Oh those perfidious Iranians! According to the Bush administration and it's stenographers they've been sending weapons and aid to Sunni insurgent groups in Iraq for a long time now (and as we know, all Sunni insurgents are now Al Qaeda). According to other reports in the tame rightwing media, anonymous US officials also say they've helped Al Qaeda to establish training camps inside Iran. Not satisfied with all that, now they've convinced Al Qaeda's umbrella group in Iraq to throw us poor liberals off the chase by issuing a statement threatening their secret masters in Teheran with holy war:
The leader of an al-Qaida umbrella group in Iraq warned Iran in a new audiotape released Sunday to stop supporting Shiites in Iraq, giving leaders in the neighboring country two months to severe ties or they would face a "severe war."It's either a dastadly plot to put everyone of the scent of an Iran-Al Qaeda linkage that means we should nuke Teheran right now!...or that well-known liberal Occam steps in and says the Cheneyites have been planting a whole bunch of agitprop in foreign (British) newspapers knowing full well that their talking-heads in the U.S. would import it wholesale.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the Islamic State in Iraq, said his Sunni fighters have been preparing for four years to wage a battle against Shiite-dominated Iran.
"We are giving the Persians, and especially the rulers of Iran, a two month period to end all kinds of support for the Iraqi Shiite government and to stop direct and indirect intervention ... otherwise a severe war is waiting for you," he said in the 50-minute audiotape. The tape, which could not be independently verified, was posted on a Web site commonly used by insurgent groups.
...In the recording, al-Baghdadi also gave Sunnis and Arab countries doing business in Iran or with Iranians a two-month deadline to cease their ties.
We advise and warn every Sunni businessman inside Iran or in Arab countries especially in the Gulf not to take partnership with any Shiite Iranian businessman — this is part of the two-month period," he said.
And while we're on the subject of Al Qaeda, agitprop plants in the British Murdochmedia and the talking heads, consider the story from the London Times today alleging that "at least one of the suspects being quizzed over the alleged plot to set off car bombs in Britain was in recent contact with Al-Qaeda in Iraq".
Over at Protein Psychos, Dan Collins swallows the tale wholesale and then gets his screech on about Al Qaeda under every bed, as do the rest of the wussy wingnut steno-bloggers.
However, a more thoughtful conservative like James Joyner looks a bit harder and sees that the story amounts to not very much at all.
There’s a lot of speculation here. Basically, a terrorist in London at some time in the months leading up to the plot sent an email or made a phone call — we’re not sure — to “terrorist leaders” in Iraq. This, in turn, has led to some guessing — on the part of whom we don’t know — that there may be a connection.While journalist Larissa Alexandrovna, who pays attention to who is who in UK reporting as much as to U.S. media figures, looks deeper and sees the story plant for what it is - since the UK government had already said, loudly, that claims of a clear link between the Glasgow and London failed attacks and Al Qaeda were "sensationalized" and official statements cited as proof of such a link had been "grossly misrepresented". Larissa notes that the Times' reporter in question already has a reputation as a shill and adds:
To claim an Iraq-Al Qaeda link automatically puts this story in doubt for me, precisely because no serious intelligence officer would claim such a thing. They might say "could be, but we really don't know" or they might say "given all of the various groups that have arrived in Iraq since the war started...it might be possible, but Al Qaeda really does not exist on a large scale globally and never did... this might be inspired by Al Qaeda and even so, the alleged bomber claims to be angry about Iraq, which alone would be motive that does not need to be tied to a terrorist organization" or something of the sort.That is, just more stenography.
That would be a convincing statement from a credible source discussing the possibility of Al Qaeda ties to Iraq and to the bomber. To suggest otherwise would put up red flags for me that this person has either no clue what they are talking about or is planting a story and attempting to use me. Leppard apparently just jots down things and his editors smoke crack while they fact check his stories.