Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cheney's Office Recycling The War Hype

By Cernig

I see ABC's Blotter has a new bit of anonymously sourced war-hype to tout this evening (H/T The Agonist). Well, not exactly new unless you count an alleged official document from an un-named NATO nation and an anonymous source from an un-named Coalition nation as new. Because the story they have to tell is weeks old.

NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran's proxy war against the United States and Great Britain.

"It is inconceivable that it is anyone other than the Iranian government that's doing it," said former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stopped short earlier this week of blaming Iran, saying the U.S. did not have evidence "of the involvement of the Iranian government in support of the Taliban."

But an analysis by a senior coalition official, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, concludes there is clear evidence of Iran's involvement.

"This is part of a considered policy," says the analysis, "rather than the result of low-level corruption and weapons smuggling."

...The coalition analysis says munitions recovered in two Iranian convoys, on April 11 and May 3, had "clear indications that they originated in Iran. Some were identical to Iranian supplied goods previously discovered in Iraq."

...The coalition diplomatic message says the demolition charges "contained the same fake U.S. markings found on explosives recovered from insurgents operating in the Baghdad area."

"We believe these intercepted munitions are part of a much bigger flow of support from Iran to the Taliban," the message says.
I already posted on this on Sunday June 3rd. Recall, this is the evidence Newsweek says Cheney's faction is unusually interested in and has already been hawked by reliable shill Robin Wright in the WaPo.

The Brits have another opinion, according to Newsweek:
"British officials who asked for anonymity because of the nature of their work emphasize that they lack hard evidence linking the shipments to the Revolutionary Guards, and that the weapons could just as easily have been bought on the black market in Iran."
Karzai isn't buying it either:

" Asked his own view, Karzai appeared eager to give the Iranian government a pass.

He said there was no evidence of Iranian government involvement, adding, ``Iran and Afghanistan have never been as friendly as they are today.''

There is no reason for Iran to aid the Taliban, Karzai said. ``It is in the interests of our brothers in Iran'' to support the development of a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan."
So the Afghans and the Brits don't believe the spin - and the US is as much a part of the Coalition and of NATO as anyone. It would be truthful to describe any report or official from the White House as being from a NATO source or Coalition official - it just wouldn't be telling the whole truth. The only people publicly giving any credence to this warmongering hype are Bush hardliners - no-one from any other NATO or Coalition country is speaking up. That's significant, to my mind. It indicates double-speak and war shills, plain and simple.

Then there's the whole ridiculous internal logic, which is only believable if you're a paranoid rightwing warmonger. These anonymous officials know that the weapons in Iraq are Iranian because they bear Iranian markings (in English, usually) but know the C-4 is Iranian because it bears fake US markings? So why not put fake markings on the other weapons, if this is all supposed to be some great and covert plot orchestrated by the Iranian leadership (rather than the usual, run of the mill, middle-eastern profiteering from private arms-dealing enterprise)?

My guess is both the leaked document and the anonymous senior coalition official" came from the crazy wing of the White House i.e. Cheney's office.

Even so, the neocon noise machine will insist that this is a new and "interesting development", rather than admit it is just recycling of old war-hype as new. They assume we are all - especially the mainstream media - brainless morons with short-term memory dysfunction and act accordingly. It worked in for the hype to invade Iraq after all...