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Iran Allegedly Sends 5000 Troops Into Northern Iraq
Is the "State Department...encouraging too [!] strong an Iranian role"?
Jared Israel comments on an article from the
*Our thanks to Beatrice W. for the Financial Times article*
Below we have re-posted an article from the Financial Times.
This article reports an alleged incursion into Northern Iraq by 5000 Iranian-backed troops.
Regarding SCIRI, a study of the Iraqi opposition produced by the Congressional Research Service states:
The Financial Times article tells us that:
"[The SCIRI leader,] Ayatollah Hakim, based in Tehran since 1980, should not be viewed as an Iranian puppet under Tehran's tight control, US and Iranian officials say."
One might wonder how seriously to take a denial by unnamed Iranian and US officials that Iran controls SCIRI. Wouldn't the Iranians have a motive to lie? And mightn't US officials have such a motive as well? According to the Financial Times:
Note that the alleged dispute between the Pentagon and State is not over whether Iran should play a role, but how much.
If SCIRI is a tool of Fundamentalist forces in Iran - and this seems likely - and if the US Establishment means for these forces to play a big role in post-Hussein Iraq, then US officials would certainly have reason to deny that SCIRI is a tool of Iran.
After all, how enthusiastic would the public be for a "regime change" if our leaders said they meant to depose the unappetizing Mr. Hussein and replace him with the equally unappetizing Ayatollahs? [1A]
I would not take the claim that there is in fact a dispute too seriously. Someone is always saying the State Department and Pentagon are fighting. Yet they seem to unite in the end. I think our exalted leaders spread such tales deliberately. In this time of smoke and mirrors, our leaders know that if they present an image of disunity, it will give everyone something to root for.
What happened to the last Big Fight?
In the past, we were told that the motor force behind the break-up of Yugoslavia was a US-German dispute. We were told this dispute had a profound economic basis, and so on. And yet, when NATO marched into Kosovo in June of 1999, the US and Germany were united. Under US leadership, of course.
Thus I for one am dubious about the recent ridiculously public fight between the US and Germany over whether to attack Iraq. (By the way, note that it is almost March, the much-proclaimed cutoff date for launching an attack, and the US still has not done so. Food for thought...)
Is the U.S.-German 'split' a soap?
The US and Germany quarrel in public. But in the quietly decisive areas of the Balkans and Afghanistan it appears that man and wife get along tolerably well.
For example, Afghanistan is very important to the U.S.
In a development which appears to be a matter of some pride to Germany and Holland, those two countries took command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan:
Note that the U.S.-controlled Karzai government is calling for "an expansion of the [ISAF's] role outside Kabul." So, the US is asking the ISAF to play a bigger role at precisely the moment that Germany is given command! Does this sound like the behavior of two countries in the midst of a quarrel?
Nor does the much-declared US-German split appear to be hindering the practical functioning of NATO. The following article states that France is out of the loop, but isn't France often out of the loop?
The supposed German resistance to the U.S. has endeared Germany to many who oppose a possible war against Iraq. These people may conclude that in its new role, commanding Western forces in Afghanistan, Germany will bring relief to that tortured land. However, before you reach that conclusion, read our articles about the hell created by German and Dutch troops who occupied the town of Orahovac in Kosovo. These articles will give you pause... 
Since when does the US propose a war?
Perhaps the talk of a US/German split is intended for public consumption. Does that suggestion seem odd? Well, there are a number of odd things about the preparation for this much-proposed war.
For example, since when does the US leadership engage in a year and a half of highly public debate about whether to go to war? Consider former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee's account of the deceit that launched the escalation of the Vietnam War:
Or consider the bombing of Serbia. A fake massacre was staged in Racak, followed by fake negotiations at Rambouillet intended to provide public 'evidence' that the Serbs were intransigent. Then, bang! They bombed. Ten weeks after Racak. No hand wringing. No media debate. No fights with allies. 
Serbia and Vietnam are no accidents. Read the text of the famous Pentagon document called 'Northwoods' and our analysis of it. 
This internal Pentagon discussion piece makes it eminently clear that in the view of top Pentagon brass, the crucial question in preparing for war is to win the public relations argument and then attack. Yet with Iraq we see no smoking gun to neutralize opposition. Instead, month after month of weak argument, which is a gift to opponents.
Yes, staging a phony fight with Germany would be odd, but other things about the way Washington is preparing for this proposed war are odd, starting with the fact that it is...proposed.
Meanwhile, Back at State...
I would suggest taking the claim that the Pentagon and State Department are split over how much to use Iran with a grain of salt. At one time we were told that the Pentagon was hawkish and the State Department was dovish. Now we are told the State Department wants to give the Iranians a bigger role than the Pentagon. Does wanting to give Islamic Fundamentalists a bigger role make one dovish?
Could whoever spins these yarns please be consistent?
Let's ignore the tale of a split and cut to the chase: the Financial Times' assertion that the State Department is planning a big role for the Iranian Islamic Fundamentalists in Iraq.
The Financial Time doesn't name their source, so their report is only an assertion. But it is an assertion worth contemplating. It is consistent with our own take on what the endlessly threatened attack on Iraq is really about: not fighting Islamic Fundamentalism but. quite the contrary, increasing its strength in the so-called Third World. 
Is there other evidence that behind the pretense of going after Iraq to fight terrorism the US is in fact pursuing what could be called an 'Iranian strategy'? Yes, there is other evidence, and I shall present more in the future.
Here's the Financial Times article.
-- Jared Israel
Add to US Challenge
(C) Financial Times, 18 February 2003, Reprinted for Educational Use Only
[Footnotes Follow The Appeal]
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Footnotes and Further Reading
U.S. Efforts to Change the Regime Update January 8, 2003 By Kenneth
Katzman Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense
and Trade Division Congressional Research Service * Library of
Congress Order Code RL31339
[1A] Regarding Mr. Hussein, see,
"A Los Angeles Reader Asks: Are you For or Against
Saddam Hussein? Are you For or Against the Proposed war?"
 'How NATO Brought Hell To A Kosovo Town'
Immediately following the alleged Racak massacre,
evidence was brought forth that made it obvious this was
a hoax. For example, reporters from the French
newspapers, Le Monde and Figaro, both hostile to Serbia,
had been invited to accompany the Yugoslav forces that
captured Racak - and they had witnessed everything. Yet
they said there was no massacre. See, 'Racak - the Impossible Massacre,' at
the Northwoods document and analysis, see,
 Here are some articles
discussing the evidence that the major Western powers have sponsored Islamic
Note added April 27, 2004
- For more on what lies behind the Iraq war, see Jared Israel's series,
"How the Lies of Scott Ritter Reveal the Strategic Goals of the Bizarre