003.
That would make Dick Cheney the biggest stooge in American History…oh wait…
seems to me that it wasn’t so long ago that al-qaeda was responsible for 75% of the attacks on the americans. good to know the military is so sure of who they’re actually fighting.
ps: mccain is still conflating the various enemies we face with al-qaeda as recently as this week.