Friday, July 10, 2009


The U.S. military has finally released five Iranian diplomats after more than two years in a military prison in Iraq. The U.S. never produced any evidence as to why they were held or what their alleged crime was. I maintain that the whole episode was just a ploy of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to provoke the Iranian government into some action that Bush & Co. could claim was a casus belli and thus give the U.S. a chance to attack Iran.

Steven Lee Myers writes in today's The New York Times:

"The American military and a senior aide to President Obama offered few details about the release or its timing. A military spokesman here, Capt. Brad Kimberly, said in a statement that the release had come “at the request of the government of Iraq” and complied with the security agreement between the United States and Iraq which requires the eventual transfer of all detainees in American custody."

No matter what the U.S. military claims, until and unless it releases evidence showing the complicity of these five Iranians in illegal actions in Iraq, I will believe that they were arrested and imprisoned solely on the bias of the U.S. government against Iran and against the natural influence Iranians have in the neighboring country of Iraq.

Gen. Odierno tries to paint the Iranians as part of an effort to fund and train an anti-American insurgency.

Writes Myers:

"The American military has not detailed its evidence against the men, so the extent of their involvement in violence in Iraq, if any, may never be known.

"However, senior American military and diplomatic officials here continue to accuse Iran — or at least parts of its security forces and secret services — of supporting insurgent groups.

"At a news conference on June 30, the top American commander here, Gen. Ray Odierno, criticized Iran in blunt terms.

"“Iran is still supporting, funding, training surrogates who operate inside of Iraq — flat out,” he said. “They have not stopped. And I don’t think they will stop. I think they will continue to do that because they are also concerned, in my opinion, of where Iraq is headed. They want to try to gain influence here, and they will continue to do that. I think many of the attacks in Baghdad are from individuals that have been, in fact, funded or trained by the Iranians.”"

Note the words of Odierno. "Iran is . . . training surrogates who operate inside of Iraq . . . " [The Iranians] are . . . concerned . . . {about] where Iraq is headed." "They want to try to gain influence here." My reaction to all of this is, so what? I disagree with Steven Lee Myers that these are "blunt terms." I think rather they are fudging words trying to convey the impression without any evidence that Iranians are meddling. But is "meddling" a crime or an act of war? I don't think so.

Odierno also "thinks" that many of the attacks are from individuals that have been trained by the Iranians. But what does this mean?

Furthermore, Odierno thinks his assertions about the Iranians are true, but this word "thinks" surely implies that he does not know for sure. And even if Iraqi insurgents were funded or trained by Iranians, this statement still means nothing. Perhaps the individuals attended Islamic school in Iran to study the Quran or maybe they took language training and studied Farsi.

Odierno's statement is just fluff. But it is dangerous insofar as it tries to demonize Iran and the Iranians on the basis of conjecture and Odierno's own opinion which conceivably is riddled with conjecture.

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